Skincare must be one of the most written-about subjects, and the info out there is daunting, especially if you don’t know your retinols from your salicylic acids. How do you know what to put on your skin when every ad, magazine and website is telling you something different? Though we love trying out new and innovative skincare products, we believe that the basics are most important – a good cleanser to remove dirt and impurities and a great moisturiser to hydrate the skin. Once you’ve got that down, determine which ingredient will solve your woes (and give your skin exactly what it needs!).
We’re on a mission to simplify skincare – one ingredient at a time. Today we take a look at hyaluronic acid.
What is it?
Hyaluronic acid is a gel-like molecule that holds water and is naturally found in the body (the highest concentrations are in our joints and the fluid in our eyes). The human body contains around 15g of hyaluronic acid (HA) in total, and around a third of that is used in the day-to-day running of the body. HA is taken orally or via injection for osteoarthritis and joint disorders, it is used as a lip filler and is often applied to wounds such as burns and ulcers to aid the healing process. The beauty of this ingredient is that it can attract and hold onto 1000x its weight in moisture.
How it benefits the skin
HA is a popular skincare ingredient because of its phenomenal ability to replenish moisture. Not only does it retain moisture in the skin, but it also prevents moisture from evaporating. It’s an amazing hydrator, maintains the skin’s elasticity, has healing properties and assists with the production of collagen. It enhances the skin’s moisture content like no other ingredient, which improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, the skin’s texture and results in a silky smooth feel. As if that’s not enough, it also has antioxidant properties that go a long way in fighting off harmful free radicals.
Important things to note
Unlike many of the best anti-ageing skincare ingredients, HA is gentle on the skin and safe to use on sensitive skins. It works well with other ingredients and can be used in conjunction with peels, retinol and vitamins.
Products to try:
Filorga Hydra-Hyal Intensive Hydrating Plumping Concentrate, R860.00
This intensive serum contains four different hyaluronic acids to hydrate, plump, smooth and boost radiance. It acts on all levels of the skin (high, medium and low molecular weights ensure 360˚ action) and boosts hyaluronic synthesis in both the dermis and epidermis, creating a so-called HA reservoir.
SVR Densitium Bi-Serum, R900.00
Specially designed for mature skin, to tackle wrinkles, dryness, sagging skin and a double chin, this powerhouse from SVR contains a dual-formula of gel and oil. With a 45% level of active ingredients, it re-densifies the epidermis, reinforces the skin barrier and redefines facial contours.
Sorbet Hydro Skin 3-in-1 Foam Cleanser and Night Cream, R80.00 / R150.00
Hydro Skin is your complete hydration solution for beautiful, glowing skin. With hyaluronic acid, omega 3 & 6 and vitamins A & E, the range helps to restore this barrier by drawing moisture into the deeper layers of the skin, optimising moisturisation, improving texture and relieving irritation.
BioMedical Emporium HA Contour Masque, R1150.00
This rich formulation assists in providing long-lasting cellular hydration and boosts the production of collagen and elastin. The skin’s moisture is restored, which in turn reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This is a great product for restoring the skin’s barrier.
Skin Republic Hyaluronic Acid + Collagen Face Mask Sheet, R39.00
The perfect product to pop on your face when you step into a bubble bath after a long day. This sheet mask targets fine lines, wrinkles and loss of firmness. Filled with HA, it provides long-lasting hydration and increased collagen production.
Lamelle Correctives HA+ Serum, R680.00
Containing four skin-compatible types of HA, this serum replenishes, stimulates and preserves hyaluronic acid levels in the skin. This multi-functional anti-ageing serum doesn’t only boost HA levels and production, but is also protects existing hyaluronic acid in the skin. The effects are long-lasting hydration, smooth and plump skin and a youthful glow.
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Cleanser, R99.95
A great cleanser to complement your HA serum or moisturiser, this is a lightweight gel that removes dirt, makeup and oil whilst protecting the skin’s barrier and locking in hydration.