Even if you’re not a skincare nerd like me, you’ve likely heard of hyaluronic acid. It’s a tried-and-true ingredient that dermatologists often recommend and that’s a familiar sight on many product labels. Hyaluronic acid, or HA, an all-star hydrator found in moisturizers, serums, eye creams, and masks. Like most skincare ingredients, it’s quite complex, but what matters most is what it can do for your skin. Scroll through to learn what makes hyaluronic acid so universally beneficial.
1. Our skin loves HA
Don’t be fooled by its “acid” name—this hydrator is one of the gentlest, most skin-loving ingredients around. The skincare versions are designed to mimic our body’s own hyaluronic acid, which is a sugar found in the connective tissue of our skin and joints. Our natural HA, which is thought to hold up to a thousand times its weight water, cushions and lubricates tissue and prevents moisture from evaporating.
2. Plumps + hydrates
Hyaluronic acid is a humectant, meaning it draws in water and binds to it, trapping it in the skin. This helps plump skin so it’s soft and bouncy and lines are less noticeable. Light also reflects better off skin that’s nice and plump, helping you look more radiant. Keep in mind, not all HA molecules are the same. The bigger size HAs sit on skin’s surface and attract water for instant plumping, while smaller HAs penetrate skin to deliver deeper hydration and help your body stimulate more of its own hyaluronic acid. Look for skincare formulas that contain multiple size HA molecules—our new PUREVOC skincare system launching this month has various size HAs both in the serum and cream to give you immediate visible plumping plus all-day hydration.
3. Not sticky or heavy
Hyaluronic acid is incredibly lightweight and typically doesn’t feel slick or tacky. That’s because HA is a hydrator, not a moisturizing ingredient. Yes, there’s a difference! Hydrating ingredients add water to the skin and help hold it there, improving skin’s ability to absorb moisture and nutrients. Moisturizing ingredients work to seal moisture into the skin and prevent water loss, which is why many contain oils and tend to feel a little heavier. Ideally, you want a face lotion or cream that contains both hyaluronic acid and moisturizing agents for long-lasting hydration. Our It’s A Miracle 8-in-1 Hydra Gel is oil-free and packed with both HA and moisturizing glycerin, so it feels super lightweight but keeps skin plump and hydrated throughout the day.
4. Gentle on all skin types
Just about everyone can use hyaluronic acid as it’s generally non-irritating and doesn’t trigger acne, rosacea, or other types of skin reactions. That said, HA is typically combined with other skincare ingredients, so always test a new product on a small patch of skin on your face or neck for a few days to be sure it doesn’t cause a reaction. If you have very dry skin or live in an arid climate, you may want to apply a thicker cream on top of your hyaluronic acid product. Because HA is a humectant that pulls water from its surroundings, if there’s little moisture in the air, it’ll pull water from deep in your skin, counteracting everything you’re trying to achieve.