If you’ve been looking into skincare recently, you’ll doubtless have come across one prominent ingredient, especially if you’ve been looking at quenching, moisturising products: hyaluronic acid. Although it sounds a little scary, this ingredient has been credited for many a glowing face, and has a whole host of benefits besides. Replacing collagen, which has been the darling of ageing-prevention skincare for some time, hyaluronic acid can be applied topically to the skin, and improves the surface layer of the skin as well as the deep tissue.
Hyaluronic acid is actually something that is naturally synthesised by the body, and can be found in the skin, tendons, and aortic walls. Quite the multitasker! Around 50% of hyaluronic acid that is naturally found in your body is in your skin, where one of its purposes is to speed up tissue repair by boosting cell metabolism by forming a gelatinous layer around cells. However, as we age, the amount we store in our bodies decreases - by the age of 50, it’s possible that your body’s hyaluronic acid reserves will have decreased by 50%. This is one of the reasons that our skin tends to become drier and duller as we get older, as new skin cells are not being produced as quickly.
What hyaluronic acid is famous for, though, is its reputation as a water-loving molecule. It’s a humectant, and one molecule can bind up to 1,000 times its weight in water, trapping moisture in the skin, which plumps and moisturises the skin’s layers. This is why it’s found in so many moisturising creams and serums, often also promising plumped skin and a reduction in the appearance of fine lines. Our organic Hyaluronic Serum 200 is a great product to reach for if you’re interested in trying this ingredient out: the lower molecular weight of the hyaluronic acid we use means it can penetrate deeper into the skin, which in turn means that skin is hydrated more efficiently. It also increases skin’s collagen production, which helps to keep skin elastic and bouncy, and so gives a more youthful look to your face. We use 200mg of hyaluronic acid per 30ml bottle! This serum also contains pomegranate extract, which works to regulate cell turnover and prevent water loss by strengthening the cell membrane. Skin is hydrated by the hyaluronic acid, and the additional moisture is kept in the skin by a stronger epidermis. Win win!
Hydration isn’t all this wonder-molecule offers, though. Hyaluronic acid can help to protect the skin from UVB radiation, which in turn prevents sun spots, wrinkles, and skin damage. It not only forms a protective layer on the skin, but also battles free radicals that do make it through from the UV. This means that free radicals don’t get the chance to attack your skin, leaving it calmer, clearer, and with fewer imperfections. Our Daily Defence Moisture Mist is a great choice of product for when you’re running out the door: you can quickly spritz it on for a dose of protecting ingredients, including hyaluronic acid, that leave your skin supported against the outside world, and looking refreshed and glowing.
Despite the name, hyaluronic acid is a very gentle ingredient, which can be used by those with eczema-prone or sensitive skin. It’s so gentle, in fact, that we use it in our Hyaluronic Eye Complex, which targets skin concerns around the delicate eye area. It plumps and smooths out wrinkles, whilst gently hydrating your under eyes, which are one of the areas most prone to dryness. It also contains cucumber extract, which has all the benefits of putting slices of the vegetable over your eyes - but without the silly-looking result!
Additionally, hyaluronic acid can be used by those of all skin types. Whilst it works wonders for dry and dehydrated skin, it won’t over-saturate oilier skin because it regulates how much moisture the skin needs. It also has natural calming properties, so if you suffer from breakouts or redness, it will soothe your skin whilst moisturising it. Our True Balance Lotion is designed for oily, breakout-prone skin, and uses hyaluronic acid to deliver a dose of non-greasy hydration, whilst the other superstar ingredients work their magic to balance oil production and keep skin calm.
Because hyaluronic acid is synthesised by the body, it can be increased by eating certain foods. There is some evidence that starchy root veg might boost production: think potatoes and sweet potatoes, as well as Jerusalem artichokes. These are all also great sources of fibre, potassium, and a variety of vitamins, so it won’t do you any harm to include them in your diet! If you fancy something a bit more refreshing, reach for a citrus fruit: they contain naringenin, which prevents hyaluronic from breaking down in the body. Fruits containing high levels of naringenin include oranges, bananas, grapefruits, and tomatoes - so pick a favourite to snack on. Your skin will be glowing and supple in no time! Lastly, unsurprisingly, leafy greens make the list. They contain magnesium, which aids the body’s hyaluronic acid production. Get sipping on a spinach-filled smoothie, or add some kale crisps to your lunchbox. Alternatively, avocados are also high in magnesium, as are certain nuts, fruits, and seeds.
Now you know more about this magical molecule, you’ll know to look out for it when you want a serum or cream that quenches skin’s thirst, but is gentle enough to use when your skin is playing up. Did you know that you could search our online shop by ingredient? Give it a try next time you’re looking for something specific!