Let’s talk about everything you need to know about hyaluronic acid, a powerful skincare tool!
The idea of putting acid on your skin might sound crazy. However, you might not know that your skin regularly, naturally produces acids that keep it healthy and youthful looking.
When you’re looking to take your skincare regimen to the next level, it’s essential to know how to make the most of acids, and where to find them in their most useful forms. One of the most powerful ways to supply your skin with an acid is using a serum.
Supplying your skin with an abundance of beauty-promoting acids by use of serums can be a pivotal part of your skincare routine.
From this article, you’ll learn all about hyaluronic acid, one of the key ingredients that you’ll want to implement into your skincare regimen. Hyaluronic acid has long been praised for its moisturizing, anti-aging and blemish-fighting benefits. If you’re not sure where to start with this ingredient, you’ll learn everything you need to know right here.
Hyaluronic Acid: A Primer
Hyaluronic acid is produced by your skin naturally, but it’s also often found in skincare products. Hyaluronic acid helps to keep your skin moisturized and keeps you looking young. This natural acid helps your skin retain moisture, giving it a youthful, hydrated look. Whether your skin is naturally prone to dryness, oiliness, or somewhere in between, moisturization is always a good idea.
Hydration is key for your skin’s overall health. Warding off dry skin means less pesky breakouts, blemishes, dark spots and other bothersome skin issues.
Hyaluronic acid is often found as an ingredient in moisturizers, but it can also be applied to your skin using a serum. Not sure what a serum is? We’ve got you covered. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about hyaluronic acid serum and how to make it a part of your beauty routine.
Acids and Serums: The Basics
A serum is a lightweight, liquid-based skincare product with a high concentration of an active ingredient. An active ingredient is a component in a skincare product that has a significant effect on your skin on a biological level. Acids are often the active ingredients in serums.
Acids affect the overall pH balance of your skin. To keep your skin looking and feeling great, it needs to maintain this balance. Acids can provide your skin with hydration, softness, and exfoliation, while also reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles. Some acids can even help you reduce the visibility of blemishes and reduce the appearance of acne scars. Some of the main acids you’ll find in serums and other skincare products are glycolic acid, salicylic acid and hyaluronic acid.
Acids are often categorized using acronyms, and it’s helpful to know what these mean when you see them in product descriptions. BHAs, AHAs, and HA are three of the main acronyms you’ll run into when looking at skincare products like serums. BHAs, or beta hydroxy acids, are often called salicylic acid. AHAs, or alpha hydroxy acids, are a category that includes glycolic acid and lactic acid. HA stands for hyaluronic acid. AHAs and BHAs are what are known as chemical exfoliants – they remove dead skin cells and other debris from your skin. HA, or hyaluronic acid, has numerous anti-aging, moisturizing and anti-acne benefits.
Serums can serve numerous purposes in your skincare regimen. By providing your skin with a high concentration of an active ingredient in an easily absorbable form, a serum can make a big difference in the look, feel and health of your skin.
Some Key Definitions to Know
Before you start using serums, it’s essential to know some of the key terminology that you’ll run into when shopping for these handy skincare tools.
Glycolic acid promotes collagen production in your skin, keeping it looking young. Using a glycolic acid serum as part of your beauty routine doesn’t provide your skin with moisture specifically, but instead primarily has anti-aging benefits. This means that while a glycolic acid serum won’t cover all the bases of your skincare needs, it can serve an important purpose in your beauty regimen.
Salicylic acid is often the active ingredient in many acne products, but it can also be found in serums. This acid helps to get rid of dead skin cells that can clog your pores and cause breakouts. Salicylic acid doesn’t have moisturizing properties, but it can play an important role in cleansing and preventing future breakouts. When using salicylic acid, it’s important to make sure your skin is getting enough moisture and hydration, since this acid can dry out your skin if it isn’t paired with a good moisturizer.
Hyaluronic acid can serve numerous purposes for your skin. Like salicylic acid, it can be beneficial for anyone struggling with the appearance of acne, but for different reasons. Because hyaluronic acid provides your skin with moisture, it keeps your skin from drying out, which can cause breakouts. When your skin is too dry, it begins overproducing oil, which can clog your pores and produce acne.
In addition to reducing the appearance of acne, hyaluronic acid keeps your skin looking young with its moisturizing abilities. When your skin gets dried out, it’s more prone to showing signs of age. Using hyaluronic acid serum at the beginning of your daily and nightly skincare routine can be a huge help in reducing the visibility of wrinkles and lines, and giving your skin a youthful glow!
Serum vs. Dermal Filler
Hyaluronic acid can be used as a serum or in the form of an injection called a dermal filler.
A dermal filler looks like a type of gel and injected into your skin using a needle.
Applying hyaluronic acid topically in a serum is usually sufficient to reap the acid’s moisturizing benefits, but for some more intense skin issues, a dermal filler can be helpful.
