How to Apply Hyaluronic Acid
If you’ve been lurking on the deep dark skincare web, then you’re no stranger to another product that’s being hailed as the new miracle ingredient to remedy signs of aging, is also helpful for dry skin, oily skin, sensitive skin, normal skin, and many more: hyaluronic acid.
You’ve heard of hyaluronic acid serum, hyaluronic acid moisturizers, etc. But how exactly does hyaluronic acid work? Is this the right product for my skin type and how do I apply it? Is it even safe to use hyaluronic acid? Where does this fit into my skincare routine, and should it go into my nightly skincare routine or morning skincare routine?
That is what we’re here for — to teach you how to use hyaluronic acid, what its benefits are to skincare, and its history in the beauty and skincare world. Basically, everything you need to know about this ultra-hydrating molecule. If you want to learn the basics in just a night and get the most out of your skincare routine, then read on!
What is Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic acid, in simple terms, is a substance that is naturally found in your skin and body. It has been described as a sponge-like molecule, sitting in between the liquid-y part of your skin cells, absorbing water up to 1000 times its own weight.
As a moisturizer, hyaluronic acid works as a humectant, meaning it’s able to seal in moisture from your surroundings as well as from within your skin. This is why it’s usually paired with moisturizer because the moisturizer allows your skin to get moisture and seal it in. Humectants like hyaluronic acid work well in dry climates where your skin is less likely to draw moisture from outside.
Why Do I Need Hyaluronic Acid?
Okay, so hyaluronic acid is basically a huge sponge that can absorb a ton of water. But what then? Well, keeping your skin moisturized and hydrated makes it look plumper. Plumpness makes you look more youthful, gets rid of fine lines and wrinkles, and lets your face become the best version of itself.
There’s a reason hyaluronic acid started out in the beauty world as a dermal filler to replace collagen—doctors found that hyaluronic acid was able to hold a lot more water, looked more subtle, and lasted longer than collagen. But back then, hyaluronic acid was too big to be administered topically. We have the scientists who were able to decrease the size of hyaluronic acid molecules to thank because their experiments resulted in a lighter molecule derived from HA: sodium hyaluronate.
Hyaluronic acid is still a pretty big molecule, and its presence in different beauty and skincare products can either be in a high-molecular-weight form or a low-molecular-weight version. The hyaluronic acid that’s high in molecular weight usually is unable to penetrate deeper into the skin, so it sits on top of your face, acting as a surface hydrator and creating a protective barrier.
You can also use heavier hyaluronic acid to help smaller actives penetrate into the skin, which is great news for dry skin types as well as for oily skin types. (It’s a common misconception that only dry skin types need hydration — we all do, regardless of skin type.)
Hyaluronic acid pairs well with a ton of other ingredients and can be found in smaller amounts in beauty and skin care products like cleansers, moisturizers, and even exfoliators. So if you really want to get the most out of this ingredient and up your skincare game, go ahead and hunt for this ingredient! It has a ton of benefits for your skin, and when used multiple times, might be extra beneficial for your skin.
When Do You Apply Hyaluronic Acid?
The most common form of this molecule is in a hyaluronic acid serum. Serums usually come in different packages, be it a night cream, oil, essence, gels, the list goes on. If you want to use a hyaluronic acid serum that’s in the form of essence or oil, just take a few drops and apply it onto your face after cleansing and before moisturizing.
With hyaluronic acid, you can have a host of anti-aging properties that can seep into your skin, whether you have normal skin, dry skin, sensitive skin, or oily skin. If you have heard of The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 30ml, it’s one of the best-selling hyaluronic acid treatments on the market. It’s super affordable, too!
The Ordinary is known to carry a host of skincare products that are geared towards healthy, basic, and affordable skincare products like niacinamide, so if you haven’t done a haul of The Ordinary products yet, you’ll want to now.
When Should I Apply Hyaluronic Acid?
You use hyaluronic acid in order to draw and retain moisture from both your surroundings and the environment, so you should apply this after cleansing and before heavy oils and creams. It’s paramount that you use hyaluronic acid on damp skin and to apply it evenly, because otherwise you’re actually stripping the inner layers of your skin of moisture.
Do I Put Hyaluronic Acid on Before Moisturizer?
Yes, most skin care experts recommend that you use hyaluronic acid before moisturizing your skin, whether that’s in the morning or at night before you sleep. Hyaluronic acid is usually paired with water in products, so it makes sense that you need to use a moisturizer to seal all that hydration in.
Do You Rub in Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic acid is usually found in serums, oils, or essences, which are applied gently to your face. You can use a soft rubbing motion when applying it to your face without tugging on your skin. Again, just make sure you’re applying it to damp skin!
Start by gently rubbing it in the skin surface once a day, and if you have positive results, apply it twice a day in the morning and at night.
Hyaluronic acid is a product you can easily incorporate into your skincare world, and it’s something that can improve your skincare regimen exponentially. And why stop at HA serums?
You can use hyaluronic acid that’s found in other skincare products too — moisturizers, cleansers, you name it. With the benefits and healthy effects of hyaluronic acid on the skin, you’d be remiss not to use hyaluronic acid and add it to your skincare routine.
Your skin is a living, breathing organism that deserves the utmost care inside and out, and this product just might be the missing ingredient for the perfect skincare regimen.
Joey is an AB Psychology graduate of the University of St. La Salle – Bacolod. Her life’s passions include writing, film, and spending hours on end binge-watching fashion vloggers on Youtube.