INGREDIENT SPOTLIGHT: HYALURONIC ACID
When it comes to beauty buzzwords, it's hard to beat "hyaluronic acid." This skincare "hero" ingredient is considered helpful to just about every kind of skin on the face of the earth, although It is perhaps best known for its powerful anti-aging benefits.
Not too long ago, industry trends reported more than half a million search results relating to the term, and there are nearly 100,000 posts about it on YouTube. How's that for buzz?
Hyaluronic acid can be applied topically in serums, moisturizers, masks and other treatment products, or injected into the skin in fillers such as Restylane, Juvederm, and Belotero. Hyaluronic acid fillers are the fastest growing non-invasive skincare procedure in the U.S, and according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the most popular, with 78% of all dermal filler treatments using hyaluronic acid.
So Why All the Fuss?
Whether it's smoothed on or injected, this super hydrator is renowned as one of the best skincare ingredients ever: a miracle-working moisture magnet that attracts and holds water in the skin — more than 1,000 times its weight! It makes skin's outer layers appear softer, smoother, and plumped up, which instantly causes lines and wrinkles to appear less visible and restores a firmer, fresher, more youthful look. Sounds good, huh?
Don't be alarmed by the "acid" part of its name — which is unfortunate, because this innocent-looking clear goo occurs naturally in our bodies and can be used on even sensitive skin. Half of the hyaluronic acid in the body is found in the skin, with high amounts also in the eyes and connective tissue. Its primary function is to keep tissues moist, well-lubricated, and protected.
In the skin, hyaluronic acid plays an important part in facial structure. As we get older — and as we're exposed to skin saboteurs such as sun, smoke, and pollution — our skin can no longer retain the optimum amount of moisture. That's why the face loses firmness and volume under the eyes, at the jawline, in cheeks, and around the mouth — the usual areas prone to sags, bags, lines, and wrinkles.
The older we get, the more moisture we lose, and hyaluronic acid goes a long way toward replenishing it. When you use a hyaluronic acid serum or cream, it penetrates the skin to boost hydration and elasticity, resulting in a firmer, younger look.
A Miracle-Working Multitasker
And it's not just a one-note wonder. Hyaluronic acid is a multitasking mainstay of modern skincare for all skin types and ages, not just maturing skin (it even improves the scalp and hair when used in shampoos and conditioners). Gentle and non-irritating, and with antibacterial properties, it promotes healthy skin and can help treat redness and irritation — even dermatitis, rosacea, and eczema.
This versatile substance is also ideal for oily skin and skin prone to breakouts because it's so effective at attracting and keeping moisture in that there's no need for other ingredients that might clog pores or leave skin looking greasy. That's why it's a perfect moisturizer in the summer if you prefer something lighter than a cream. And when applied directly on open wounds, it can help repair skin more quickly, reduce the risk of infection, and improve the appearance of scars.
If you're not already using products containing this amazing ingredient as part of your skincare routine, what are you waiting for? It's time to start!