It's true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but there are certain looks no one is striving for. When was the last time you heard someone say, "If only I looked like I hadn't slept in years," or, "Why can't I look aged and frail?"
We all want to look energetic, youthful, and vibrant whether we feel that way or not. The right skincare products can go a long way toward that goal.
Hyaluronic acid, or HA, is one of the most effective skincare ingredients for a younger look. The key is knowing how to use hyaluronic acid in a healthy and useful way. Here's what you need to know.
What Is Hyaluronic Acid?
Chances are that you've heard of hyaluronic acid, especially if you've been on the hunt for anti-aging products. What is it and what does it do?
Hyaluronic acid appears naturally in your body. It's a part of your skin, connective tissue, and many other types of tissue in your body.
HA serves several functions depending on where it is in the body. In the skin, though, it's known for keeping your skin plump and smooth. In fact, hyaluronic acid is one of the top ways to keep your skin looking youthful.
The problem is that as you age, you have less and less natural HA. This is part of the reason your skin gets thinner and drier, which puts you in risky wrinkle territory.
Injectable vs. Topical Hyaluronic Acid
There are two common ways the skincare industry uses hyaluronic acid, and it's important to know the difference.
Hyaluronic acid is a primary part of many popular facial fillers like Restylane and Juvederm. A medical professional injects these fillers into areas like the lips, cheeks, and smile lines to smooth wrinkles and add volume.
These fillers use HA because it mimics natural volume. It's safe for your body, though your body metabolizes it over time and the volume goes away. This is why you need to repeat treatments.
HA also appears in many topical skincare products, though. In these products, hyaluronic acid's goal is to hydrate the skin. That hydration may not slow the aging process but it makes your skin look younger day-to-day.
How to Use Hyaluronic Acid in Skincare
If you're ready to jump on board with hyaluronic acid and add it to your skincare routine, consider these options and tips.
Face Full of Fantasies
The most common way to take advantage of everything HA has to offer is to apply it to your entire face.
The easiest choice is to look for products that already include HA. You can find it in many types of products, but it's most effective in serums and moisturizers.
You'll also notice that you can buy hyaluronic acid alone. It usually comes in a small dropper. You can add this type of HA to your favorite moisturizer or serum to boost the product's hydration powers.
"But Luma," you say, "my skin is acne-prone and I love my oil-free moisturizer. Will HA make my moisturizer greasy?"
No, it won't. HA is not oily either, so it isn't likely to cause pimples, while many other hydrating products do.
Plump the Pout
Plump lips have been a top beauty goal for years and they aren't going away anytime soon. If you weren't blessed with fluffy lips from birth, HA could be the key.
Invest in a lip plumper product that enhances your natural HA levels. Like your skin, your lips look fuller and smoother when they're hydrated. The more HA you can infuse into your lips without turning to a needle, the better.
Whether you're considering HA for your skin, your lips, or both, do a test first.
You never know how your skin will react to any new product. While it isn't common for HA to irritate the skin, every person's body is unique.
Start by applying your HA product to a small "test patch." For instance, apply it to a few inches of skin under your chin. Watch that area for a few days to see if it gets inflamed.
If it doesn't, consider the lack of redness to be a green light to add the HA to your ongoing skincare routine. Follow the product's instructions about how to use it and how often to apply it.
Even if your test spot was successful, it's always a good idea to start slow. If the product offers a range for use, like "use two to four times per week," start at two and work your way up.
Take Full Advantage
As we mentioned, topical HA is primarily meant to hydrate your skin. If you know when to apply it, you can maximize the hyaluronic acid's effects.
For the best results, use your hyaluronic acid after washing your skin or showering. When you do this, the HA locks in the moisture that is already in your skin.
This is why most people find it best to add HA to their regular skincare routine. If they're already cleansing their skin, it's easy to follow it with their HA serum or moisturizer.
Warding Off Wrinkles
Some of us may prioritize it higher than others, but no one wants to see wrinkles on their skin. It's especially frustrating to see signs of aging when you still feel young and full of life.
Taking care of your health goes a long way toward slowing the aging process as much as possible. On top of that, though, there are many ways to enhance your skin's youth on a daily basis. Learning why and how to use hyaluronic acid is a powerful step to take.
To step up your skincare game today, start by shopping our skincare products online.