Everything You Need to Know About Hyaluronic Acid

You may have noticed a lot of talk about hyaluronic acid lately, especially with many parts of the country experiencing a cold and dry winter. So what exactly is it, who needs it, and what does it do? Here’s a rundown.

What is it?
Hyaluronic acid, also called hyaluronan, hyaluronate, or just HA, is a biopolymer that occurs naturally in the human body. Found mostly in joints, eyes, and connective tissue, the substance has the ability to hold 1,000 times its weight in water, making it one of the most moisturizing compounds in the world. It’s used medically to keep eyes hydrated during surgery, to replace fluid in joints, and as a filler for lips and wrinkles. You’ll find it in a variety of skincare products, too, both over-the-counter and by prescription. It’s particularly important to use as you get older, since our bodies produce less HA as we age.

What does it do?
When applied topically—most often in the form of serum or lotion—HA enables the skin to hold onto water. In fact, it pulls moisture from the air into the skin. This is beneficial in two way: it immediately plumps fine lines and diminishes dryness, but it also creates an environment for better cell turnover, which creates younger-looking skin over time. Essentially, it’s a miracle product for dry or ageing skin.

Who should use it?
Anyone looking to plump fine lines or sooth and moisturize parched skin. Sound like you? Check the label for HA while looking for new skincare products, or just shop our slideshow, we’ve rounded up serums, lotions, and more, all high in HA.