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  5. Complete Guide To Hyaluronic Acid For The Skin

From beauty bloggers to celebrities, everybody in the know seems to be obsessed with Hyaluronic acid. Dermatologists also vouch for the benefits of this ingredient in skincare.   To decode its potential, we spoke to our chief dermatologist Dr. Harish Koutam, an accredited member of Indian Association of Dermatologists, Venereologists and Leprologists (IADVL) and Cosmetic Surgeons of India.

Here's what we found out.

What Is Hyaluronic Acid?

Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring polysaccharide (sugar molecule) that acts as a cushioning agent for your joints, nerves, hair, skin, and eyes [1]. Its primary function in the skin is that of a humectant. Humectants attract moisture from the air and lock it in your skin. Hyaluronic acid is unbelievably hydrating and can hold many litres of water, keeping your skin soft and plump [2].

Wonders Hyaluronic Acid Can Do For Your Skin

1. Tackles Dry Skin

Hyaluronic acid provides moisturization to the skin and keeps it super-soft and plump. It prevents transepidermal water loss (TEWL) [3]. TEWL is a measure of how much water is evaporated from your skin. So if you have dry skin, you know what ingredient to look for the next time you hit the skin care aisle.

2. Anti-Aging Property

It reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by providing a boost of hydration to the skin [4]. Hyaluronic acid also protects the skin from years of environmental hazards like pollution and sunlight.

3. Antioxidant Properties

Hyaluronic acid is an antioxidant, meaning it can fight free radicals in your skin [5]. Free radicals (atoms or molecules that have unpaired electrons) are formed when the body undergoes oxidative damage.

4. Wound Healing Ability

Hyaluronic acids regulate inflammation and help in wound healing [6]. Inflammation is your body's natural defence mechanism against injuries. It sends signals to the body to build more blood vessels at the site of damage or wound. It also has antibacterial properties that can minimize the risk of infection in open wounds.

How To Use Hyaluronic Acid In Your Skin Care Routine?

Dr. Harish says hyaluronic acid can be injected into the dermal layer of your skin, commonly called as dermal fillers. With this technique, you can achieve fuller and plumper skin.

Hyaluronic acid is available in the form of topical serums and creams. Its composition is complex for effective penetration. But skin care manufacturers package it in the most penetrable form.

Different brands use different variants of hyaluronic acid like sodium hyaluronate, hydrolysed hyaluronic acid and sodium acetyl hyaluronate.

For starters, try using a hyaluronic acid serum. Cleanse your face thoroughly with a gentle cleanser, apply serum all over your face and neck while your face is still damp. Follow it up with a good moisturizer.

How Do I Know If My Skin Needs More Hyaluronic Acid?

The amount of hyaluronic acid that your skin makes reduces with age [7] leading to the formation of fine lines and wrinkles. Lack of hydration also makes the skin lose its elasticity. If you feel you’ve lost your youthful glow or are worried about your dry skin, opt for hyaluronic acid.

List Of Foods High In Hyaluronic Acid

  • Potatoes
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Red Wine
  • Dark Chocolate 
  • Bone Broth
  • Almonds
  • Avocado
  • Green Leafy Vegetables
  • Soy-Based Foods

Can You Use Hyaluronic Acid Every Day?

The word acid may give you jitters. But fret not hyaluronic acid is extremely safe to use [8]. Topical hyaluronic acid can be used twice a day in your morning and night skin care routines.

Hyaluronic acid is different from alpha and beta hydroxy acids like salicylic acid and glycolic acid whose primary function is skin exfoliation. It is suited for all skin types. In case you have sensitive skin or rosacea, conduct a patch test before use.

What Are The Side Effects Of Hyaluronic Acid?

Hyaluronic acid is generally very safe to use for all skin types including sensitive and acne-prone skin. For topical use, a concentration higher than 2% is not recommended. Since hyaluronic acid is naturally occurring in the body, it is widely used as a filler in skin care products. Such skin care products may cause swelling in some people. So a patch test is the best way to go before starting to use any new skincare product.

Can You Use Hyaluronic Acid And Vitamin C Serum Together?

Vitamin C and hyaluronic acid can be used together in your skin care routine. In fact, combining both ingredients will give better anti-aging results. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and hyaluronic acid is a hydrator-cum-anti aging ingredient. Using them separately may not lead to the same effective results.

Where Is Hyaluronic Acid Found?

Hyaluronic acid is found throughout your body but is present in higher concentrations in the skin, connective tissue like joints and fluid in your eyes. It is sugar with hygroscopic (water attracting and retaining) properties. It can be obtained naturally from plant and wheat fermentation.

Can You Use Hyaluronic Acid With Retinol?

Hyaluronic acid can be used with retinol for better anti-aging results. Since retinol, a vitamin A derivative can leave your skin dry, adding hyaluronic acid can help hydrate your skin. Apply retinol first and top it up with hyaluronic acid in your morning and night routines. In case you are stepping out in the sun, don't forget to apply sunscreen.

Hyaluronic acid is in the spotlight for anti-aging skin care and is here to stay. When are you getting your hands on this hero ingredient? Let us know.

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