As this is an Ultimate Guide I will be having the following categories:
- What is Hyaluronic Acid (HA+)?
- What does it do?
- What are the benefits?
- How do you use it?
A very simple definition of Hyaluronic Acid (HA+) would be if you thought of a ‘sponge’ and how it absorbs water – this is exactly what it does – absorbs and stores water!
At a quick glance here is a Table which summarizes everything you need to know about Hyaluronic Acid.
|What kind of ingredient is it?||HA+ is a hydrator|
|Where it is found?||In our body – skin, connective tissue, eyes|
|Main function||Retains water|
|Benefits||Moisturizers skin, reduces wrinkles, wound healing|
|Safety concerns||None found to date|
What is Hyaluronic Acid?
I have written quite a bit about ‘hero ingredients’ for instance Vitamin C – which brightens and is super beneficial for your skin. You can find my blog post on the Glamore Cosmetics website – in my opinion it is worth a read! Another hero ingredient is Charcoal and one of my favorite products is the AA Cosmetics Bubble Mask which contains charcoal – the magnet which withdraws impurities from your skin. HA+ has also been classified as a ‘hero ingredient’ – which basically means you can’t live life without it. It is found naturally in our bodies in particular our skin, connective tissue and eyes. It makes skin plump, hydrated and healthy.
As we get older – yes sadly it happens to all of us – our body stops/ slows down production of HA+ leaving our skin with fine lines and wrinkles, uneven skin tone, dullness and sensitivity. Just a single gram of HA+ has the ability to retain about 6 litres of water – this means it withdraws the water and has the ability to hold it. In this sense it is known as a Humectant.
What does it do?
As a Humectant in creams, peels and/ or serums, HA+ is able to bring moisture to the surface of our skin. It works really well in combination with other hero ingredients, such as vitamin C, as well as collagen and Retinol. If you are interested to read more about Retinol you can check my previous blog post. It is at this point that choosing the right HA+ product becomes important. And ‘right’ product means getting the right size product/ molecule into your skin. If the molecule is too big it will just sit on top of your skin. You can dehydrate your skin as the molecule will draw water from deep inside your skin which you do not want.
In fact 1% HA+ products applied twice a day is more than enough to withdraw moisture and lock it into your skin. Pierre Rene Hyaluronic Acid Serum is 1% and it can be used once daily to see great results.
What are the benefits of HA+?
- Hydrates Skin – this is the major benefit of using HA+ and can be used even if you have oily skin. It can take up to 8 weeks to hydrate if your skin is especially dry. Dry skin is more at risk to becoming sensitive and developing certain skin conditions. This is why HA+ is so important because with regular use you can hydrate your skin and keep it healthy. Find out more about sensitive skin in this great blog post.
2. Helps Heal Wounds (to be honest I never knew this so it is something new for me) – the scientific explanation is that because is locks in moisture it helps tissue regenerates. It helps heal wounds and also decreases inflammation. It has been shown that direct application to the wound itself, reduces the size of the wound and decreases the amount of pain.
3. Smooths Skin Texture – rough skin which is often due to change in seasons/ stress can be smoothed using HA+. Roughness can also be due to the aging process and HA+ helps with skin elasticity and plumpness.
4. Anti Aging – over time and with increased exposure to the sun our bodies slow down the production of HA+. And as our body stops production our skin forms/ develops wrinkles. Addition of HA+ twice daily over a period of 8 weeks can slow down the formation of wrinkles and in some cases decrease the depth of wrinkles. It will also increase skin elasticity and firmness.
Other benefits of HA+ which still need in-depth studies and in some cases need to be supplemented orally include: relieving of joint pain, reducing dermatitis, combats gum disease, reduces acid reflux, soothes dry eyes, decreases vaginal dryness and prevents bladder pain.
Even though our bodies produce HA+ and there are no known side effects, to be used as an injection it still needs to be registered with the appropriate governing body. These injections which would then be used as dermal fillers – this is not Botox.
Botox is an injection of purified bacteria (botulinum toxin) that freezes muscles. In this way Botox reduces fine lines and wrinkles more than likely caused by aging. It is not a permanent treatment and lasts for about 3 – 4 months. Dermal fillers contain ingredients that add fullness to areas that have thinned due to aging (cheeks and lips). This type of treatment will also need to be repeated on a regular basis.
How do we use HA+?
This is exact question should actually read ‘how do we successfully use HA+? And then there are other questions: when is the best time to use it – day or night? And can we use it with other products like Vitamin C for instance? I will outline all the answers – but just remember as with most things in life – including this ingredient into your skincare regime (which is VITAL) won’t make the wrinkles disappear overnight or make your skin immediately plump and fresh. It will take time – all the good things take time.
- always (and forever always) remove your makeup (night time regime)
- wash your face either with a facewash or with micellar water – make sure it is slightly damp
- pat the serum (1 – 2%) onto your damp skin (this is the best way to get the most benefit)
- leave for a minute or two
- apply a moisturizer that contains Vitamin C or even Retinol (these ingredients have been shown to work with HA+)
- These steps can be repeated in the morning for best effect.
If you have any questions or need more information – please don’t hesitate to contact me or leave a comment. And share the post if you enjoyed it. Thank you for reading.