Make the Most of Hyaluronic Acid’s Skin Benefits With These Tips
by elmt Lab on Mar 09, 2023
Today, we’re talking about hyaluronic acid, a skincare ingredient with amazing hydration properties - fun fact: it can retain up to 6,000 times its weight in water.
Hyaluronic acid is a compound found naturally in our skin, and is responsible for keeping skin hydrated and flexible. However its levels decrease with age, which leads to dehydration, loss of elasticity and signs of aging as highlighted by the study below.
“… In the dermis, the major age-related change is the increasing avidity of HA with tissue structures with the concomitant loss of HA extractability. This parallels the progressive cross-linking of collagen and the steady loss of collagen extractability with age. All of the above age related phenomena contribute to the apparent dehydration, atrophy and loss of elasticity that characterizes aged skin.” 
Luckily, hyaluronic acid is gentle and safe for all skin types, even sensitive skin. However, to fully experience its benefits, it's important to understand the different types of hyaluronic acid used in skincare.
Let's explore together!
Types of Hyaluronic Acid: High and Low Molecular Weight
Not all hyaluronic acid is created equal - depending on the molecular weight, its skin penetration abilities will differ.
High Molecular Weight Hyaluronic Acid:
This form has a large molecular size that limits its ability to penetrate the skin. It is best for surface hydration and creating a protective barrier on the skin's surface.
Low Molecular Weight Hyaluronic Acid:
This form has a smaller molecular size, which allows it to penetrate the skin deeper than hyaluronic acid with a high molecular weight. It provides deep hydration and helps to improve skin elasticity and firmness.
Using both high and low molecular weight hyaluronic acid can offer maximum benefits to the skin as each type has its own unique strengths and weaknesses that work to complement each other.
If only high-molecular-weight hyaluronic acid is used, it is difficult to supply moisture deep into the skin. On the other hand, if only low-molecular-weight hyaluronic acid is used, the function of forming a moisture barrier on the skin surface is weak, and there is a higher risk of moisture loss due to external factors.
As such, skincare products on the market commonly feature a combination of hyaluronic acid with low and high molecular weight to help make skin more hydrated, plump, and dewy.
Tips for Optimal Use
It’s crucial to note the moisturizing effect of hyaluronic acid is maximized when moisture is present on the skin, rather than when applied to dry skin.
Therefore, when selecting a product that features hyaluronic acid, we recommend ensuring it doesn’t also contain ingredients like alcohol, sulfates, fragrances and etcetera that take away the skin’s natural moisture.
Once you’ve selected your hyaluronic acid product, you can rest assured as hyaluronic acid works well with most effective ingredients. Hyaluronic acid also has soothing properties that help reduce irritation from potent, but potentially irritating ingredients.
We'll guide you through ingredients that will help you more effectively experience the benefits of hyaluronic acid.
1. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that can brighten the skin and protect it from environmental damage. When used with hyaluronic acid, vitamin C can promote collagen production and help even out skin tone. Learn more about vitamin C, here.
2. Retinol/ Retinoids
When used together, hyaluronic acid and retinol/ retinoids can provide a one-two punch of hydration and anti-aging benefits. Hyaluronic acid helps plump up the skin, while retinol and retinoids help improve the overall texture and appearance of the skin.
3. AHA/ BHA
By using hyaluronic acid with AHAs and BHAs, you can help to counteract any potential drying effects of the exfoliants. Hyaluronic acid helps hydrate the skin and improve its moisture barrier, preventing dryness and flakiness. Additionally, AHAs and BHAs can increase the absorption of other skincare ingredients, including hyaluronic acid. This combination of ingredients maximizes their individual benefits helping to achieve a more balanced and healthy-looking complexion.
 Ref. Eleni Papakonstantinou,Michael Roth &George Karakiulakis, Hyaluronic acid: A key molecule in skin aging, Dermato-Endocrinology, 2012