The world of skincare can sometimes feel like an endless maze of must-use products, never-use products and everything in between. It can be hard to sort through what’s worthwhile, what’s a waste of money and what’s essential to getting that “dewy summer look” everyone’s been talking about. Everyone’s skin is different, which means every skincare routine is going to be unique to you and your needs. It can take some time and experimentation before you find what’s right for you — be patient. One of our favorite active ingredients as of late is hyaluronic acid, a moisturizing agent that’s worked wonders on a few of the Spy team’s faces. Today, we’re here to talk about hyaluronic acid benefits that go beyond the skin, how to use it effectively and highlight a few of our favorite brands that make top-notch ways to get it into your system.
What is Hyaluronic Acid?
Even though it’s got a big, scary name it’s actually a fairly common ingredient that you can find in many drugstore hyaluronic acid products for very modest prices. Hyaluronic acid is made up of sodium hyaluronate, and also goes by the names hyaluronan and hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid. It’s a humectant naturally found in the body whose job it is to keep areas like your joints, eyes and connective tissues moisturized. It’s able to hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water, and when applied topically to the skin it draws in moisture from the air and your skin’s deeper layers to the surface for a plumper, fuller complexion.
It becomes especially effective and crucial as we age, since our skin slowly loses moisture over time. This can lead to more wrinkles, dullness and overall visual cues of aging. Here are the five most important hyaluronic acid benefits for your skin and entire body.
Benefit 1: Hyaluronic Acid May Help Hydrate Dry Skin
As we mentioned above, hyaluronic acid is incredibly moisturizing, and can be great for dry skin since it hydrates without subjecting skin to a thick moisturizer that could clog pores and cause acne down the line. That being said, you want to avoid using it in very dry areas or in seasons that tend to be dry, like winter, because it uses moisture from the surrounding air to hydrate your skin, and if there is none it could do more harm than good. Hyaluronic acid is also very rarely irritating, and can be mixed easily with other skincare products and ingredients, so it’s great for those with sensitive skin or who are nervous about rocking the boat when it comes to their routine.
The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5
The Ordinary makes a great, and affordable, topical hyaluronic acid that’s a water-based serum with a combination of low, medium and high molecular-weight hyaluronic acid for multi-depth hydration. It’s got a PH level of 6.50-7.50 which is ideal for not stripping your skin or throwing its balance off, and contains vitamin B5 as well. It enhances your skin’s protective moisture barrier and is made cruelty-free.
Read More: The Ordinary’s Best Products
Benefit 2: Hyaluronic Acid May Help Speed Up Wound Healing
Hyaluronic acid levels naturally increase in the skin when there’s a wound in need of repair as it regulates inflammation levels and signals to the body to increase blood flow to the damaged area. This may help your body heal the wound faster and regenerate skin cells at a more efficient rate. Hyaluronic acid also has antibacterial properties, so it could reduce the risk for infection while a wound is healing, which also makes it great for using on faces with healing acne. It also may be effective at fighting gum disease and healing mouth ulcers, but there’s less research to back up that claim.
Paula’s Choice Hyaluronic Acid
Paula’s Choice also makes a great topical hyaluronic acid serum that includes ceramides for tons of hydration and the reduction of wrinkles and fine lines. This BOOST hyaluronic acid booster contains the acid as well as panthenol for penetrating the skin’s surface and moisturizing below the epidermis. You can use this booster on its own or add a few drops to a moisturizer or other topical substance for more hydration. It’s made without fragrance, parabens or other junk, so you get the most effective formula possible.
Related: The Best Hyaluronic Acid Creams and Serums
Benefit 3: Hyaluronic Acid May Help Reduce Joint Pain Through Lubrication
Much of the time, joint pain and stiffness is caused by inflammation, a lack of moisture in the joints and bones rubbing together. Keeping your joints well lubricated can help curb these potentially painful effects. Hyaluronic acid supplements, rather than topical skincare, come into play here, as some studies have shown that taking 80-200mg daily for two months significantly reduces knee pain in people suffering from osteoarthritis. The potentially benefits of this powerful ingredient go beyond the skin, and this is a prime example of that.
NatureBell Hyaluronic Acid Supplement 250mg
This supplement from NatureBell contains 250mg of Hyaluronic Acid per serving along with 2mg of Vitamin C. It’s made without GMOs, gluten, dairy, sugar, soy and tree nuts. It’s supports the body’s natural hydration from head to toe, and is designed to be one of the strongest Hyaluronic Acid joint complex supplements for men, women and children.
Benefit 4: Hyaluronic Acid May Relieve Symptoms of Dry Eyes and Discomfort
Hyaluronic acid, due to its moisturizing qualities, is also frequently used to treat dry eyes and improve overall eye health. Contact lenses that contain hyaluronic acid are in the works for dry eye patients, and hyaluronic acid eye drops are frequently used during invasive eye surgeries to speed up healing and reduce inflammation. Using eye drops that contain hyaluronic acid may help soothe dry eyes, reduce irritation and improve hydration as well.
Hylo-Care Eye Drops
These eye drops from Hylo-Care are preservative-free and made to “enhance regeneration of corneal and conjunctival epithelia.” Translation: they help your eye regenerate and protect itself through hydration. One of the key ingredients is sodium hyaluronate (a.k.a our buddy Hyaluronic Acid). They’re made to be used after a surgery to aid in natural healing, and are safe to use with contact lenses. Each bottle dispenses about 300 eye drops of equal size.
Benefit 5: Hyaluronic Acid May Soothe Symptoms of Acid Reflux
Acid reflux is caused by stomach contents, along with stomach acid, being regurgitated up into the throat and esophagus, causing discomfort and potentially damage to these tissues. Our trusty Hyaluronic Acid may help relieve and heal a damaged throat and esophagus lining alongside other medication faster than that medication alone. One study found that pairing a hyaluronic acid supplement with a chondroitin sulfate supplement, alongside acid-reducing medication, helped ease reflux symptoms by at least 60% when compared with the acid-reducing medication on its own. More research is needed, but these initial findings are promising that Hyaluronic Acid may not just be great for skin, eyes and joints, but could aid your digestive system as well.