Why Hyaluronic Acid Is All the Rage and Why You Need it

Not all skincare ingredients are created equal. Some come with great promises that fail to bear fruit, while others deliver consistently fantastic results. Hyaluronic acid falls into the latter category—it’s a superhero that saves your skin from the villains of aging and dehydration.


If you’ve ever been a little intimidated by hyaluronic acid in an ingredients list, you’re certainly not alone. The word “acid” alone might scare you if you have sensitive skin, and the hard-to-pronounce substance sounds “unnatural.” But here’s the deal: Hyaluronic acid is naturally produced by our own bodies! And when we apply it on our skin, it’s perfectly safe.

What Is Hyaluronic Acid?

Hyaluronic acid isn’t actually an acid—it’s a sugary molecule found in your body’s connective tissues and skin structure. It keeps your joints lubricated so that movement is fluid and easy, and it even helps maintain the shape of your eyeballs. Furthermore, it can aid in the wound-healing process. In humans, it is found mostly in the skin, but it can also be found in other areas of the body, including skeletal tissues, the lungs and heart.

Perhaps hyaluronic acid’s greatest claim to fame is its ability to retain 1000 times its own weight in water. Yes, you read that right! To put it another way, one gram of hyaluronic acid can hold up to six liters of water. Remarkable, isn’t it? This is why it’s used abundantly in moisturizers—applying it topically hydrates and plumps skin like no other.

Skin loses its natural moisture as we age, which leads to sagging and wrinkles, so hyaluronic acid is the perfect way to combat this little problem.[1] View it as a cape-wearing superhero flying at rapid speed to bring tons of moisture to the parched areas of your skin.

How It Works

Hyaluronic acid has a high molecular weight, which means the molecules are too big to penetrate the skin’s surface. But fear not—this doesn’t mean it’s ineffective, as it can still visibly plump up skin’s surface. For this reason, many people use facial masks containing hyaluronic acid before a special event. It’s a quick way to feign a facial!

On top of that, science has created sodium hyaluronate, a low-molecular derivative that’s smaller and readily absorbed into the skin. Both big and small molecules of hyaluronic acid can be found in skincare products, and while both types are excellent at moisturizing, the smaller variety has also been shown to help reduce wrinkles and sagging.[2]

A 30-day clinical trial of 40 participants found that a topically applied hyaluronic acid filler, featuring different molecular weights of the substance, significantly increased volume in the face and reduced skin sagging, particularly in the cheekbone area.[3] It also showed reduction in wrinkle depth and volume. Pretty awesome, right? And no injections needed!

The Darling Of Skincare

Hyaluronic acid can be referred to as a miracle ingredient. Using it regularly as a serum, moisturizer, cream or mask can do wonders for your complexion, making it look as dewy, radiant and bouncy. If you’re looking to get some on your skin ASAP, start with these vetted options:

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