One of the most moisturizing humectants around, hyaluronic acid exists naturally in the fluids of our eyes and joints, but it's also extremely beneficial when used exteriorly. For example...
Have dry hair but need volume?
Not only a great skin moisturizer, sodium hyaluronate works lovely on hair, too. It provides lightweight moisturization, making it perfect for volumizing products such as Kerastase Bain Densite Shampoo, which fattens up hair strands with glucopeptides, panthenol, and HA with a filler-like action. Meanwhile, conditioners like Phytobaume are repairing and leave hair in better shape. Plugging in HA as a humectant helps seal in the keratin in this great formula. Penetrating macadamia nut oil and corn, soy, and wheat proteins repair hair and leave it manageable.
Need full coverage AND soft skin?
The sodium hyaluronate in this makeup keeps skin hydrated throughout the whole day. It also helps product settle into skin without cracking or flaking. Hourglass Illusion Hyaluronic Skin Tint was dewy, soft, and gave full coverage. The SPF saves time and other product, while HA makes this foundation as moisturizing as a BB cream. Lastly, I love the soft pearlescent finish.
Skin lacking vitamins?
Dr. Dennis’ lovely products--cruelty-free and vegan, btw-- deliver the moisture payoff of HA with other highly active ingredients. The Hyaluronic Moisture Cushion is a dream! (It has a similar gel-like texture to The Face Shop's chia seed moisturizer that I like so much.) The Age Erase Recovery Mask was pleasant and warming, and packed with Vitamins A, B, C, D and E, and it made a super thick coating on my skin that stayed on to hydrate through the night. Both Dr. Dennis eye creams, Hydra-Pure and Ferulic + Retinol, deliver a plumping effect. Grab the latter if you have sun damage, and the former if you're looking for firming power and antioxidants.
Dealing with dry skin or wrinkles that need plumping?
One of the pioneers of using Sodium Hyaluronate in skin care, France's Embryolisse has it going on. Rich in HA as well as shea and cotton butter, the brand's Anti Age Comfort Mask is an amazing rescue for all skin types.
The Re-densifying Serum and Eye and Lip Contour Cream are both rich in resveratrol, a potent plant polyphenol, along with marine collagen and vitamin E to act as antioxidants. Both have a light feel, sink in quickly, and have a plumping effect. I've been a fan of the HA-rich Compact Foundation Cream for a few months now--it would work beautifully for dry or mature skin.
What about my naturals gals?
Luxury brands have been quick to offer products with hyaluronic acid from vegan sources. (Usually it's extracted from rooster combs.) Tata Harper's richly scented Rejuvenating Serum is a wonderful example of how natural brands are harnessing this humectant. This collagen boosting serum is packed with botanical ingredients and is suitable for many skin types.
Kat Burki's Antioxidant Face Mask is an excellent way to relieve your skin after a long, hard week. Kaolin clay absorbs impurities while raw blueberries and raspberries join glycolic and lactic acid to dissolve dead skin cells. Coconut oil, sweet almond oil, and hyaluronic acid act like a battery to charge your skin with moisture in 15 minutes or less.
Kahina is a socially conscious brand I am pretty fond of, and this Eye Serum is such a hit. Fair trade argan and olive oils load skin with fatty acids while sodium hyaluronate and peptides sink in deeply.
Have a case of hyperpigmentation?
One of Australia’s best exports, Jurlique uses natural ingredients paired with the moisturizing power of hyaluronic acid to deliver VitaBrightKX, a brightening complex that fights discoloration and sun damage. In the Treatment Serum, Day Moisturizer and Night Moisturizer in the Purely Bright line, extracts of Kadaku plum and African birch provide antioxidants C and E. The serum sinks in quickly so skin can accept the lightweight Day Moisturizer or the thicker, more luxurious Night Moisturizer with botanicals such as turmeric, calendula, and marshmallow.
Buying your HA products on a budget?
All three of these babies are under $20.
JuJu Cosmetics Aqua Moist Moisturizing Lotion is a fabulous Asian toner, and an excellent introduction to sodium hyaluronate. This toner contains three different forms of HA to be extra hydrating. (Try soaking a blank sheet mask in this--and thank me later.)
NOW Solutions provides two affordable and effective preparations containing HA. Their Firming Serum and Moisturizing Lotion have a very pleasant scent and sink into the skin completely, leaving a matte finish and plump, dewy skin.
Need INSTANT HA plumping power?
When you need an instant skin fix, sheet masks are my fave. Sheet masks adhere to your face, keeping the product moist and in contact with your skin where it can sink in deep. I love them so much I use them twice a week.
After trying these four hyaluronic acid masks, my two picks are the Rohto Hadalabo Gojukun Hyaluronic Face Mask and The Face Shop Baby Face Hydrogel Hyaluronic Acid Mask. The other two were just OK.
Trying out all these HA products has left me exhausted, but SO VERY MOISTURIZED. No matter your budget or concern, there's really something for everyone when it comes to hyaluronic acid.
- What hyaluronic acid-containing products do you have on hand right now?
- Any favorites to speak of?
Photos by Darnell Scott