Is hyaluronic acid actually making your skin drier?

All products on this page have been selected by the editorial team, however Stylist may make commission on some products purchased through affiliate links in this article

It’s one of the most hydrating ingredients, but if misused, hyaluronic acid can actually dry out your skin. Here’s what you need to know.

There’s no doubt about the efficacy of hyaluronic acid; hailed as a skincare hero by experts and dermatologists alike, it’s a humectant (meaning it helps reduce the loss of moisture) that can hold up to 1000x its own weight in water.

Hyaluronic acid is a naturally-occuring substance that works to help retain the much-needed moisture that both skin and joints need, but as we get older levels tend to deplete which can lead to dullness and loss of elasticity along with fine lines and wrinkles.

Found in a whole load of products, its primary function is restoring and retaining moisture and is suitable for all skin types, including those with sensitive, acne-prone skin.

But despite being a miracle-worker, hyaluronic acid could end up drying out your skin if you’re not careful. Here’s the lowdown on the most effective way to use it…

You may also like

6 skin experts share the beauty products they relied on throughout the first lockdown

What is hyaluronic acid and how does it work?

As Dr Sam Bunting, Harley Street dermatologist and founder of Dr Sam Skincare Club, explains: “It’s a water-holding gel with the ability to hold 1000 times its own weight in moisture. When it’s applied topically, skin acts as a highly-effective barrier and those hyaluronic acid molecules are too big to squeeze through the dermis (the layer of skin beneath the epidermis), which is where it needs to be to help plump lines and wrinkles.”

So instead, it sits on the skin’s surface and acts as a moisturiser through its humectant (water-attracting) properties.

“That means it draws water into skin to keep it hydrated, supple and makes sure it keeps it functioning effectively as a barrier,” says Dr Bunting.

Why could hyaluronic acid dry skin out?

If you’re applying hyaluronic acid to a very dry face, it can actually end up drawing moisture from the deeper levels of your skin, which in turn will cause more harm than good and leave your complexion feeling tight and uncomfortable.

It’s a problem that usually occurs when humidity levels are extremely low – meaning there’s a lack of moisture in the air. 

You may also like

Ceramides: the protective skincare ingredient that’s key to healthier skin

What’s the best way to use hyaluronic acid?

To counteract that issue, Sonia Deasy, founder of skincare brand Pestle & Mortar, always recommends layering hyaluronic acid serum with a moisturiser.

“It helps seal it into your skin and provides a barrier against moisture loss,” she explains.

Deasy also advises applying serum to damp – not completely dry – skin for better results. 

You may also like

What is the difference between dry and dehydrated skin?

The best hyaluronic acid serums:

  • The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5

    This serum delivers intense, long lasting moisture to thirsty cells, visibly plumping and smoothing the skin.

    Shop The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 at Cult Beauty, £6.20


  • La Roche-Posay Hyalu B5 Serum

    Thanks to the B5 and hyaluronic acid, La Roche-Posay’s gel-serum restores suppleness and elasticity. It repairs the skin’s barrier so moisture is kept on lock-down for longer.

    Shop La Roche-Posay Hyalu B5 Serum at Lookfantastic, £38


  • Pestle & Mortar Pure Hyaluronic Serum

    This multi-tasking concentrate targets fine lines, dullness and dehydration. The formula is lightweight, not sticky, and can double up as a make-up primer for a velvety-smooth base.

    Shop Pestle & Mortar Pure Hyaluronic Serum at Lookfantastic, £39


  • Medik8 Hydr8 B5 Serum

    Combining skin-softening vitamin B5 with hyaluronic acid, this hydrates, soothes and reduces inflammation. Bye-bye, redness.

    Shop Medik8 Hydr8 B5 Serum at Lookfantastic, £40


  • Niod Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex II

    This mixes a blend of 15 forms of hyaluronic compounds to make the skin’s surface pillowy and bouncy. It also supports water retention and banishes tightness.

    Shop Niod Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex II at Feelunique, £34.13


  • Paula’s Choice Hyaluronic Acid Booster

    The gel-like texture mixes seamlessly into your existing moisturiser, with pollution-fighting ceramides to help retain moisture.

    Shop Paula’s Choice Hyaluronic Acid Booster at Space NK, £34


  • SkinCeuticals H.A. Intensifier Serum

    It might be pricey, but if you can afford the splurge then this lightweight serum really works. It’s enriched with 10% Proxylane™ (a patented molecule) and botanical extracts to deliver long-lasting hydration, while also toning and tightening to promote a smoother, more refined complexion.

    Shop SkinCeuticals H.A. Intensifier Serum at Lookfantastic, £90

    buy now

You may also like

Glycerin: this skincare ingredient is effective at hydrating and treating dry skin

Main image: Getty

Source: Read Full Article