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Hyaluronic Acid Skin Benefits: Why Use It?

There's a lot of buzz on hyaluronic acid in skin care, but what is it and why use it? Here's the scoop on its skin benefits, plus my top moisturizer picks!

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What does hyaluronic acid really do for your skin? There are so many benefits to hyaluronic acid (HA)! But first we need to know…

What is Hyaluronic Acid?

Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occuring molecule found in many parts of our bodies, but most of it is found in our skin. HA can retain large amounts of water, which is why hyaluronic acid is key in skin moisture. HA can hold about 1000x its weight in water!

Skin aging includes the loss of moisture. There are actually two types of skin aging, according to this article published in Dermato-Endocrinology. Intrinsic skin aging involves the natural aging process all of our internal organs go through. Extrinsic skin aging includes damage from external factors, mostly UV damage from the sun. According to the article, aging skin includes a significant reduction of epidermal HA. This aging process leads to wrinkles, loss of elasticity, and dryness.

Hyaluronic Acid Skin Benefits

HA can visibly make your skin look plumper, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. HA also helps restore your skin’s protective barrier, which protects your skin from external damage like pollutants and UV rays. Along the same line, HA helps your skin heal faster, which is beneficial for healing acne scars. HA even contains antioxidant properties to help fight UV damage. This means fewer wrinkles!

On top of all that, I love hyaluronic acid because it’s acne and oily skin friendly. It’s so important to moisturize so your skin doesn’t get dehydrated. Otherwise, your skin will try to compensate and produce even more oil. I learned this the hard way when my oily skin and acne was at its worst!

What to Look for in Hyaluronic Acid Products

Naturally, if your skin is depleted of HA as you age, you need to replace it somehow. Hyaluronic acid serums and moisturizers are a great addition to your skincare routine. I love these HA products because they’re often oil-free formulations that feel light on the skin but still deliver a ton of moisture!

When choosing an HA skincare product, you may see sodium hyaluronate on the ingredient list. This is a form of hyaluronic acid that is more easily absorbed.

Another thing to look for is the percentage of HA the product claims to have. Some claim to be 100% hyaluronic acid- but this simply means it’s 100% HA solution. An HA solution will contain at most 2% pure hyaluronic acid, while 98% of the solution is water. So basically 100% HA is a solution of water and a small percentage of HA. You only want a small concentration of HA anyway, because too much will actually DRY your skin out.

You can choose from a hyaluronic acid serum to apply under your moisturizer to give your skin extra hydration, or you can buy a moisturizer formulated with hyaluronic acid.

Top Picks for Hyaluronic Acid Skin Care Products

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Hyaluronic Acid Gel Moisturizer

I LOVE the Hydro Boost line of Neutrogena hyaluronic acid products! The quality and price point make this moisturizer well worth the money. There are two varieties of this moisturizer- for normal or oily skin and extra dry skin. Make sure to check which one you’re buying. I finished a whole jar of this and will consider repurchasing! The gel texture is really refreshing for summertime.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum

If you want a serum to layer under your existing moisturizer, this another great option from the Neutrogena Hydro Boost line!

THE ORDINARY Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 Serum

The Ordinary is an amazing brand of SUPER affordable, no-frills skin care products. This serum costs under $7! I love that this contains a high 2% of HA. The addition of Vitamin B5 also helps to improve skin’s softness and elasticity.

I tried a few of The Ordinary’s products and I’m very impressed with the quality. The only thing I would say is that even after letting it absorb, the serum does leave a little tackiness on my face (my skin is oily). I don’t mind this at night, but I don’t wear it under makeup for this reason. Other than that, I highly recommend you try this brand!

OZ Naturals Hyaluronic Acid Serum

I looked at several hyaluronic acid serums on Amazon and ended up choosing this one because of the ingredients. It doesn’t contain harmful preservatives like phenoxyethanol and is cold pressed for higher product potency. It also contains antioxidants Vitamin C and E, green tea extract, and rose hip extract! The reviewers say it gives your skin a great glow, doesn’t cause breakouts, and is great under makeup!

Paula's Choice Hyaluronic Acid Booster

Paula’s Choice Hyaluronic Acid Booster

I know I can depend on Paula’s Choice for a no-nonsense, fragrance-free formulation that is effective. I like the versatile formulation of this product because you just have to mix a few drops of this hyaluronic acid liquid-gel into your moisturizer to get an extra boost of moisture. So easy!

LANEIGE - Water Bank Moisture Cream

Laneige Water Bank Moisture Cream

Laneige’s moisturizers are generally pretty awesome. I’m currently working on the eye gel version of their Water Bank moisturizer line, but I might have to pick up some of this moisturizer to round out my set. It contains hyaluronic acid, as well as essential minerals zinc, potassium, calcium, magnesium, manganese, and sodium “to help replenish and retain ideal hydration levels, preventing future moisture loss.”

Peter Thomas Roth Get Drenched Water Drench Cloud set

Peter Thomas Roth Get Drenched!: Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Set

I think this set is a fantastic value and a great way to sample a variety of PTR’s hyaluronic acid products. It includes their Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Serum, Water Drench Cloud Cream Cleanser, and Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream. They boast hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and antioxidants to combat skin aging. I also like that they are fragrance-free and you can layer the serum and moisturizer depending how dry your skin is.

Hyaluronic Acid: Good for All Skin Types

No matter if you have dry skin or oily skin, our skin needs proper hydration. Hyaluronic acid is an excellent way to hydrate your skin, prevent aging, fight sun damage, and heal acne scars. Which hyaluronic acid products do you love? Leave a comment below!

Looking for other great moisturizer options for oily skin? Check out my post on the top moisturizers for oily skin.

This post was originally published on November 6, 2018, and updated on April 9, 2019.

1 Comment

  1. Viva Glow

    It really has a lot of benefits to it. Reading the word “acid” does scare a few people, but knowing and understanding what it really is, and that it actually exists in our body, makes consumers more knowledgeable in their skincare. Thanks for sharing an in-depth review!

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