If you aren’t using hyaluronic serums or moisturisers, it’s time you do! Over time and with age, your skin loses its firmness, plumpness and gets drier. This powerful ingredient refreshes and moisturises your skin to give it a dewy look. It improves your texture and elasticity. It is that one product that gives its results almost instantly. Adding a product with hyaluronic acid to your skincare routine is sure to be a win for your skin! If you are looking for a trusted skincare brand with Hyaluronic Acid products, head on over to the Red Dot Shop here.
To know more TC46 connected with Dr Smriti Naswa Singh, Consultant Dermatologist and Cosmetic Dermatologist, Fortis Hospital, Mumbai. Here she shares 10 things you need to know about the ingredients and product recommendations.
1. Hyaluronic acid has the ability to lock in moisture & has anti-inflammatory properties
Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is a Glycosaminoglycan (GAG). It is one of the most important components of the extracellular matrix of the skin. It also is responsible for the daily interactions of epidermal skin cells with the environment. These molecules are also found in the body’s connective tissue, needed for cushioning and lubricating effect. One of the most beautiful properties of HA is its ability to hold a large amount of moisture. Ageing skin looks old or aged because of two factors, one is the degrading Collagen and Elastin (losing its tensile strength and elasticity respectively) and the increasing dryness (due to the inability to retain moisture with age). Around 40 years of age, when perimenopausal changes start leading to the withdrawal of Estrogen and Androgen hormones, it also leads to increasing ageing changes in the skin. Besides intrinsic ageing, extrinsic factors like UV ray exposure, air pollution, and smoking also decrease natural HA production in the skin. The ability to lock moisture is the reason why HA is incorporated in so many skin creams. HA can absorb water up to 1000 times its molecular weight. Also, it has anti-inflammatory properties, is an excellent free radical scavenger (antioxidant), helps stop inflammation and irritation of the skin. It also is non-toxic, non-immunogenic, and non-carcinogenic.
2. Add hyaluronic acid to your skincare routine for youthful skin
There is no age for a good moisturizing skin regime. Usually, ageing starts manifesting post 30 years, hence for a youthful anti-ageing skin regime, people can start applying moisturisers, serums, and sunscreens that have hyaluronic acid in them. It is also useful for those with damaged skin barrier conditions like Rosacea, Acne, Atopic Dermatitis. Because damaged skin barrier also makes one prone to infections and these skin conditions don’t have that great inherent moisture-locking properties, hence good moisturizing routine benefits them all irrespective of age.
3. 0.1% strength of HA can increase hydration and elasticity of the skin
HA is a big molecule and hence it works best when injected in the form of fillers. In usual cream-based formulations of HA, the molecule of HA is so big that it doesn’t penetrate the skin and works on the surface as a skin-surface moisturiser (the one which locks the moisture of wet skin). But some formulations have come up with micronized particles/ nanoparticles of HA, where the particles can penetrate the skin and work as a truly hydrating moisturizing agent in deeper layers of the skin. This leads to youthfulness and making the fine lines and wrinkles less visible. Hence search for the lesser molecular weight of HA like 50 kDa vs 2000 kDa (kilodalton). Usually, most products have 1-2% strength of HA in them, but studies suggest even 0.1% strength of HA leads to increased hydration and elasticity.
4. HA Product recommendations based on skin type
There are three types of HA molecules available in the market and they can be used according to skin types.
1. For oily and combination skin: Look for hydrolysed hyaluronic acid (HHA). These are fragmented HA molecules that are so small that they can penetrate the skin but aren’t the best moisturisers. Individuals with oily and combination skin are happy to use them because they don’t like the sticky feel of over-moisturizing
2. For normal skin: Look for the ingredient sodium hyaluronate. This ingredient is usually found in serums. It goes deeper in the skin compared to HHA but doesn’t moisturize for a longer duration. Hence it is suitable for normal skin who don’t want heavy-duty moisturisers
3. For dry skin with extreme signs of ageing, living in a dry climate, harsh dry winters, dry skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis: Look for sodium acetylated hyaluronate or hyaluronic acid. These have the same properties as Sodium Hyaluronate but are longer lasting.
5. Use HA products in your PM skin routine, so your skin can repair without any interruptions
Hyaluronic acid is the one ingredient that is present in all kinds of products ranging from sunscreens, serums, moisturisers to eye creams, cleansers and sheet masks. It should be used based on one’s skin type, amount of ageing. The ageing changes due to factors like weather, air pollution, smoking, mental and physical stress and the amount of dryness due to diseases like eczema. They can be used only once in the evening and/or night for normal and oily skin and preferred all three times of day (morning, evening and night) for excessively dry skin. My personal preference for using hyaluronic acid as a general care product for a good preventive skin regime is at night when the skin repairs itself.
6. One can notice visible signs of skin improvement after 3 months of usage
Usually, the studies suggest that in 3 months of using HA in anti-wrinkle creams and serums, a 10-30% tightening and fading of fine lines and wrinkles around eyes and lips are reported.
7. Allergies or rashes are mostly caused by parabens or fragrance
HA is a natural product of the body. In most cases when there is some allergy, rash, irritation, burning, stinging, itching or redness due to a product with HA, it is most likely due to other ingredients in the product than the HA molecule in itself. For example, preservatives like paraben may not suit the patient or the fragrance in the product, or if alcohol (like Isopropyl Alcohol) is mentioned in the top 6 of the ingredients, as it is very drying in nature.
In the case of injectable HA in filler form, the side effects arise due to the procedure technique which is that HA fillers need to be injected. Hence getting it done by a dermatologist is the safest and correct choice.
8. One can use hyaluronic acid moisturisers on the body too
The use of hyaluronic acid is not just limited to the face. HA containing moisturisers can be used all over the body. This includes the thick dry skin of palms and soles.
9. Use hyaluronic acid products on damp skin
Alcohols in the products like Isopropyl Alcohol are very harsh and drying and should not be used with HA. On the contrary, Vitamin C with HA is a very synergistic combination. Also, water as the first ingredient of the list is a good idea, as it helps HA to retain moisture better. Pat in your product with hyaluronic acid on dry skin to lock the moisture.
10. HA sheet masks are good for people with dry skin
Using sheet masks with HA especially by people with dry skin is like using long hydrating moisturizing creams. They can even use them daily. But people with oily, acne-prone skin should use them less often, maybe once a week. One must look for other ingredients like glycolic acid in the sheet mask. But use with caution as the ingredient is too strong and can make one’s skin sensitive if used daily. Once in a week is a good maintenance regime in such combinations.