Off lately, the beauty industry has been going gaga over a new acid. This acid has found its way into face creams, serums, and face packs. Claimed to be the newly discovered super ingredient, hyaluronic acid promises to keep your skin glowing and hydrated.
But before we pile our skin with cosmetics, it is always necessary to think about the pros and cons. The Bridge Chronicle spoke to Dr Rinky Kapoor, Consultant Dermatologist, Cosmetic Dermatologist & Dermato-Surgeon at The Esthetic Clinic to answer some frequently asked questions relating to hyaluronic acid.
What is Hyaluronic acid?
Many skincare experts and dermatologists hail hyaluronic acid as a skincare hero, and it has gained rocketing popularity in recent years. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance in our body that helps the skin, eyes and joints retain essential moisture to maintain elasticity and flexibility and keep the eyes moist. It can hold up to 1000x of its weight in water.
Surprisingly, 50 per cent of our total body hyaluronic acid content, is found within deep layers of the dermis (skin). The real function of this essential molecule is to aid in cell renewal and cell health. Hyaluronic acid is the reason that your skin glows, remains healthy and supple, and keeps the wrinkles at bay.
Since HA is an acid, how does it not affect your skin?
Hyaluronic acid is, in fact, a type of sugar molecule called glycosaminoglycan produced by fibroblasts in the dermis. Hyaluronic acid does not strip your skin of anything, instead; it protects the fibres, collagen, and elastin in the skin and acts as a moisturising lubricant or sponge that cushions the tendons, muscles, and lungs. It is a nontoxic substance and does not cause any allergic or adverse reactions on and in the skin.
What does hyaluronic acid work on your skin?
Hyaluronic acid pulls moisture from the environment, and from deep within the skin and retains it in itself and gives an instant plumping effect. As we age and hit our 30s, we start losing natural hyaluronic stores at the rate of 10 per cent per decade, which results in a leathery skin, fine lines, wrinkles, and lifeless skin.
Benefits of HA to skin
HA basically helps in keeping the skin hydrated. It acts as a postbiotic, i.e. helps rebuild the microbiome of the skin.
It acts as a humectant keeping the moisture locked in.
-Enhances our skin’s natural barrier and fortifies the lipid barrier
-Augments the skin’s resilience against environmental ageing factors, pollutants and free radicals.
-Tightens overall complexion and facial contours.
-Smooths skin texture
-Reduces fine lines and wrinkles
-Promotes skin cell regeneration leading to a radiant complexion
-Reduces age spots and pigmentation
-Improves skin clarity
How often should you use HA?
Twice a day after cleansing your face. Always apply Hyaluronic acid on damp skin because if you use it on dry skin, it will pull moisture from your skin and make it feel dry, pinched, and tight.
At what age group is it appropriate to use?
The right age to start using hyaluronic acid is when you are around 19 years old. The earlier we start on skin type-specific skincare, the more benefits we reap as we age. As you inch towards the late 20s, start using hyaluronic acid eye creams along with retinol. In your late 30s and 40s, introduce hyaluronic acid-based moisturiser in your routine. Depending on your skin type and age, your dermatologist will advise the right combination for you.
How do chemicals work differently from home remedies?
Chemical-based products are more stable on the skin, especially if you have sensitive skin. Home remedies work but take a long time to work, and if you use any ingredient that is not suitable to your skin type, it can take months to reverse its repercussions. Chemicals can effectively treat specific skin issues and formulated for not causing skin issues and problems.
The simple trick to have your skin benefit most from the products is to use the correct products. A dermatologist or skin expert will guide you to tell which active ingredients will bring the best result for your skin. The same active ingredient with different formulations can produce various effects on the same person.
Remember to avoid:
What are the essentials of keeping your skin healthy?
Before going shopping for cosmetics and skincare products, the number one essential is to identify your skin type. Knowing your skin type can help avoid skin problems such as acne, dryness and pigmentation.
The second essential to healthy skin is to build your skincare routine.
The five-step routine that you need to do every day is:
Cleansing twice a day
Serum on damp skin
Sunscreen 15 minutes before stepping out
The third essential is to treat specific skin concerns like acne, scars, age spots etc.