It seems like there’s a never-ending sea of new skin-care products and cutting-edge ingredients—half with names we have no hope of pronouncing—bubbling up in every makeup aisle and dermatologist’s office.
The latest on the skin-care scene—hyaluronic acid (that’s hil-yuÃŒâ€¡-rÃƒÂ¤-nik if you were curious)—has beauty gurus fawning over its super plumping and moisturizing properties, and is being put in everything from serums to lotions.
“Hyaluronic acid is a powerful humectant, which basically means that it attracts and retains moisture,” says Sejal Shah, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist in New York. “It gives skin a more hydrated, plump, and youthful appearance.” Consider us intrigued.
Hyaluronic acid is classified as a glycosaminoglycan, which is a very fancy way of describing a molecule composed of carbohydrates and sugars. And despite the high tech-sounding name, hyaluronic acid isn’t the result of some futuristic science experiment—it’s found right in your bod.
“It is a naturally occurring substance in a variety of tissues in the body, including the skin, and is a major component of the extracellular matrix, which is the space between the cells,” says Shah. “It provides moisture, plumpness, and suppleness, as well as aiding in skin repair and protection.”
As you get older, your body produces less and less of this power plumper (goodbye, sweet youth!), so the more you have to rely on getting the good stuff from your skin-care routine. But really, you can benefit from using hyaluronic acid at any age, thanks to its hydrating properties and potential to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, says Shah. And the great news is that products containing hyaluronic acid come in all different forms, ranging from creams to gels to serums, so regardless of your skin type, you can take advantage of its superpower abilities, says Francesca Fusco, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
Wanna get in on the hydrating hyaluronic action? Check out a few of our product picks and plump away.
Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel ($52, drunkelephant.com)
The everyday moisturizer is chock full of antioxidants, including pineapple ceramide to brighten your complexion as it hydrates.
ClarityRX Daily Dose of Water Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Serum ($66, dermstore.com)
This lightweight serum sinks into skin fast, putting the kibosh on dryness.
Cerave Healing Ointment ($15, amazon.com)
Protect cracked skin and help heal minor woes with this non-greasy formula.
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum ($36, sephora.com)
Along with the serum's moisturizing properties, aloe and colloidal oatmeal aid in healing irritated skin.
Apoterra Rose Hydrating Toner ($38, available from our e-tail store, shop.womenshealthmag.com)
Not only does this facial spritz combat dullness, it’s got clarifying ingredients to help unclog pores.