hyaluronic acid: thriller or thief
Ever applied a luscious balm to your lips, full of 'hydrating hyaluronic acid', and felt amazing! Only to find that half an hour later your lips resemble dried apricots and you find yourself reaching for that wonder balm again?
You have been had, that balm is acting as a little water thief.
Here's the how and why of hyaluronic acid (HA) & how to make sure you get a thriller and not a thief!
What is hyaluronic acid?
HA is a molecule naturally found in our bodies, a glycosaminoglycan, HA is a major component of our synovial fluid and extracellular matrix. It acts as a cushioning and lubrication agent and is found in our joints, nerves, skin, and eyes among other areas.
How does it work?
Ahhhhh the magic! HA is revered for it's ability to retain moisture. One gram of hyaluronic acid can hold up to six litres of water! In addition to hyaluronic acid, you may see 'sodium hyaluronate' on your cosmeceutical ingredient list. This is a salt derived from HA, with similar abilities, and, with the added benefit of being more readily absorbed.
Why do we love it?
With a lack of moisture and inability to retain hydration one of the main culprits of aging skin, HA is gold standard when it comes to replenishing and balancing your barrier. HA is a humectant, it can be applied to the skin surface where it will bind to water and cross link with other HA molecules, locking in and maintaining hydration and supporting barrier function.
What is the catch?
HA has a large molecular structure, if not formulated correctly, it can actually just lay atop the skin and draw moisture from within. This is the total reverse of it's intended effect! These little formulations are thief's!
How do we make sure we get a HA thriller and not a thief?
Don't fall into a marketing trap and spend your hard earned dosh on products where essentially the price you pay is for pretty packaging and the pretty face on the posters... ensure your products are cosmeceuticals.
Carefully formulated, clinically researched, and, ethically dispensed for your skin health by skincare professionals.
Hydrated skin is happy skin!
Check out my top HA picks below for that ultra hydrated glow...
Medik8 Hydr8 B5
This lightweight little gem contains vitamin B5 and hyaluronic acid providing rapid hydration and significant skin renewal and protection.
Readily absorbed, without the stickiness I've found with other similar serums, this is an am/pm fave for me!
SkinCeuticals H.A. Intensifier
Wowee! This corrective serum has been clinically researched and formulated to amplify skin’s hyaluronic acid levels.
With hyaluronic acid, proxylane, and botanical extracts of licorice root and purple rice to support skin’s hyaluronic acid levels and provide hydration, this multi-beneficial product is a superstar.
Rationale HA Complex Mask
A jar of supreme hydration with key ingredients to reactivate the skin’s natural moisturising cycle!
HA, PCA and Glycerin hydrate while niacinamide, electrolyte minerals and marine extracts optimise skin function. Organic rose water and aloe complete the hydration profile, providing immediate and significant hydration.
(click on the images above for more info & where to purchase)