Rodan + Fields / Blog / Science of Skincare

What is Hyaluronic Acid?

Close-up of Hyaluronic-Acid Pipette

What is hyaluronic acid, and why am I reading about it everywhere? Hyaluronic acid has been trending lately within the beauty and skincare world, but we’ve known about its incredible skin benefits for years.

HA has become the gold standard in hydrating skin and improving visible signs of aging, but what is hyaluronic acid, anyway? Don’t be scared away by the hard-to-pronounce-name! This ingredient is, in fact, produced naturally within our own bodies. From how to use hyaluronic acid, how to use hyaluronic acid hyaluronic acid serum and so much more, here’s everything you need to know.

What is Hyaluronic Acid, and how does it help skin?

Hyaluronic Acid is a natural substance produced by our body to bind water to keep tissues well balanced, moist and hydrated. It exists in our skin and joints. Hyaluronic Acid is essential because it’s one of the main substances that help our skin look fresh, plump and youthful.

Applying HA is like giving your skin a heaping glass of water. In fact, HA not only provides immediate benefits to skin, it also helps the skincare products layered on top work more effectively to deliver even better results you can see and feel.

When should I start using Hyaluronic Acid?

Typically, the body’s own production of HA starts to decrease in your late twenties. Which makes then a good time to start adding Hyaluronic Acid (HA) into your skincare routine for its anti-aging benefits. But HA is great for all skin types and ages. It’s beneficial for people who experience dry skin because of its hydrating powers. And it can also help to calm sensitive and blemish-prone skin.

It’s never too early to start hydrating your skin regularly. As the skin loses its moisture, ingredients like HA work to help skin stay happily hydrated. It’s works like a sponge retain water and keep your skin’s moisture levels high.

Other than aging, your lifestyle may affect your skins’ health. Environmental factors like pollution, smoke, the sun’s rays and more may decrease the amount of HA in your body. This is why it’s essential to add Hyaluronic Acid to your daily skincare regimen to boost the effect of your other skincare products.

Whether you’re interested in HA for its anti-aging benefits like visibly improving fine lines and wrinkles or you’re experiencing dryness, this universal ingredient can help boost the results of any routine.

I Understand HA Has Lot of Benefits For Skin, but How Exactly Does It Work?

Hyaluronic acid is mostly known for benefits like alleviating dry skin and reducing visible signs of aging, like those pesky fine lines and wrinkles that start to appear as we age. When skin is dry, the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles can become more prominent. Hydrated skin helps reduce visibility of these visible signs of aging.

HA can be used in the form of a topical treatment (applied directly on skin), a supplement or through injections. Topical applications, like through a serum, are less invasive and deliver immediate visible results. It can take much longer to see visible results from supplements.

Adding a serum like Rodan + Fields Active Hydration Serum into your Regimen is an easy way to work HA into your skincare routine and experience its benefits. HA transforms dry skin into younger-looking, younger-acting skin. You can typically start to see results in a week after first use. Remember, results also vary based on your skin condition, age, gender, lifestyle, etc.

Can I use Hyaluronic Acid in place of a moisturizer?

Let’s start by learning about the difference between hydration and moisturization when it comes to skincare.

Simply put, we can say that a hydrator equates to water, whereas a moisturizer has more to do with oil. Dryness in your skin comes from a lack of oils. Dehydration comes from lack of water. All skin types need hydration. Dry or dehydrated skin can lead to visible dullness and flakiness. Hyaluronic Acid is a perfect hydrator because it helps bring water to the skin’s surface using humectants. Moisturizers, on the other hand, lock the moisture in and work to protect the skin’s natural oil barrier. Keeping skin hydrated can help boost radiance, improve texture and overall smoothness.

Since hydrators and moisturizers work to address differing skincare needs, it can be beneficial to use both HA and a moisturizer separately as two different steps in your skincare routine. For best results, we recommend that you apply anHA serum after toner and before any moisturizers.

How Quickly Does Hyaluronic Acid Work?

Hyaluronic acid is absorbed quickly, but it will take a while before you see results. “Hyaluronic acid is quickly absorbed into the skin within minutes but can take up to eight weeks or longer for visible results in the form of improved skin elasticity and increased hydration,” Cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Michele Green says.

How Long Does It Take Hyaluronic Acid to Work On the Face?

If you’re looking for visible results, you can expect to see them in about eight weeks. “The results of hyaluronic acid will also take up to 8 weeks or longer for visible results to appear on the face,” Dr. Green says. “However, even one-time use of hyaluronic acid can leave your skin feeling hydrated and softer than before.”

How Often Should You Use Hyaluronic Acid?

Hyaluronic acid can be used twice a day, once in the morning and again before you go to bed. “It should be applied after cleansing and serums but before moisturizing with heavier creams,” Dr. Green explains.

Should I Use Hyaluronic Acid Every Day?

Yes. “You should use hyaluronic acid every day,” Dr. Green says. “It will take consistent usage over several weeks for visible results to set in.”

Should I Use Hyaluronic Acid in the AM, PM, or Both?

When you first start to use it, it’s better to do so at night. For best results, apply daily after your cleanser and toner. You can also use it during your morning routine if you have dry skin.

How Long After I Apply an HA product, Like a Serum, Should I Apply Moisturizer or Other Products?

With any routine, it’s recommended to let your skin dry each step before layering on the next product. Formulations are made for layering. And layering in the correct order is more important than timing. However, some prefer to wait 30 to 60 seconds between steps. Your skincare routine should center around your preferences.

Is It Too Much to Use a Serum with HA and Then Apply a Moisturizer with HA Afterwards?

No, it’s not harmful to use HA in multiple products. What’s most important is applying products in the right order to ensure ingredients and formulas can work in tandem to provide the best visible results.

How Long Do the Effects of Hyaluronic Acid Last?

The effects of hyaluronic acid are temporary. “If you want to maintain results, constant usage is required,” Dr. Green says. “Once you stop using it, your skin will gradually return to the state it was in before.”

Can You Overuse Hyaluronic Acid?

Yes, you can overuse hyaluronic acid by applying it too frequently or by applying too much. “Too much hyaluronic acid can end up having the opposite effect of hydrating your skin and will instead draw the water out of it, leading to dehydration,” Dr. Green explains. “The maximum concentration of hyaluronic acid serum that should be used is two percent since anything greater will dry the skin. However, the optimal concentration may vary from person to person.”

Can Hyaluronic Acid Cause Acne?

If you are worried about adding a new ingredient into your skincare routine, it never hurts to reach out to your doctor to make sure it is right for you. Everyone’s skin needs are different.

Is It True That Too Much HA Can Lead to Drying Out My Skin?

Hyaluronic acid is a hydrating ingredient. Using HA once or twice a day shouldn’t be an issue.

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