What Is Hyaluronic Acid And Do I Need It In My Face Serum?

We asked a dermatologist what this water-loving component really does for your skin.

With increasing interest in extensive night-time beauty routines, hyaluronic acid is enjoying a resurgence in popularity. This water-loving ingredient has been appearing in skincare products for decades and is now the star component in many a hydrating serum.

The Buzz

Serums containing hyaluronic acid claim to make skin look plumper, firmer, smoother and give a glow from within.

What Has Been Proven

There is something a little daunting about the idea of applying anything called an “acid” to the delicate skin on your face, but dermatologist Dr Simon Zokaie, medical director at Linia Skin Clinic, reassures us that hyaluronic acid is perfectly safe, as it exists naturally in the skin.

Also, while the term “acid” might bring to mind harsh peels that strip the skin, hyaluronic acid actually has the ability to attract and retain water molecules”.

As you grow older your body’s ability to produce hyaluronic acid slows down and a lack of it “is one of the most common causes of dull complexions and uneven texture”.

A spokesperson from The Cosmetic Toiletry & Perfumery Association (CTPA) adds that people who lack hyaluronic acid naturally are not only prone to dry skin, but “dry skin tends to prevent the creation of hyaluronic acid - so it’s a vicious circle”, which is why skincare containing hyaluronic acid tends to be recommended for those with dry skin.

How Often Should You Apply It?

Dr Zokaie advises that hyaluronic acid serums can be used as part of a daily routine. “It should be used after cleansing and/or toning, and I recommend applying it all over the face and neck, avoiding the eye area and follow with a moisturiser,” he says.

He recommends that hyaluronic acid is used “with L-ascorbic acid, which is essentially Vitamin C that acts as an antioxidant and helps reverse the signs of free radicals and oxidation, which present themselves as fine lines and wrinkles, pigmentation, redness and broken capillaries”.

Anything To Watch Out For?

Though side effects for using skincare containing hyaluronic acid are rare, Dr Zokaie adds “there have been small reports of skin dryness following their use”, which seems counter intuitive, but if you notice your skin feels dryer after using this, then it’s one for you to skip.

Where Is It Found?

Serum containing hyaluronic acid serum can be found at The Ordinary, £5.90 for 30ml; Aprilis, £9.99 for 30ml; Neutrogena,£14.99 for 30ml, or Super Facialist, £16 for 30ml.

Regenacalm serum, £18.99 for 30ml, includes Vitamin C and hyaluronic acid, while at the more expensive end of the spectrum La Roche-Posay’s serum is £37 for 30ml.

Before You Go