How To Use Hyaluronic Acid & Why You Should

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A skincare routine is unique to a person’s needs, but there are specific ingredients that find themselves into most routines. Those are SPF, vitamin C, retinol, salicylic acid, and of course hyaluronic acid. As you may already know, SPF is for protecting your skin from sun damage. The vitamin C is for brightening your skin and retinol is to combat the effects of aging and acne. Salicylic acid is meant to target whiteheads and blackheads. All very important ingredients to take note of.

You’re probably using many, if not all, of these ingredients daily and you don’t really know what they’re doing for you. Hyaluronic acid, which is what we’ll be discussing today, is the ideal hydrating ingredient. It’s become very popular to be used in moisturizers and serums because of its anti-aging abilities. Even though it’s a very popular ingredient in lotions and serums, you should also know that it’s naturally found in our skin as well! It’s in our eyes, connective tissue, and internal fluids too. It works well on every type of skin to keep it looking healthy and plump.   Here’s the lowdown on hyaluronic acid. 

How Does Hyaluronic Acid Serum Work?

Woman with hair in towel wiping face with cotton pad.

Woman using hyaluronic acid.

The hyaluronic acid serum works by acting like a sponge and attracts moisture. It is a natural component of your skin. It’s unique in how it’s able to retain water molecules. Its believed that hyaluronic acid can hold water molecules up to one thousand times its own weight. It can seriously hydrate your skin. Even though it’s a natural part of our skin, the hyaluronic acid in products and serums is synthetic. Even though it’s an acid, it does everything but burn your skin. As we get older, so does our skin and our natural hyaluronic acid levels decrease. This is one of the reasons there’s such a stark difference between the feeling of a baby’s face and their grandparents. 

To see the effectiveness of hyaluronic acid, you’re going to need to use it regularly. It draws moisture from your deepest layer of skin and brings it to the top. This could worsen your dry skin symptoms which is why it’s important for you to follow the hyaluronic acid with a moisturizer. It’s also best to this in the mornings and nights. Every skin type can benefit from hyaluronic serum but people with dry and dehydrated skin will be more aware of its benefits. 

What Are Hyaluronic Acid Foods?

You already know that everything you eat affects your skin, but did you know that there are hyaluronic foods? If you’re looking for a quicker way to get the benefits of hyaluronic acid and you don’t want to inject it into your skin, then adding hyaluronic acid foods to your diet is the next best thing. There are some foods that are high in hyaluronic acid and some that can increase its natural production in the body. 

The ultimate food source of hyaluronic acid is bone broth. Bone broth is made from bones, whether it be from a cow or chicken. Since the broth is cooked for an extended period of time to get a rich flavor it is full of nutrients like hyaluronic acid. There’s a lot of benefits to simmering bones. The easiest way to make bone broth is by using a slow cooker. You can set it and forget it. There are also foods that may be able to increase your body’s production of hyaluronic acid. Since estrogen could help increase the production of hyaluronic acid, eating foods that increase estrogen production like soy-based foods may be able to help. Soy-based foods include edamame, tofu, and tempeh. 

Hyaluronic Acid And Vitamin C Explained

Birds eye view of woman floating in water with sliced citrus fruits.

Woman in water with sliced oranges.

You may find hyaluronic acid and vitamin C in the ingredients of facial creams and serums because they’re ideal for slowing the signs of aging. Pure hyaluronic acid provides the skin with a lot of moisture that wrinkles and fine lines will begin to disappear. It even boosts elasticity so your skin can continue looking fresh even after a crazy day. Vitamin C moisturizes as well but it’s also an antioxidant. It brightens your skin while protecting it from UV rays. Hyaluronic acid protects your skin from UVB rays. Vitamin C is also able to regulate the synthesizing of collagen which protects your skin from oxidative damage. Oxidative damage is what causes your skin to show signs of aging like getting wrinkles.

There is no clear answer for which is better, but when it comes to finding a great serum, you should look for a product that contains both of these ingredients. There are plenty on the market. Vitamin C and hyaluronic acid work perfectly together to provide you with maximum benefits. Getting a product that contains both ingredients means you can use fewer products and just one that contains all of the benefits. 

Hyaluronic Acid Vs Retinol Explained

Woman with hair in towel holding bottle of skin toner to face.

Woman with clear skin holding serum.

Now that you know a lot about hyaluronic acid, let’s discuss hyaluronic acid vs. retinol. Retinol is naturally derived from vitamin A. It’s known for its ability to fight wrinkles like a superhero. Retinol was first discovered in 1975 and the fact that we still use it today means that it works! It builds collagen and decreases fine lines. It can even fight acne while improving your skin’s texture. Many people get a prescription of it, which is called retinoic acid or Retin-A. It acts faster and therefore may able to help treat acne much quicker than the typic over the counter version of retinol, which takes about 8 to 10 weeks to work. The prescription version may work quickly but it’s very pricey. The prescription version is also usually combined with an anti-inflammatory since the retinol can cause redness and dryness, especially at such a concentrated level. 

If you want to use retinol, it’s something that you have to ease your skin into. The over-the-counter versions are less likely to irritate your skin. To ease into using it, you should use a pea-sized amount. Instead of using it every day in the beginning, use it once every other day. It’s best to use it at night, just in case it makes your skin red. You don’t want to have to go out looking like that. When you see that your tolerance for it has improved, you can use it every night. You also shouldn’t use any facials peels or scrubs while using retinol. Don’t forget the SPF!

Is Hyaluronic Acid Safe For Everyone?

It may seem like hyaluronic acid is safe for everyone, but is anything safe for everyone? Probably not. Not all hyaluronic acid is made equally. When applied directly to your skin, hyaluronic acid may cause an allergic reaction. It’s possible to have an inflammatory response to using it. If the hyaluronic acid has a high molecular weight then it should be fine for your skin, but if it has a low molecular weight it may cause an inflammatory response. You can tell the difference because brands will most likely advertise on the package if it’s low molecular weight since it’s more expensive. If you have a skin condition called scleroderma, the use of hyaluronic acid could make the skin ulcers worse. 

It’s very possible to overdo it with hyaluronic acid. You should always use a moisturizer after using hyaluronic acid since it can make your skin dry. It’s also possible to take hyaluronic acid by mouth and it can be injected. The effects on pregnant or breastfeeding women are not known. It’s probably safe to be applied to the skin, but since there isn’t enough research on it, it’s best to stay away. The wrinkle-free life isn’t worth the risks. 

Conclusion

When it comes to hyaluronic acid, a little goes a long way. You should look for products with concentrations of it between 0.2% and 0.5%. It should also only be in one product that you use during your routine, not all of them. As with every other new product you use, you should do a patch test with this as well. Be sure your skin responds well to it before forcing your entire face to commit to it. 

Depending on your skin needs, a serum that contains hyaluronic acids, vitamin C, and retinol may be the best option for you. They are all extremely beneficial. You may also want to add specific foods to your diet to boost your production of hyaluronic acid. If you’re young, you probably don’t need any extra hyaluronic acid than what you’re already naturally producing. It’s only when we age, does its production slow down. Even though you may not get instant results, using hyaluronic acid over time should reap many skin benefits. The only way to find out is to try it for yourself. If you use any face serums, you’re probably already benefiting from it. 

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