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Hyaluronic Acid

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It’s the backbone of anti-ageing regimes – benefiting every single skin tone and skin type – but what exactly is hyaluronic acid (HA) and why does our skin so desperately need it?

So, What Is It?

Simply put, hyaluronic acid is a super hydrator. It’s a sugar molecule that retains 1,000 times its weight in water, which is why – in its natural form – our bodies use it to keep tissues and joints lubricated. As for our skin? It moisturises like nothing else, says Dr. Barbara Sturm; “Hyaluronic acid is intensely hydrating and makes lines fade. Studies have shown that it even stimulates collagen and assists in sun damage repair.”

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Why Do I Need It?

“The average person has just 15 grams of hyaluronic acid in their body, and half of that is recycled daily,” says Dr. Sturm. “As we age, we produce less of it, and this leads to signs of ageing.” A good store of HA keeps skin moisturised and healthy, it softens wrinkles and levels out uneven texture.

What To Look Out For

Not all hyaluronic acid is equal; some molecules are smaller (found in serums) and some are larger (found in creams). Both are good and should be used in combination. “Low molecular weight – or short-chain molecules – penetrate deep into the skin and replenishes moisture reservoirs for the long term,” explains Dr. Sturm. “Long-chain hyaluronic acid – or high molecular weight HA – immediately hydrates the surface layers and protects against dryness.” Hydrating the skin’s outer layers does more than just soften lines and make it smooth to the touch, it strengthens the natural protective barrier which means you’ll see less redness and sensitivity. “Look for products comprised of both long and short chains to provide instant and long-term benefits,” she says.

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When Should I Use It?

Use hyaluronic acid morning and night. Layer up from the lightest texture (a serum) to the thickest, (your moisturiser), and incorporate a mask two or three times a week. Hyaluronic acid works exceptionally well alongside other protective ingredients like antioxidants – in particular vitamin C – so look for serums containing both or layer them up, waiting a few minutes in between each application to allow the product to settle.

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