Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance found in the human body, joints, connective tissues and in particular, the skin.
Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance found in the human body, joints, connective tissues and in particular, the skin. This natural sugar is what gives our skin its structure as well as provides it with a hydrated look.
Hyaluronic acid increases the moisture level of our skin and in turn, reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. It is a humectant, which means that it absorbs and retains moisture from the surrounding environment, onto the skin and holds these molecules of water back onto the skin. Hyaluronic acid is made from the process of fermenting certain kinds of bacteria. Shafin Kalathingal, Founder and CEO, Qaadu says, "Hyaluronic acid is a key ingredient in skin care because of its ability to retain moisture. It makes your skin flexible.
Hyaluronic acid helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, promoting a smoother and more youthful complexion, while maintaining a balance of moisture. Additionally, it supports the skin’s natural barrier function, protecting it from environmental stressors. Overall, hyaluronic acid plays a vital role in skincare by providing hydration, firmness, and a healthy-looking glow."
Hyaluronic Acid has recently become one of the most popular ingredients found in a range of skincare products ranging from cleansers and moisturizers to serums. This component can be identified in a skincare product by verifying the ingredient list which will have it listed as "Hyaluronic Acid" or "Sodium Hyaluronate" (the salt derived from Hyaluronic Acid).
Hyaluronan or HA are other terms used to refer to Hyaluronic Acid. Paridhi Goel, Co- Founder, Love Earth, says, "Hyaluronic acid can be identified in skincare products as it acts as a barrier repair ingredient. It attracts and retains moisture, replenishes the skin’s hydration levels, strengthening the protective barrier, and promotes a healthier, more resilient complexion."
Hyaluronic acid is effective for skincare due to its unique properties. It is a naturally occurring substance in the body that can hold a significant amount of water, making it an exceptional moisturizing agent. However, there are plant-based alternatives available as well. Plant-based hyaluronic acid is extracted from natural sources like certain root vegetables, soy, or wheat. Aditi Sahu, VP of Product Development, Foxtale says, "Considered a ‘Natural filler’, Hyaluronic Acid is one of the best ingredients to use when targeting signs of aging. It works to diminish the appearance of fine lines by strengthening the skin barrier and improving its elasticity. It also boosts collagen levels to promote healthier, firmer skin. Often, a disrupted oil-water balance on the skin can aggravate breakouts and acne. Despite being a powerhouse of hydration hyaluronic acid is extremely lightweight. It can moisturise even the oiliest skin without making it greasier or clogging pores, thereby creating a balanced skin barrier."
As we age, the production of natural hyaluronic acid in our bodies diminishes, resulting in the loss of skin elasticity and firmness.
By topically applying hyaluronic acid, we can replenish the skin’s hyaluronic acid levels, which can help to restore elasticity and improve the overall texture and tone of the skin.
Priya Bhandari, Head of Training, Skeyndor, says, "Hyaluronic acid has a remarkable plumping effect on the skin. When applied topically, it fills in the gaps between skin cells, resulting in a smoother and more refined complexion. The plumping effect can help reduce fine lines and wrinkles, giving the skin a more youthful and rejuvenated look. Additionally, the increased hydration provided by hyaluronic acid contributes to a firmer and more supple skin texture."
Dr. Rishabh Raj Sharma, Dermatologist, NIIMS Hospital, adds, "Hyaluronic acid helps to strengthen the skin’s moisture barrier, which is essential for maintaining healthy skin. By reinforcing the skin’s protective barrier, hyaluronic acid helps to prevent moisture loss, environmental damage, and signs of aging. Hyaluronic acid has a soothing effect on the skin and can help alleviate redness, inflammation, and irritation. It is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive and acne-prone skin, as it is lightweight and non-comedogenic."
Certain Hyaluronic acid products contain silicone-based ingredients like Dimethicone that can make the skin feel smooth but also clog up pores, leading to breakouts.
"One must also verify if alcohol is mentioned in the ingredients list, as it can counteract and reduce the component’s moisturizing properties. Isopropyl alcohol is one such ingredient that can increase the skin’s dryness and allow bacteria to enter the cracked pores. Products with added fragrance can cause irritation for those with sensitive skin, instead, people should opt for fragrance-free Hyaluronic Acid infused products," says Lasakan Cholayil, Co-Founder, Sadhev.
Hyaluronic acid has rightfully earned its reputation as a skincare hero. "Choose a multi-molecular Hyaluronic Acid serum for getting uniform deeper hydration," concludes Dr Meghna Gupta, Senior Dermatologist, Delhi Skin Centre.
(Caution: It is always advisable to check with your dermatologist and then use any product because each skin type reacts differently.)