What IS Hyaluronic Acid, and how does it help your skin?

There are lots of beauty buzz words floating around at the moment, but one that instantly comes to mind for me is hyaluronic acid. It seems that just about every skincare brand has started sitting up and taking note of this miraculous ingredient, with ‘hyaluronic acid’ popping up on ingredients lists like nobody’s business.

But what exactly is hyaluronic acid? To put it simply, hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring molecule that can be found in your skin, as well as in connective tissues, joints, and even in your eyes, where it provides cushioning and lubrication. This ability to lubricate and plump up skin cells is exactly why skincare brands love it so much: Hyaluronic acid is able to hold up to 1000 times it’s own weight in water, which is a God-send for dry and dehydrated skin types.

Considering the fact that the skin’s ability to retain moisture declines as we age (and let’s not forget that natural stores of hyaluronic acid also diminish with age), there’s no doubt that a product containing hyaluronic acid is vital for ensuring that skin remains firm, plumped up, and well hydrated. It’s also been proven that hyaluronic acid provides excellent antioxidant defence against harsh environmental stressors (think UV light and pollution, to name just a couple), making it a must-have for anyone that’s concerned about premature ageing as a result of sun exposure, pollution, and other environmental aggressors.

Skinceuticals H.A Intensifier

But here’s the thing: not all products containing hyaluronic acid were created equal. In fact, the hyaluronic acid molecule is often so large that it’s impossible for your skin to absorb it properly, so it stays on the surface of your skin and attracts more water (and hydration) to the surface of your skin, where it plumps up fine lines and wrinkles, albeit temporarily. Fortunately, some companies have cottoned on to this fact and make use of hyaluronic acid with a low molecular weight – these molecules are much smaller and are able to penetrate even deeper into the skin, plumping up your skin from within (with much better – and longer-lasting – results to boot). One such product is the new SkinCeuticals H.A Intensifier (R1 550), which I’ve been fortunate enough to put through its paces for the past month – and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

My Experience

With our recent move to Johannesburg, I was expecting huge change in my skin – whenever I’ve come here on holiday in the past, my skin felt much drier and ‘thirstier‘ than usual, and the fine lines around my eyes and on my forehead usually become a whole lot more noticeable, too. Despite the fact that I’ve had to deal with the usual winter dryness on top of moving stress, I’ve been amazed at just how well my skin is holding up. It’s still pretty plumped up and hydrated, and it doesn’t feel dry or tight.

That said, I know that my skin is being exposed to a lot more pollution than before, so I’ve been really conscious of using a good sunscreen and a serum with plenty of antioxidants, to ensure that my skin doesn’t take too much of a beating. Needless to say, the SkinCeuticals H.A Intensifier has been an essential part of my skincare routine, and I’ve been so impressed with the results.

I started using the new SkinCeuticals H.A Intensifier about a month ago (about a week before our big move), and I noticed an improvement within the week. My skin looked smoother and more even-toned (turns out those fine lines around my eyes and mouth had more to do with dehydration than ageing), and it looked a lot healthier to boot. For once in a long, long time, my skin looked glowing.

This photograph was taken by Dr Rory Dower a week after I had my lip fillers done - but something that really stood out to me when I saw this shot, was just how clear and glowing my complexion is. (And all thanks to the SkinCeuticals H.A Intensifier, which I'd been using for a week at this point).
This photograph was taken by Dr Rory Dower a week after I had my lip fillers done – but something that really stood out to me when I saw this shot, was just how clear and glowing my complexion is. (And all thanks to the SkinCeuticals H.A Intensifier, which I’d been using for a week at this point).

I’m still using the SkinCeuticals H.A Intensifier twice daily, and I don’t see myself stopping any time soon. I use the H.A Intensifier in the mornings after cleansing and applying my daytime antioxidant serum (in the form of SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic, R2 225), and before applying my daily sunscreen. I’ve also been using it at night, again after cleansing, but before applying SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel (R1 325), which can be used as a serum before your usual moisturiser, or as a stand-alone moisturiser if you have a normal, oily, or combination skin type. I’m loving this line up of skincare products, and my skin is definitely thanking me – I’ve experienced no breakouts since following this routine (proof that breakouts are often caused by a lack of moisture), and my skin is feeling rather plumped up and comfortable, despite the sudden exposure to the dry, winter Jo’burg air.

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If you’re in the market for a really effective serum that targets a host of skincare concerns, from premature ageing and fine lines and wrinkles to dullness and dehydration, this one’s for you – but don’t take my word for it: In a 12 week clinical study, it was found that SkinCeuticals H.A Intensifier significantly upped the skin’s hyaluronic acid levels by a whopping 30% – resulting in noticeably plumper skin.

These incredible results can be attributed to the fact that the new SkinCeuticals H.A Intensifier boasts some of the best plumping and hydrating skincare ingredients around: there’s hyaluronic acid, of course, but it also contains Proxylane™ to help support the skin’s supply of hyaluronic acid, while improving your skin’s overall texture at the same time. It also contains botanical extracts of licorice root and purple rice to support your skin’s natural moisture reservoir, resulting in skin that’s visibly plumper, smoother, and a whole lot firmer.

WIN!

Dermastore has been running a great giveaway over on their website, and the fun isn’t over – they’re giving one more person the chance to win their own bottle of SkinCeuticals H.A Intensfier, worth R1 550. Simply head on over to Dermastore’s website (here) at 10am sharp this coming Monday, 21 August 2017, then search Dermastore’s product catalogue, keeping an eye out for the hidden component. Once you’ve found it, add it to your cart and place your order (it won’t cost you a thing). If you’re able to successfully place the order, you’ve won!

Click here for more information – and don’t forget to make a note in your diary! Best of luck to you all! 

*A very big thank you to SkinCeuticals for sponsoring this post*