When it comes to clean & uncomplicated skin care, Hyaluronic Acid or HA is one ingredient that you will need to stock up on for life. No need to rush off to a beauty salon for that new trendy treatment. All you really need is something your skin is already familiar with.
In this article we will take a closer look at HA.
- What HA is exactly
- How it is harnessed
- What it does for your skin
- How to use it correctly & MORE
There is certainly no mystery surrounding hyaluronic acid except when to start using it. Let’s unpack everything about it so keep reading below if you want to have a healthy, youthful glow forever:)
What is HA ?
Your body produces a sugar molecule similar to collagen and 50% of this thick, gooey- like, clear substance is found in your skin. Its gellish consistency is perfect for keeping skin hydrated and it also plays a huge role in keeping eyes and joints healthy. It holds up to 1000 times of its own weight in water guys… that is some hectic hydration!.
HA ‘s key functions in the body are to retain collagen, increase moisture & provide elasticity and flexibility. All of these are so necessary for us as we get older and so HA is a vital tool in our anti aging arsenal.
How is it harnessed?
So you probably wondering about this acid right now and why if we have so much of it do we need more ?. As we age the HA levels we produce start to decrease purely because the aging body’s demands cannot keep up with its supply. So more is always welcome and the most popular way is to apply topically as serums and creams.
The HA in these skin care products come from two main sources.
plants and animals
- In Plants – the HA is extracted through a process known as microbial fermentation. This happens when a bacterial strain naturally contains Hyaluronic Acid and is then fermented to yield the desired molecular weights ideal for use on your skin. This is the most common way to extract HA as it is more Eco and animal friendly.
- In Animals – The best animal source is a rooster’s coomb. That is the red flesh on the head of the rooster and already I t hear the animal lovers hissing but rest assured this is not popular. These animal sources are mainly used in supplements and injections. For vegans and planet warriors check the background of the company making your product to see if they are ethical and the ins and outs of their HA production.
What it does for skin
We can see from above the hydration benefits are endless but that aside what else can we enjoy about this acid?. Well it moisturizes, strengthens and defends the skin from aging. Let’s look a little deeper at the benefits on offer:
If you want healthy, glowing, youthful skin then it goes without saying that hydration is the most important element to help you get there. I mentioned before it can hold a thousand times of its own weight in water and this is key for locking that moisture in.
Known as a humectant, HA attracts all the moisture in the air and its surrounds to the top layer of the skin. This improves the skin’s elasticity & keeping it supple. Further to this HA balances out the sebum levels in your skin attending to oily and dry areas where necessary, this will help to prevent breakouts.
One of the amazing things about hyaluronic acid is that when the skin undergoes any harm like infection or wound, its levels increases and kicks into action by repairing and healing. But you must remember that because of aging these levels reduce at an alarming rate. This is why we have to make sure we include HA in our skin care routine religiously!
The skin barrier really needs to be well guarded as it is the wall that protects our organs after all. By keeping the hydration levels balanced and skin strong it will be extremely difficult for any environmental bad guys to enter.
Most people believe that diet, sleep and exercise is what will keep their skin in youthful condition. This may be the case but the main culprit for giving you those wrinkles is not what you think.
Did you know that 80% of skin aging is related to UV radiation & sun damage? Having a golden brown tan does not necessarily mean you are in good health. If you are tempted to bask in the sun be sensible and wear the right SPF for your skin tone. In fact, you should wear sunscreen every single day, even in the shade people!
Thank goodness for HA, all that moisture we lose due to aging is replenished if used daily & correctly.
Aging usually ushers in dark spots and other funny pigmentation issues. HA goes to action on these zones smoothing out the rough textures and repairing skin cells.
Use it correctly
All the benefits of HA can only be enjoyed if you are using it properly. The first mistake we tend to make is assuming that HA is something we should start using only as we get older. This is nonsense, purely based on everything we now know about this molecule and where it comes from. During my high school years suffering from breakouts, surely then would have been the perfect time to start my HA journey. But instead I turned to chemical laden store products who just kept eating my money and my skin! The sooner you start this hydrating process the better. Our moisture levels get depleted just as quickly as they are made in our skin so take action early.
My first discovery of HA was an education to say the least. I went through three different brands before my skin settled down to its suitable savior. Today I will not go to sleep without having used my moisture grabbing molecule:)
As a face serum
Don’t let the word ” acid” freak you out, its actually very mild. What you should be paying attention to is how to use it. The face serum is not a completed moisturizing step in your skin care regime. After cleansing and toning on damp skin be sure to press it on with palms of your hands and not rub in. You will immediately feel the skin pulling tight and feeling very lubricated at the same time. This lubrication levels will fool you into thinking no need for further hydration but you must follow up with a good day cream containing SPF to seal in the moisture. The same goes for your nighttime treatments, apply before your night cream and you all set!
HA can be found in moisturizers and lotions so if you want to use them on its own or in conjunction with the serum go ahead. A serum should contain between 0.1 to 2% for skin to become elastic, strong & wrinkle free. Anything more than 2% could cause your skin irritation and totally counteract hydration by excessively drying it out!
As a supplement
If you want more HA over and above the topical then consider taking it orally and incorporate into your diet the same way collagen has been welcomed. This is especially good for when you are experiencing any joint pain because it will be digested and moved on to repair the connective tissue that needs it. Real little soldiers these HA molecules and your skin will be benefiting too through the extensive hydration!
Lets do a recap to get you out there to pick up your HA today 🙂
- The key to a healthy skin is through hydration and HA is a simple, safe way to up those levels.
- It does more than hydrate, it also repairs and protects the skin.
- You don’t need to encounter aging side effects to start using, in fact start in your youth.
- Topical serums are good to use at 2% and below. Remember that you can also use moisturizers that include HA so do the math on the concentration of all your HA combined. You wouldn’t want to sit with dried out, irritated skin.
I have a feeling that if I stop using this product I will wake up one morning looking like a dried up prune:)
Do you know when to start using hyaluronic acid? Share your comments and questions below, can’t wait to hear from you!
Love your skin naturally!