The ONE Ingredient You Need in Your Skincare Routine
Posted on June 13 2022
There are so many wonderful skincare ingredients but it’s hard to know where to begin and what’s right for your skin, especially since your skin type can change drastically depending on the season. While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to achieving glowing skin year-round, there is one ingredient that you can easily incorporate into your routine to help increase skin moisture and reduce the appearance of fine lines.
Hyaluronic acid is one of the most commonly talked about beauty ingredients in the skincare industry; its popularity is due to its ability to hold up to 1000 times its weight in water. When used correctly in a formulation, hyaluronic acid helps retain moisture in our skin, leaving skin looking plump and firm.
Why is hyaluronic acid so important?
Our bodies produce hyaluronic acid naturally, but as we age, production decreases significantly. The substance’s main function is to retain water to help keep connective tissues well lubricated and moist. Since the largest amount of hyaluronic acid is found in our skin, signs of aging like wrinkles and dehydrated skin correlate directly with the amount of hyaluronic acid in our bodies.
What can we do to prevent hyaluronic acid loss?
Some people opt for injectable hyaluronic acid as a temporary dermal filler but an easier option is to simply eat more antioxidant-loaded fruits and vegetables and use a skincare product with hyaluronic acid as one of its key ingredients.
How do we choose the best product?
Not all hyaluronic acid is created equal; chemistry is complex and so is your body. Hyaluronic acid comes in different molecular weights, typically ranging from 3,000 to 1.5 million daltons. If a molecule is too big, it won’t be able to penetrate the skin, rendering it useless. But too small of a molecule could potentially have undesirable health effects. So apparently size does matter!
When selecting a skincare product with hyaluronic acid, opt for those that list sodium hyaluronate in their ingredient list. Sodium hyaluronate is the salt form of hyaluronic acid and is less susceptible to oxidation; it has a lower molecular weight so it’s more easily absorbed by the skin. Many companies use the two terms interchangeably when used in marketing so make sure you look at your products’ ingredient lists. As companies are required to list ingredients in descending order of concentration, with the most prevalent ingredients listed first, look for skincare products that contain hyaluronic acid or sodium hyaluronate at least by the middle of the ingredient list.
But wait! It’s not that simple.
While there are minimal risks involved with using products containing hyaluronic acid, there are situations in which the ingredient can actually make your skin drier. Remember that hyaluronic acid needs moisture in order to do its job so if a formula doesn’t have enough moisture or the air humidity is too low, a skincare product can draw moisture from deep within the skin, bringing it to the surface where it can evaporate, leaving your skin drier than before. If this is the case, you can try sealing in the moisture by layering on a face oil or heavier cream.