Hyaluronic acid (HA) is the A-listed celebrity amongst all skincare ingredients. A star ingredient that nobody seems to get enough of. From its popularity to its benefits, there has been nothing but positive reviews about HA.
It is the saviour of dry skin, which is why you thought to try it too. Sounds reasonable, except, instead of making your skin look plumper and hydrated, you feel HA is making it even drier?
Contrary to popular belief, HA is a little more complex than what you might have heard. Therefore, like any other ingredient, if you don’t use it right, it can backfire on you. Which is why you need to be a little more mindful of how to use this star ingredient in the right way to reap its benefits.
Lack of moisturiser
Hyaluronic acid is a humectant or a hydrator, not a moisturiser. This means that to reap its benefits, you need to use it along with your moisturiser, not in place of it. Essentially, humectants bind water molecules to your skin to hydrate it. If there is no moisture for HA to bind water molecules to your skin, it won’t work.
That moisture either comes from your moisturiser or the environment. That is why, when you apply HA, you must seal it in with a good moisturiser.
If you live in low humidity (where the air is dry), your HA will do the reverse of what it’s supposed to. This means that instead of attracting moisture from the atmosphere into your skin, it starts to pull moisture out from the deeper layers of your skin. This happens because the air around you dry and devoid of moisture.
Then, what happens when you pull moisture from the deeper layers of your skin? It evaporates at the epidermis, leaving your skin, drier than the Sahara Desert.
So, what’s the solution?
To use HA in dry weather you must apply it with a good moisturiser. After cleansing your skin, apply your HA serum on damp skin so it has some water molecules to bind to your skin. Follow it up with a thick moisturiser to lock in that hydration.
If you have dry skin, then a topical ceramide-rich moisturiser will level the lack of fatty acids in your skin and keep it plump and hydrated.