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Hyaluronic acid (HA) has been a buzzword in skincare for a while now, but it is well worth unpacking what it is, how it works and what it does for our skin. At Africology, we love using HA in our anti-aging skincare products, especially when combined with vitamin C.
HA is a naturally-occurring carbohydrate molecule that occurs throughout our bodies. It occurs in our eyes, connective joint tissue, internal fluids and skin. 50% of it is found in the skin. It is safely replicated in a lab and it is not taken from human or animal sources.
How does it work?
HA is a humectant, which means it soaks up and maintains moisture. It can hold up to 1000 times its own weight in moisture, making it ideal for plumping up the skin. HA molecules sit just under the top layer of skin, too large to escape through the epidermis. From there, they absorb moisture and hold onto it, so that skin remains healthy and hydrated.
Because it is naturally produced by our bodies, there is a low risk for allergies and irritation. It can also be orally supplemented, as it is also used in the treatment of osteoarthritis; however this should only be done under the supervision of a doctor.
What does it do?
HA plays a vital role in protecting the skin and maintaining its integrity. It improves the skin’s protective barrier, keeping it elastic and strong and able to keep out infections. As skin dries out and cracks, it becomes susceptible to infection and damage. HA therefore plays a supporting role in healing and maintaining the skin.
It also serves as a valuable defence against UV damage, as it helps produce antioxidants that fight free radicals that cause the breakdown of skin.
Of course, its plumping effects are ideal for smoothing out wrinkles and firming up the skin to give it a youthful tone.
How do I use it?
These days, HA can be found in all sorts of skincare applications, such as creams, serums. sprays and even in make-up. In order for it to be truly effective, the product needs to be at least 1% HA.
HA needs a little bit of time to be fully absorbed by the skin, due to its large molecule size. Whenever you apply it, be sure to allow at least 15 minutes for it to be fully absorbed into the skin before taking the next step in your skincare routine.
We love pairing HA with vitamin C, as together they form a powerful, anti-aging team. Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid, a powerful antioxidant that fights the effects of UV photodamage and aging on the skin. It also plays an important role in collagen synthesis, improving the overall texture and elasticity of the skin.
For the best anti-aging routine, we recommend pairing the Anti-Aging SOS Spray with the Vitamin Booster Serum, to be used after your cleanser and toner. Finally, top it all off with our HA-rich Skin Renewal Body Glow, rich in HA and Padina Pavonica, a powerful anti-aging ingredient sourced from the ocean.