What Is Hyaluronic Acid and How Does It Benefit the Skin?

We learn from the skincare experts.

Beauty 
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There’s been a sudden shift in the beauty industry in recent years. Aside from the creation of inclusive shade ranges and the growth of celebrity-owned companies, skincare has received an increased amount of attention. Whether it’s through social media or magazines, everyone is searching for the best ways to get glowing skin.

Naturally, it seems like there’s a magic ingredient to heal any problem you may want to address. There’s shea butter to help with inflammation, argan oil to reduce acne, and many more, but one that’s been getting a lot of buzz lately is hyaluronic acid. It sounds intimidating to those who have never heard of it, but the substance is boasted for being what you need for smooth and hydrated skin, and even helping to diminish dark spots — is it too good to be true?

According to cosmetic chemist and the founder and president of FreeRange SkinCare, Sandra Bontempo, the ingredient checks out in boosting moisture. Hyaluronic acid is a molecular component that’s actually produced in the human body and has the ability to retain up to 1,000 times its weight in water. “This plumps the skin, retaining moisture, reducing wrinkle depth and increases skin resilience,” she says. Its ability to smooth out wrinkles and revive skin helps make hyaluronic acid great for anti-aging efforts, too.

Hyaluronic acid is a molecular component that’s actually produced in the human body and has the ability to retain up to 1,000 times its weight in water.

“Our skin is the largest organ in the body and absorbs up to 60-percent of the nutrients we apply to it,” adds Bontempo. “People with dry skin or aging skin will benefit the most from using hyaluronic acid. As we age, our bodies produce less of it, so replacing it topically will make the most impact on those of us who are middle-aged and older.”

 

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These days, it’s widely known that skincare routines aren’t one and the same. What works for some may not be as effective for others, but hyaluronic acid is gentle on all skin types, even the most sensitive, according to Matthew Garcia, an esthetician and regional lead trainer at Face Haus.

And what about those stubborn dark spots? Unfortunately, while hyaluronic acid may assist with diminishing their appearance, it won’t work so well on its own.

“Hyaluronic acid itself will not do anything to lighten dark spots, but when paired with a potent vitamin C serum, this can be achieved,” says Garcia. “A combination of products with properties that work to even skin tone along with consistent professional resurfacing treatments [can drastically improve] uneven skin tone.”

 

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As the skincare industry continues to evolve, more people are becoming conscious of what they’re applying on their skin and choosing to use products that don’t contain any chemicals. And believe it or not, ingredients like sugar and lemon can be an amazing alternative to using unnatural products that contain hyaluronic acid.

“The great thing about natural skincare is that it’s safer and cleaner than the average beauty product since they are made without potentially harmful or irritative chemicals, while also being completely effective,” says Sue Glasscock, the co-founder and creative director of The Ranch Malibu.

She adds that a combination of sugar, lemon and honey in products like the company’s Bee’s Milk Facial Scrub work together to give your skin a beautiful glow, allows for deeper penetration of serums and creams, and has anti-aging benefits. “Sugar is a natural form of glycolic acid, helping to brighten the skin and accelerate the skin’s renewal process. Lemon acts as a skin brightener. [It is] filled with natural sources of vitamin C and honey has been used for centuries to hydrate, heal and moisturize.”

If you’re ready to seek out all the benefits of hyaluronic acid and all-natural favorites, here are eight products to try:

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