Using a hyaluronic acid dermal filler is usually adequate when dealing with severe acne scarring. If you have persistent scars from cystic acne or other more severe forms of breakouts, topical hyaluronic acid may not be enough to see major improvements. Using a dermal filler means your skin will absorb a more significant amount of hyaluronic acid.
Dermal fillers are an effective remedy to reduce the visibility of acne scarring, but for many sufferers of acne, using a hyaluronic acid serum can get the job done. If you are trying to decide what form of hyaluronic acid treatment is best for you, talk to your dermatologist. A skincare expert can fill you in on the best practices for your specific skincare needs.
How to Use a Serum
Serums usually come in small droppers. Just a few drops of a serum is a sufficient amount to apply to your skin. Because a serum needs to have easy access to your skin, using it at the beginning of your skincare routine is ideal. A good rule of thumb when applying products is moving from lightest to heaviest. Serums are light and liquid-based and should come before any heavier products like moisturizer or sunscreen.
Hyaluronic acid serum can be paired with a moisturizer or even used instead of one. Because of the acid’s natural moisturizing abilities, some users will find it a perfect substitute for a heavier moisturizer.
This in mind, it’s helpful to know that hyaluronic acid is often an active ingredient in moisturizers. This means that it can be worthwhile to try using a serum with hyaluronic acid instead of a heavier moisturizer or the two together.
Hyaluronic acid serum can be used daily, in the morning and at night. Skin typically responds very well to introducing serums into a skincare routine, so using hyaluronic acid twice a day shouldn’t be too much for your skin to handle.
A few drops of a serum goes a long way – you don’t need much to get the job done! Remember that more isn’t always better when it comes to skincare products. Overusing a product like a serum, which has a high concentration of its active ingredient, can cause irritation that will discourage you from using the product again. Instead of overdoing it, start with a small amount of hyaluronic acid serum and gently apply it to your face by applying the drops and rubbing it into your skin in a circular, massaging motion.
The amount of hyaluronic acid serum you’ll want to use depends on a few factors. One thing to consider is the concentration of hyaluronic acid in your serum. You can find this out by reading the label on the bottle, where you’ll find a percentage next to hyaluronic acid on the ingredient list, usually at the top. The higher the concentration of hyaluronic acid, the less you’ll need to lose. Most serums will have a recommendation for how many drops to use, too!
Getting the Most Out of a Serum
Some of the best ways to make the most out of using hyaluronic acid serum involve taking care of your body as a whole.
One of the keys to effectively using hyaluronic acid serum is staying hydrated. Moisturizer will help bring out the best in your skin, but it’s essential to drink enough water to keep your skin hydrated. If you don’t drink a sufficient amount of water, you’ll notice a negative effect on your skin even when you use great moisturizing products.
Another key aspect of skin health is eating well. When using hyaluronic acid and other skincare products, keeping your diet full of nutrient-dense foods will significantly improve your skin’s overall health. A diet with an adequate amount of whole, unprocessed sources of carbohydrates, fat, and protein is the way to go for good health in general!
Uses for Hyaluronic Acid Serum
One of hyaluronic acid’s main uses is as a moisturizing agent. Because serums are lightweight and allow for high concentrations of an active ingredient to reach your skin, using a serum with a moisture promoting active ingredient makes a big difference.
Letting your skin get too dry can lead to a variety of issues, breakouts included. When your skin gets over-dried, it begins overproducing oil, which can cause your pores to get clogged, giving way to pesky acne. For this reason, using moisturizer daily can make a big difference in how resistant your skin is to dryness and breakouts.
On top of moisturizing, hyaluronic acid can also improve the appearance of your skin’s volume by promoting the production of collagen. This protein is responsible for giving structure to your skin, as well as your muscles, tendons and ligaments. Because collagen gives your skin structure, stimulating the production of more collagen will help give your skin a firmer, more supple appearance even as you age. If your skin is sagging due to age, hyaluronic acid can help by stimulating the production of collagen and elastin in your skin. These two proteins help keep your skin strong, flexible, and youthful-looking.
As collagen production increases, you’ll notice a visible difference in the appearance of wrinkles and lines on your face. If you want, you can combine the use of a vitamin C serum with collagen supplements to ensure that your skin is producing adequate amounts of collagen. Before supplementing with anything, though, it’s always wise to consult your doctor and dermatologist.
Combining Hyaluronic Acid Serum with Other Products
When you introduce a new skincare product into your beauty routine, it’s essential to know how its active ingredient interacts with the other ingredients you’re putting on your skin. As you’ve learned, not all skincare products pair well together. Hyaluronic acid, fortunately, is fairly easy to factor into your skincare routine without causing problems. Nevertheless, it’s worthwhile to know what you should and shouldn’t use it with.
Vitamin C is an example of an excellent complementary ingredient to hyaluronic acid. Helping your skin retain its youthful glow and reducing the appearance of wrinkles are two things vitamin C is great at. As an antioxidant, it neutralizes free radicals to help reduce the visibility of signs of aging. In addition to helping your skin produce collagen, using a vitamin C serum can also boost your skin’s production of elastin. Elastin is another protein that plays a key role in keeping your skin healthy and young-looking.
