What is Hyaluronic Acid? (& why you need it!)
Recently, it is undeniable that hyaluronic acid, or HA for short, has went from an ingredient only recognised by those of us who partake in cosmetic enhancements to the biggest buzzword in skincare. While generally anyone would flinch at the mere mention of acid and skincare in the same sentence, HA is actually natural substance found in the skin with many useful properties. The phrase smooth as a baby’s bottom comes to mind when you consider that we are all born with a tonne of HA, and it slowly depreciates throughout our lives as our bodies ability to produce it significantly declines with age. HA is responsible for a number of skin boosting benefits including firmness, pliability and plumpness, basically all the signifiers of youth so it is much needed by many of us! But how does it actually work? The science behind it lies in HA’s ability to restore and retain moisture, with just one gram of HA having the ability to hold up to six litres of water. In very technical terms, HA is a humectant, which means it draws water to the skin and helps prevent moisture loss. In much more simple terms HA acts like a sponge specifically for dehydrated skin cells, absorbing water from both the body and the surrounding environment and progressively releasing it back into the skin as needed keeping skin optimally hydrated.
However, HA’s most impressive accolade is that it can hydrate skin to its exact requirements. This is why HA is beneficial for all skin types, making it equally useful for mature skin, dry skin sufferers and oil overproducers alike! Being incredibly gentle, HA can be used on even the most sensitive, blemish and redness prone skin, this coupled with its natural calming properties which makes it a positive influence on any skin surface. Not only this but HA also is a powerful anti-oxidant, it’s properties can help to protect your skin from sun exposure, harsh chemicals and environmental pollutants. Below are our favourite products containing this miraculous little molecule, from the purse friendly steals to the pay day treats there is Hyaluronic Acid for every budget!
Pestle & Mortar Hyaluronic Acid Serum €41.50
Irish brand Pestle & Mortar has achieved cult like status, thanks to its dressing table worthy packaging and excellent quality products. Their most blogged about offering is their HA serum, which is always in high demand. Unlike many serums, Pestle & Mortar’s has a unique texture which is genuinely absorbed fully within seconds of application, and is absolutely weightless. It can be applied both morning and evening and used in conjunction with moisturisers. Many fans of this product rave about its abilities as a makeup primer, helping foundations to be applied more easily and lasting considerably longer. While pure HA is perfect for the Irish climate thanks to our year long damp air, ladies with dryer skin types should be cautious about using this product in drier climates. The dressing table worthy packaging is also a plus!
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Range from €2.75
Neutrogena have always been a go to for the best budget skincare, and their latest range Hydro Boost is fantastic value for money. Containing HA and olive extract, and no denatured alcohol, Hydro Boost is intensely moisturizing, but can be successfully used by all skin types. The cleansers were effective in removing all traces of makeup and leaving the skin feeling deeply clean without any tightness. You may have heard the hardcore skincare bloggers discussing the importance of maintaining the skins natural moisture barrier, and we’re happy to report that the moisturising properties of the cleanser seemed to gradually improve the testers natural skin moisture barrier with continuous use, and the need for other hydrating products was significantly diminished. There are three moisturizers available in the range, one for drier skin, one with added SPF and one for normal skin. All have a gel like consistency, which was quickly absorbed into the skin with no residual greasiness, providing a great base for makeup. Skin felt moisturised throughout the day, without any tell tale oily patches on the forehead or nose. While it is suitable for all, this range has received the most praise from those with normal, combination and oily skin types. Our top picks from the range are the supercharged booster serum and the gelee milk cleanser, both feel like luxury products for a fraction of the price.
Rodial Dragon’s Blood Hyaluronic SPF 15 Moisturiser €30.00
Again, this moisturiser is beneficial for all skin types, but is particularly good for those who suffer from redness and the added SPF makes it a safe bet for day-to-day use. A multi-purpose product, the HA in this product is utilized mainly for its firming properties, and gransil has been added as a skin tone corrector and to help lessen the appearance of lines. Chromabright and vitamin B3 even skin tone and illuminate for a brighter complexion whilst dragon's blood soothes and protects sensitive skin. Only a minimal amount of the product is needed to leave the skin feeling hydrated, with one pump being sufficient per application for the entire face without any greasiness. The skin’s texture was noticeably different after a week of use, with lines noticeably reduced and moisture levels balanced.
Filorga Hydra-Hyal Serum €49.95
From our new Filorga range, Hydra-Hyal serum has a cult following for a number of reasons. Developed by the renowned French laboratory skincare brand Filorga, thee entire skincare line is inspired by aesthetic medicine and contains the purest hyaluronic acid. Boasting an impressive four unique types of HA, alongside plant-based boosters and a patented NCTF complex, this serum promises to plump, smooth and replenish mature skin in only 14 days. This product is recommended to be used twice daily, morning and evening before moisturiser. We can confirm this product lives up to its reputation, with the tester reporting a considerable difference to the texture of their skin from the first week of use! The serum’s consistency is that of a thick gel, however despite this it melted into the skin easily upon application without any wait time and felt light once on the skin. While it has been formulated with mature skin in mind, anyone who suffers with dry skin would benefit from its intensely hydrating properties.
Alpha-H Vitamin C Serum with HA €44.00
HA is a key ingredient in Alpha-H’s Vitamin C serum, which has been developed as an anti-ageing treatment. When topically applied, vitamin C provides a skin-rejuvenating effect by improving collagen synthesis in the skin that slows down with aging, as well as limiting skin damage from free radicals. When used during the day this serum protects against oxidative stress and assists in normal ageing prevention. It is recommended to use in conjunction with a moisturiser.
Vichy Mineral 89 Serum €21.95
Another serum on the list, however Mineral 89 stands out from the crowd in that it has a multitude of skincare benefits divided from only 11 ingredients: it hydrates and plumps skin with moisture, strengthens the skin’s barrier function and also protects skin against the harmful effects of pollution. With HA being its active ingredient, this serum again has a light, refreshing texture which is absorbed easily into the skin to provide radiance enhancing moisture. This formulation is best suited to dryer skin types due to its super hydrating abilities, thanks to the inclusion of Vichy’s own 89% mineral thermal water (which is where the product gets its moniker!)
SOSU Dripping Gold Fake Tan €21.95
HA isn’t only beneficial for your skin, in her latest offering blogger and business woman Suzanne Jackson has included HA in the formulation for her fake tan range Dripping Gold. The tan has been met with rave reviews, almost all of which praise its ease of application and most importantly an even fade! The addition of a premium ingredient HA in the formula is responsible for the tans praised ultra-moisturising ability, which is a key factor in its. Many people who suffer from skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis have also praised the formula which they claim developed patch free on their skin. The tan is available in both a mousse and liquid formula, and in medium, dark and extra dark shades!
Garnier Ambre Solaire Tissue Mask €2.75
HA is even appearing in our sun care, with Garnier Ambre Solair developing a luxurious tissue mask specifically to be used after sun exposure. Again, HA has been included for its super moisturising properties, in order to quench skin dehydrated by the sun in order to prolong a natural tan. The HA also calms the skin, discouraging any redness that may occur.