Ready to feel more confident when reading your beauty products' ingredient labels? Enter, the Allure Ingredient Index. In this comprehensive guide, you'll find everything you need to know about the most in-demand (and under-the-radar) ingredients in your favorite skin-care products.
Hyaluronic acid. Although somewhat difficult to say (and even harder to spell), the skin-care ingredient commonly found in your favorite serums, sheet masks, and moisturizers is an important addition to your daily skin-care regimen. That's because hyaluronic acid (aka HA), which occurs naturally in the skin, binds to water molecules to plump your skin with hydration and, thus, help achieve a naturally dewy and glowy complexion.
- Shereene Idriss, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist in New York City who specializes in facial aesthetics and rejuvenation.
- Tsippora Shainhouse, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist in Beverly Hills and a clinical instructor at the University of Southern California.
- Min S. Ahn, MD, is a double-board-certified facial plastic surgeon in Boston.
- Nava Greenfield, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist in New York City.
- Karan Lal, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist and the director of cosmetic dermatology at Affiliated Dermatology in Scottsdale, Arizona.
And it's clear the word has gotten out about its benefits because an Allure's Readers' Choice Awards survey shows it's one of the most-demand ingredients of skin-care products. But hyaluronic acid does so much more than boost skin's moisture levels, which is why we asked skin-care experts to better explain the benefits of the ingredient. Ahead, we break down everything you need to know before you add it to your daily regimen.
- What is hyaluronic acid?
- What are the benefits of hyaluronic acid?
- Who should use hyaluronic acid?
- How to use hyaluronic acid, according to dermatologists
- What are hyaluronic acid fillers?
- Hyaluronic Acid: the TL;DR
What is hyaluronic acid?
Hyaluronic acid is a water-binding molecule (formally known as a type of glycosaminoglycan) found abundantly in the skin, says Nava Greenfield, MD, a New York City-based, board-certified dermatologist. "It works by attracting large amounts of water molecules and holding them in the skin," which is essential for maintaining skin hydration and plumpness.
As we age, the hyaluronic acid content in our skin decreases, explains Scottsdale-based dermatologist Karan Lal, MD, which is one reason so many topical anti-aging products feature hyaluronic acid as a main ingredient. Like the hyaluronic acid our bodies produce naturally, lab-made skin-care products "attract and hold onto water molecules" on the skin's surface. This can help restore lost hydration and, in turn, very subtly smooth fine lines and wrinkles.
What are the benefits of hyaluronic acid?
Hyaluronic acid, in addition to being emblazoned across hundreds of skin-care labels, has been the star of TikToks, YouTube tutorials, and even its own television commercial. The ingredient is everywhere for many reasons.