Why hyaluronic acid serums are taking over the beauty industry – and which ones you should try

Hyaluronic acid is naturally found in the human body. In serum form it helps to combat dryness and plumps the skin. Four beauty experts talk about the cult ingredient

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 24 October, 2018, 8:00pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 24 October, 2018, 8:01pm

Multi-step beauty routines have never been more popular. The meteoric rise of hi-tech, at-home facial tools, along with an ongoing obsession with K-Beauty, has persuaded even the most ardent skincare loyalists to expand their daily regimens.

While many products are clamouring for space among the crowded shelves of “must-haves”, those containing hyaluronic acid are sitting front and centre, having reached cult status. But what exactly is hyaluronic acid? And is it just a fad, or do we really need it in our beauty regimen?

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“Hyaluronic acid is naturally abundant in our own bodies, mostly in joints and our skin,” explains New York City-based celebrity facialist, Jordana Mattioli. “The structure of it is referred to as a polysaccharide, which is a sugar compound. It’s special because it can hold up to 1,000 times its own weight in water. Our skin loses its ability to retain moisture as we age, so hyaluronic acid helps combat dryness and has an instant plumping effect, filling in fine lines, like an Instagram filter.”

Because the body produces it already, hyaluronic acid-containing products are unlikely to cause an allergic reaction, says Mattioli. Therefore, it is a logical choice for those with sensitive skin or even severe acne. “If you’re on acne medication, try a hyaluronic acid serum to keep skin hydrated instead of an emollient cream,” she advises. Other tips include applying it on slightly damp skin or immediately after vitamin-C serums to further lock in moisture.

Here are tips from four skincare gurus on which hyaluronic acid products you should use to keep your skin hydrated.

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Jordana Mattioli, New York Complete Skin MD.

Mattioli recommends four products, depending on your skin type: Kate Somerville or HA5 by SkinMedica for dry complexions, Luzern Labs for those who prefer eco-friendly brands, and First Aid Beauty for sensitive skin.

Justine Kahn, CEO of Botnia.

“Along with moisturising, other keys benefits of hyaluronic acid include healing wounds and aiding in UV-damage repair,” says Kahn. Her plant-based formula pairs vitamin B and hydrosol with hyaluronic acid to increase effectiveness.

Angelina Umansky, co-founder of Spa Radiance in San Francisco.

“The skin forgets what to do after using a product for a while, so I like to switch it up every three months,” explain Umansky. “Right now, I’m using Valmont’s new AWF5 line. It uses medical-grade hyaluronic acid that holds 1,000 times its weight in water.”

Sadie Adams, founder of Take Care Face & Body Spa in New York City.

“Hyaluronic acid is becoming more relevant for a plumping protection against dehydrated skin. Sonage adds sage and arnica to their formula, making it the perfect moisturising serum.”