While the idea of putting acid on your face may not sound too appealing, hyaluronic acid is no ordinary ingredient. Banishing any idea of acids burning or causing discomfort, this ‘miracle molecule’ is the gentle key to smooth, hydrated skin, whatever your age.
Hyaluronic acid: your new hydro powerFound naturally in the epidermis layer of the skin, hyaluronic acid plays a vital role in preserving the skin’s tone and elasticity. It’s no accident that it has an unrivalled reputation for providing hydration, it’s one of the reasons why younger skin is naturally plump and smooth. Thanks to its unique structure, it can hold on to water molecules, helping to hydrate the skin, acting like a sponge and soaking up to 1,000 times its weight in water.
Hyaluronic acid: effective at any ageThe key to hydrated, great-looking skin, hyaluronic acid is naturally found in our bodies from birth. As we get older though, its presence starts to gradually decrease. Here’s how to help stop time with the miracle molecule, whatever age you’re at.
Ever wondered why babies have such enviable plump-looking skin? Hyaluronic acid is certainly one of the reasons. Present in large quantities at the embryonic stage, it’s a key contributor to those squeezable cheeks. From the moment we’re born though, environmental aggressors mean that our hyaluronic acid levels start to gradually decrease.
Teens to twenties
As it’s neither fatty nor occlusive, hyaluronic acid is a great alternative for problematic younger skin that needs hydration without encouraging spots. From your twenties though, its presence in your body starts to decrease.
This is a pivotal decade for your skin. Oxidative stress, UV rays and pollution are all working against you and impacting the amount of hyaluronic acid in your body. This is especially noticeable in the epidermis layer, meaning that your skin loses its natural ability to maintain a good level of hydration and signs of tiredness are more visible. It’s therefore an important time to incorporate hyaluronic acid into your everyday routine. Use skincare that has a high concentration for an added boost of hydration - a hyaluronic-acid-rich serum is one of the easiest ways to get started, as it absorbs quickly and can be layered.
With the levels of hyaluronic acid in your body continuing to decrease both qualitatively and quantitatively, this is the age when wrinkles set in permanently. As the cells slow down their activity levels, they struggle to communicate with each other and can’t recover as well from the damage caused by external aggressors. To combat this, use skincare with a high concentration of hyaluronic acid that can penetrate the skin’s layer of living cells. Apply to freshly cleansed, wet skin and it will absorb even quicker. Double up your morning routine with a serum, such as L'Oreal’s Paris Revitalift Filler Hyaluronic Acid Replumping Serum, and a volumising face cream too and you’ll have plumper cheeks and a more youthful complexion in no time.
With the menopause causing your cells to undergo a complete upheaval, the impact on your skin is perhaps most noticeable at this time. Not only can lines deepen on your face, neck and décolletage, but your skin loses vital volume. Applying serums, day creams and night creams can help to compensate for any loss of hyaluronic acid though. For best results, massage the skin lightly with your thumb and index finger after cleansing in the morning or evening. Then apply a thick layer of a hyaluronic-acid-rich night cream as a mask, allowing it to sink in for a few minutes before massaging in the rest to your face, neck and décolletage.
Three ways to boost your hyaluronic acid
There’s a reason that hyaluronic acid is considered to be one of the best skincare ingredients of the moment, it’s because it is. Found naturally in the epidermis layer of the skin, it’s something that we need to conserve. Unfortunately, while our skin continually produces hyaluronic acid, our levels decrease over time. In fact, 30% of the hyaluronic acid present in our system is lost every day, and our production levels get even slower as we get older.
There are ways you can boost your hyaluronic acid levels though, starting with these three suggestions:
Stay out of the sun
Well, at least limit your exposure time. UV rays cause oxidative stress, which in turn damages our hyaluronic acid. If you’re planning on soaking up some rays, apply an SPF-packed sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun.
Slather on hyaluronic-acid-rich treatments
An additional dose of hyaluronic acid helps to compensate for the loss or damage caused to our body's natural supply by internal or external oxidative stress. Invest in a good day and night cream that contain low molecular weight hyaluronic acid, such as micrometric hyaluronic acid, and they’ll help to preserve the hyaluronic acid that’s naturally present in the deeper layers of our epidermis – without the need for fillers or injections.
Hyaluronic-boosting superfoods can help to combat the oxidative stress responsible for the depletion of hyaluronic acid in your body. Pile your plate with antioxidant-rich foods and vitamin C-packed fruits and vegetables, as well as spices and lean turkey meat, and you can boost collagen and hyaluronic acid production.
Five hyaluronic-acid-packed superfoods
After we hit our twenties, our skin gradually starts to produce less hyaluronic acid. It’s not all doom and gloom though, as you can incorporate the following hyaluronic-boosting superfoods into your diet to help pick up the slack and keep your skin supple and hydrated.
Turmeric, saffron and herbs, including parsley and coriander, not only help our skin to produce hyaluronic acid, but also boost our immune system. What's more, adding these flavours to your food means you can cut back on salt, which is known to cause water retention and hypertension. Win-win.
Swap your cereal for a kiwi for breakfast and you’ll start the day energised and hydrated. As well as being packed with hyaluronic acid, kiwis are also rich in vitamin C, which is another powerful antioxidant and anti-ageing ingredient.
Not just for Christmas, turkey is a great lean meat to enjoy if you’re trying to reduce your cholesterol. Add to that, it also boosts collagen and hyaluronic acid production, helping our bodies to heal and reinforce our cutaneous tissues, and you can see its year-round appeal.
However you cook them, peppers are packed with antioxidants, vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C, K and hyaluronic acid to help protect your skin from free radicals and ageing.
#5 Cod liver oil
While it may not be celebrated for its great taste, cod liver oil is a renowned superfood for a reason. Enjoy a daily dose and you can expect high levels of hyaluronic acid and vitamin A, which both work to help cell renewal and slow down skin ageing and the appearance of wrinkles.
Hyaluronic acid's hydration is key
The secret’s out, if you want to have beautiful skin, hydration is essential and hyaluronic acid is your new hero product. When you moisturise, you’re helping the skin’s cells to regenerate as well as restoring their hydrolipidic balance. Retaining up to 1,000 times its weight in water, this sponge-like molecule helps to give you a glowing and smooth complexion. Even in younger skin, a lack of water and a dehydrated appearance can make your skin look tight, rougher and a little drab, particularly around the delicate eye area that’s prone to wrinkles. You’ll often find that small wrinkles are actually dehydration lines. To slow down the onset of real wrinkles however, it’s never too early to start paying attention to your skin’s hydration and taking moisturising with a hyaluronic-acid-rich cream seriously from as early as your twenties.