Hyaluronic acid is one of those ingredients you’ve probably seen around a lot when looking for brightening or anti-aging skincare, but you might have wondered what exactly it is, if it’s safe, and who should use it. When I read “acid” that’s definitely what I’m wondering! “Topical hyaluronic acid can help to hydrate the skin and improve rough, dull complexions. It can be a great adjuvant to topical treatments such as Retinol/RetinA which can be drying,” says Dr. Jennifer Chwalek who goes on to explain that it can be used by anyone as part of an anti-aging regimen.
Safe Even For Sensitive Skin?
“Most preparations are gentle enough that they shouldn’t cause irritation like a retinoid. However, some are mixed with other ingredients (such as antioxidants) which may be irritating for people with very sensitive skin. A good rule of thumb is to try a test spot for a few days if there is any concern.” Unlike many other treatment products it also doesn’t make your skin more sun sensitive.”
How Should They Be Used?
“Topical hyaluronic acid should be used once or twice a day. They can be used in conjunction with antioxidants and retinoids (for example it can be used after applying a topical vitamin C serum in the morning/before SPF and after a topical retinol or retinoid at night). Topical hyaluronic acid can also complement injectable hyaluronic acid (filler for deeper lines and topical to address finer lines).”
What About Results?
“Most of the studies showed results over a 12 week period but patients may start to see improvement as early as 4-8 weeks.”
As far as specific products Dr. Chwalek recommends Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel ($19.99) because it’s oil free, non-comedogenic, and feels silky on application. It also contains some glycerin and dimethicone, which helps with its hydrating properties. She also singles out Skinceuticals. “They have a Hyaluronic Acid Intensifier ($98), which is unique in that it not only contains hyaluronic acid, but also has proxylane which supports your skin’s hyaluronic acid content and licorice extract and purple rice extract, which help prevent its breakdown.