What is hyaluronic acid?

Have you heard of hyaluronic acid? If not, you may think it sounds like the least likely thing you would want near your skin. Acid for your skin? Yikes!

But, in reality, hyaluronic acid is one of the best ingredients you can include in your morning and evening skin care routines. Let’s start with a definition. What is hyaluronic acid? Chemically speaking, hyaluronic acid, or HA, is a polymer, which means its molecules are chains of many small units put together.

“Hyaluronic acid is a sugar molecule found naturally in the body,” said Jason Rothouse, a principal research scientist for Artistry™ skin care and beauty products. “It’s one of the main components of connective tissue, such as collagen.”

What is hyaluronic acid good for?

Researchers are studying hyaluronic acid for a variety of uses and conditions because it has a wide array of biological functions, like supporting flexibility and hydration. Depending on its intended purpose, HA can be formulated to take orally as a supplement, as a topical product to apply to skin, into eye drops or even injections.

When it comes to hyaluronic acid skin benefits, it’s all about hydration and plumping. And that typically comes in the form of hyaluronic acid as a moisturizer or a serum with hyaluronic acid.

“Hyaluronic acid has the unique ability of being able to bind a very large amount of water to itself – approximately a thousand times its weight in water*,” Rothouse said. “Because of that, HA is a very well-known ingredient used in topical skin care to help attract and retain moisture in the skin.”

Hyaluronic acid skin benefits

While hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in our skin helping to keep it elastic and looking healthy, as we age our bodies are not able to maintain natural production of it. That means over time our hyaluronic acid levels decrease and so do their benefits.

That’s why, as Rothouse said, HA is a popular ingredient in skin care products. Here’s the thing though: Hyaluronic acid molecules come in different sizes, and that limits their effectiveness.

“To ensure the most hyaluronic acid benefits, it’s important to look for a product that has multiple sizes of HA molecules,” Rothouse said. “Artistry Skin Nutrition™ Vitamin C+HA3 Daily Serum incorporates three different sizes of HA molecules, each complementing and amplifying the effects of the others.”

  • The smallest HA molecules in the Daily Serum boost and balance internal moisture levels, keeping the skin better hydrated and more elastic and flexible over time.
  • The mid-sized HA molecules provide an immediate volumizing effect that plumps up the skin for a firmer, more cushioned surface.
  • And the largest molecules help hydrate and smooth the appearance of expression lines or other wrinkles.

“The HA3 Fusion was specifically designed to address the slowing production and decreasing efficacy of skin's natural hyaluronic acid as we age,” Rothouse said.

How to use hyaluronic acid

Now that you understand how hyaluronic acid works, it’s time to decide how to use hyaluronic acid in your skin care routine. Many people turn to a serum with hyaluronic acid, such as the Artistry Skin Nutrition Vitamin C+HA Daily Serum. But can you use hyaluronic acid every day?

“Hyaluronic acid is safe and effective. We recommend using our Artistry Skin Nutrition Vitamin C+HA3 Daily Serum both morning and night – after toner and before moisturizer,” Rothouse said. “The HA3 Fusion in our serum works instantly and over time to help enhance skin's look of plumpness and volume, and to help smooth the appearance of lines and wrinkles.”

Hyaluronic acid side effects

As we said above, hyaluronic acid can be formulated into different delivery systems depending on their intended use and each of those may have their own side effects. With any skin care product, it’s always best to introduce it gradually.

Artistry Skin Nutrition Vitamin C+HA3 Daily Serum has been dermatologist tested and shown to be safe when used as instructed, Rothouse said. But everyone’s skin is different.

“Some users may have a tingling sensation or tightness, typically those with more sensitive skin,” he said. “The sensation is normal with this serum and won’t last long.”

The Daily Serum also follows Artistry Clean Guidelines for formulations, which means it has no parabens, phthalates, mineral oil or over 1,300 other iffy ingredients customers may be concerned about.

*Chabrecek et al., 1990, Cowman & Matsuoka, 2005; Schiller et al, 2011