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Ingredient Spotlight ~ Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid serums and moisturizers have gained a lot of popularity in recent years for their touted anti-aging benefits! Almost daily I am asked which HA serums I recommend and use. So I thought it may be a good idea to review some of the basic functions of HA and a few important considerations.

Hyaluronic acid or HA is the most abundant glycosaminoglycan in the human dermis and is largely responsible for our skin’s volume. It's a sugar that can bind more than 1000 times its weight in water! Humectants like HA work to increase your skin’s ability to retain water. When applied topically under the right circumstances, it temporarily improves skin hydration making it appear plumper and less wrinkled and has been shown to decrease the depth of wrinkles and increase elasticity.

This ingredient is not only used in over the counter skin care products, but also in topically formulated medications where it can actually increase penetration. If you’re using an HA serum before the rest of your regimen, it may help the products to follow absorb better. This should be taken into consideration when using stronger products like retinoids after your HA! You may notice that after the addition of an HA serum to your regimen, you experience more flaking from your retinoid as it is working “better” now with the help of our spotlight ingredient.

Another important consideration is that hyaluronic acid works by drawing water into itself from an environment with higher H20 content. In humid conditions, it will draw water out of the environment and deposit it onto the skin aiding in dewy, plump, smoother-appearing skin. In dry climates (including spending hours in an air-conditioned office) the HA will draw water FROM your skin dehydrating it even more. This ingredient is best for oily types as they have enough sebum production to act as a natural occlusive. In dry types, HA is best before a day of outdoor fun in the summertime or in combination with added occlusive ingredients.

Here are some of my favorite hyaluronic acid products to add into your summer regimen!

1. ClarityRx Feel Better 

2. SkinMedica HA5

3. ClarityRx Daily Dose Of Water

4. SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel

5. Revision Hydrating Serum

6. Jan Marini Hyla3D 

Amy is a Cosmetic Dermatology PA and skin care enthusiast living and practicing in Miami, FL. To connect with her or to see her in office or virtually for a consultation, contact her via her instagram @the_skinthusiast or on her blog