Hyaluronic Acid Benefits & Everything You Need To Know

You've probably noticed that more and more of our everyday beauty products contain hyaluronic acid. This isn't by chance, and it's certainly not a passing phase. No, the reason this ingredient has become so popular and so essential is quite simple: it's a molecule that occurs naturally in the human body and its benefits are so impressive, it deserves an important place in your daily beauty routine! Especially when it comes to hydration... We tell you all you need to know about the use of hyaluronic acid in beauty products.

What Exactly Is Hyaluronic Acid? What Exactly Is Hyaluronic Acid?

What Exactly Is Hyaluronic Acid?

Hyaluronic acid was first discovered just over 80 years ago by two German researchers. This molecule, which is found naturally in the human body, has a clear, gooey texture and can be found in the eyes, muscles, etc. However, the organ where it's found in its highest concentrations is the skin – with higher levels in the dermis than the epidermis.

Hyaluronic acid plays an essential role in maintaining the appearance and quality of the skin, and in keeping skin hydrated. It acts like a sponge; its structure enables it to capture and hold up to a thousand times its own weight in water. This means it can trap in moisture, creating a sort of protective barrier that leaves skin visibly smoother and plumped.

Hyaluronic acid is constantly being produced by the body and has a high turnover rate. But unfortunately, as the years go by and the skin gets older – and is repeatedly exposed to factors that can cause oxidative stress – the amount of hyaluronic acid in the skin diminishes. The main consequence of this is that the skin becomes dehydrated and fine lines appear on the face.

Hyaluronic Acid in Skincare

You'll often find hyaluronic acid being used in cosmetic procedures, where it's injected into the skin. But for those of you not so comfortable with needles, you'll be glad to know it's also incorporated into skincare formulas to help fight the effects of ageing, reduce the appearance of wrinkles and maintain skin hydration. 

So, if you decide to use a cream, serum or mask that contains hyaluronic acid, you can be sure that it will effectively hydrate the skin of your face, while also helping to restore its vitality. 

However, what you may not know is that there are different types of hyaluronic acid. They don't all have the same benefits as they don't all penetrate the skin in the same way. It all depends on the size of the molecule – and this is the main difference between the different types.

Hyaluronic Acid in Skincare Hyaluronic Acid in Skincare

Two Types of Hyaluronic Acid

"XL" Hyaluronic Acid (High Molecular Weight) "XL" Hyaluronic Acid (High Molecular Weight)

"XL" Hyaluronic Acid (High Molecular Weight)

Just as its name indicates, in high molecular weight hyaluronic acid, the molecule is large. It acts on the surface of the epidermis and is used for surface hydration when signs of ageing are not very pronounced. Ideal for softening expression lines and wrinkles, and to give skin a fresher look.

"XS" Hyaluronic Acid (Low Molecular Weight) "XS" Hyaluronic Acid (Low Molecular Weight)

"XS" Hyaluronic Acid (Low Molecular Weight)

At the opposite end of the scale, you'll find low molecular weight hyaluronic acid. In this case, the molecule is small (between 20 and 50 thousand daltons). Its extra-small size enables it to penetrate further into the epidermis, so it can revitalise the skin deep down.

Hyaluronic Acid Benefits For Skin

Now you know what hyaluronic acid is and the 2 different types, what can it actually do for your skin? When used correctly, hyaluronic acid helps to reduce fine lines and wrinkles by retaining moisture and keeping skin hydrated. This makes it a great product for dry skin or skin that is working to fight the effects of ageing.

Who Should Use Hyaluronic Acid? Who Should Use Hyaluronic Acid?

Who Should Use Hyaluronic Acid?

Every skincare routine should include hydration. So no matter how old (or young!) you are, your skin can enjoy the benefits of hyaluronic acid in cosmetic products. It offers different benefits for different ages.

If you have young skin, the high molecular weight version of this molecule will help to prevent the first signs of ageing and keep your skin well hydrated.

If your skin is more mature, small-size hyaluronic acid will help to "fill" the skin at a deeper level and make it look smoother, plumped and more beautiful.

How to Apply Hyaluronic Acid How to Apply Hyaluronic Acid

How to Apply Hyaluronic Acid

Now you know you need hyaluronic acid in your life, what is the best way to use it? This can differ from person to person depending on what your skin needs. Selecting a product that contains hyaluronic acid will vary how you use it. You might choose to use a serum that contains hyaluronic acid, in which case, it should be applied after cleansing but before moisturising. Or if you select a moisturiser or cream that contains hyaluronic acid, this should be applied after cleansing, after serums, but before SPF and makeup. Hyaluronic acid is a powerful skincare ingredient so using a pea-size amount for most products is usually best.

How Long Does Hyaluronic Acid Take To Work? How Long Does Hyaluronic Acid Take To Work?

How Long Does Hyaluronic Acid Take To Work?

If you're using hyaluronic acid for it's hydrating and skin plumping effects, you might notice an immediate difference in how the skin looks and feels. However, if you're using this acid for the anti ageing and skin smoothing effects, you should start to notice results in a few weeks/month.

Hyaluronic Acid in L'Occitane Products

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