Elastin is the protein in your skin that allows it to stretch while still retaining its shape. As the name suggests, elastin makes your skin softer and more flexible. Of course, aging has the opposite effect on your skin. As you age, your skin’s natural production of elastin decreases. Stimulating the production of elastin in your skin is essential when you’re aiming to keep your skin looking young.
In terms of other products in your beauty regimen, using hyaluronic acid serum can add an extra moisturizing and glow-enhancing punch to your beauty routine. Combine hyaluronic acid serum with a cleanser, exfoliator, toner, eye cream, moisturizer and sunscreen and you’ve got yourself a complete and comprehensive set of products that will keep your skin looking great!
A good order to apply your products is from lightest to heaviest, starting with anything that you will rinse off after use, like a cleanser. You’ll start your skincare routine with cleanser, exfoliator and toner, then serums, then eye cream, moisturizer and sunscreen.
The logic behind this order is based on the fact that serums are light and include high concentrations of their active ingredients. When using a serum, you want to make sure your skin is wide open to receive its powerful active ingredient. Applying heavier products before using a serum can make it difficult for the serum to penetrate and permeate your skin.
When you start out your daily skincare routine, use a good cleanser that has high-quality ingredients. Some cleansers are made with hyaluronic acid as an active ingredient while others contain salicylic acid, glycolic acid, vitamin C and more. Using a cleanser gets rid of any dirt and debris on your skin and sets the stage for the application of the rest of your products. When you apply your cleanser, rinse your face gently with warm water, rubbing the cleanser into your face with gentle, circular motions, then rinsing it off.
After your skin is cleansed, it’s time to exfoliate. Exfoliation is a key step in getting your skin ready for the application of serums. When you exfoliate, you’re getting rid of dead skin cells that are left over on your face. Hyaluronic acid isn’t an ingredient that you’d use to exfoliate your skin – it’s more for the purpose of moisturizing. However, you can find a great exfoliator with active ingredients like salicylic acid or glycolic acid. Gentleness is key when using an exfoliator. You don’t need to “scrub” the dead skin off your face. Getting too rough with your motions will end up irritating your skin, something you definitely want to avoid. Let your exfoliator do the hard work.
After exfoliating, it’s time to use a toner. Toner is the last product you’ll want to apply before you use a serum, including hyaluronic acid serum. One of the main reasons to use a toner is to balance out your skin’s pH levels. Acids like hyaluronic acid also affect the pH balance on your skin. Combining toner with serums helps keep your skin’s pH levels at a good point. It’s wise to use a cotton pad or other soft, disposable tool to add toner to your face. Toner is very lightweight and is hard to apply to your skin using just your fingers. You won’t need to use anything but your hands to apply your serum, though.
Post-toner, you’re ready to apply your serum. Remember that a little bit of serum goes a long way. If you’re using hyaluronic acid serum, make sure to pay attention to the amount of the active ingredient present in the specific serum you’ve chosen. Some serums have higher concentrations of their active ingredient than others. The higher the concentration of hyaluronic acid in your serum, the less you’ll need to use. Using too much can end up irritating your skin, so be conservative.
If you’re not sure if your sin responds well to hyaluronic acid, you can perform a patch test before using it on your face. A patch test involves applying a small amount of a product to a patch of skin on your arm and waiting to make sure its active ingredients don’t have any negative effects on your skin. You’ll know you’re in the clear to use a product if your patch test causes no redness or irritation.
Once you’ve applied your serum, the final steps in your skincare routine are the heavier products. This means eye cream, moisturizer and sunscreen. You’re finishing things up with the heavier stuff because your skin would struggle to absorb serum, toner and other lighter products if you started with the denser products. Heavier products like moisturizers and sunscreen are normally gels or creams. You can use these products liberally on your skin – they don’t contain as high of concentrations of their active ingredients as a serum does.
Some moisturizers and sunscreens even contain hyaluronic acid as an active ingredient. When you’re looking for an ideal moisturizer to pair with your hyaluronic acid serum, look for something non-comedogenic. This means the moisturizer will not have any ingredients in it that will clog your pores.
Now that you know how to assemble and complete a great skincare regimen, you’re ready to include a hyaluronic acid serum in your routine.
Paired with other high-quality products, a good hyaluronic acid serum can make a major difference in your skin’s look and feel. It can reduce the appearance of age-induced lines and wrinkles, minimize blemishes, and keep your skin moisturized. Pairing the serum with good products in the right order is a recipe for great-looking skin.
Remember, if you have questions or concerns about including any new product in your skincare routine, it’s wise to consult your dermatologist. Fortunately, though, hyaluronic acid is easy on your skin and useful for all skin types. You can get started with it in no time, and confidently apply it each day to reap its many benefits!