HA Serum, Creams and Supplements
Hyaluronic acid for the face is found in serums, moisturizers, toners, and oral supplements. It is also called HA and hyaluronan and is listed as its INCI name sodium hyaluronate on skin care product labels.
This blog will review what hyaluronic acid in skin care, what it does for the face, the benefits of hyaluronic acid, the side effects, and if it is safe in pregnancy. We will help you find the best hyaluronic acid skin care products for your skin type.
Knowing your Baumann Skin Type is the best way to shop for HA skin care products.
Hyaluronic Acid Serum
HA serums are one of the best-selling skin care products. What benefits do they have that make them so popular in 2023?
HA has the benefit of giving an instant skin firming jello feel and dewy glow to the skin due to the humectant ability to pull water to the skin’s surface. HA serums can dramatically increase the effectiveness of other antiaging serums like Vitamin C in your skin care routine- increasing both the efficacy and the side effects.
When you use HA serum in the skin care routine is also important.
So learn the facts about HA serums before you buy one for your skin care routine.
Best HA Serums For Most Skin Types
Dermatologist-recommended HA Serums
There are so many HA serums on the market. The best drugstore hyaluronic acid serum that can be found at Target is Cera Ve Hyaluronic Acid Serum. We sell it online and you will know which step to use it in your skin care routine when you use our skin care routine builder.
The 10 best hyaluronic acid serums are:
- Alastin HA Immerse Serum
- CeraVe Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum
- ClarityRX Daily Dose of Water - Hyaluronic Acid Serum
- ISDIN Hyaluronic Concentrate
- La Roche-Posay Hyalu B5 Hyaluronic Acid Serum
- Medature Hydro-Dew Soothing and Smoothing Serum
- PCA Skin Hyaluronic Acid Boosting Serum
- Replenix Hyaluronic Acid Hydration Serum
- SkinCeuticals HA Intensifier
- SkinMedica HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator
Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizers
Hyaluronic acid (HA) products come in various moisturizer formulations. The primary difference between HA creams and lotions is their composition and intended function. HA serums are typically water-based and have a lighter consistency, allowing for rapid absorption and efficient hydration by binding water directly to the skin. HA lotions have some fatty acids in them and some oils but not as much as creams do.
The fatty acids and oils in creams provide occlusive benefits, forming a barrier on the skin's surface to trap moisture and prevent evaporation, especially in dry climates.
Hyaluronic Acid Creams
HA creams are better than HA serums for dry skin types and creams are particularly advantageous for those with dry skin types living in arid environments, as it ensures prolonged hydration and moisture retention.
While both HA serums and creams offer hydration benefits, creams, due to their occlusive properties, might be a more suitable choice for those seeking sustained moisture in drier conditions or for intrinsically dry skin types.
How to find the best HA serum or cream for my skin type?
There are many factors to take int account when shopping for the best HA serums and creams for your skin type. This is what our dermatologists recommend:
- Take the skin type test
- Get a step-by step regimen
- See what routine step to use the HA products
- Choose your favorite HA serum from many brands of medical grade products
- Read reviews from others with your same skin type
- Build your routine
Watch for emails with custom advice about how to care for your skin type and skin concerns.
You can be confident that you are using the best skin care routine for your skin type when you follow these steps before buying a HA skin care product.
Benefits of Hyaluronic acid
Hyaluronic acid is a glycosaminoglycan found in the skin, joins, eyes, and gums. In skin care products it is used as a moisturizing humectant and antiaging ingredient. In supplements it can be used to relieve joint pain and arthritis.
Skin Benefits of Hyaluronic acid
Benefits of Natural Hyaluronic Acid in Skin
Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a fundamental component of the extracellular matrix (ECM), the intricate network outside of cells that provides structural and biochemical support to surrounding cells. Within the ECM, HA plays several crucial roles.
HA acts as a mediator for cell communication, signaling cells like fibroblasts to carry out specific functions.
HA provides structural scaffolding to which fibroblasts (skin cells) can adhere. This attachment is not merely physical but also biochemical, signaling fibroblasts to produce more HA and collagen, two critical molecules for maintaining skin's strength, appearance, and resilience.
HA is vital in managing the balance of salt and water within tissues. Its unique molecular structure allows it to bind to water molecules, thereby helping to maintain tissue hydration and imparting a plump appearance to the skin. From a physics perspective, the water-binding capability of HA provides a cushioning effect, acting as a shock absorber that protects the skin and underlying tissues from mechanical stresses. This cushioning not only safeguards against physical damage but also helps maintain the structural integrity of the ECM.
In essence, the many roles of HA in the skin underline its importance in ensuring cellular function, tissue hydration, and structural protection, making it indispensable in the complex interplay of skin health and physiology.
Benefits of HA in Topical Skin Care Products
Hyaluronic acid has many benefits when used topically on the skin such as:
- Erases fine lines by plumping the skin
- Makes skin feel firmer
- Hydrates the skin temporarily
- Helps other products absorb into the skin
Benefits of HA in Oral Supplements
Hyaluronic acid (HA) supplements and capsules have gained popularity for their purported health benefits. When considering supplementation, it's always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional. Here are some potential benefits of hyaluronic acid supplements by body area:
- Hydration: HA is known to retain moisture, potentially helping to hydrate the skin when taken orally.
- Anti-aging: There's some evidence to suggest that HA supplements might improve skin elasticity and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
- Improved skin texture: Some people find that their skin feels smoother and looks more radiant with HA supplementation.
- Lubrication: HA contributes to the viscosity of the synovial fluid, which lubricates joints. Supplements might help maintain optimal joint function.
- Pain relief: Some studies suggest that HA supplements might help reduce joint pain, particularly in people with osteoarthritis.
- Reduced inflammation: There is some indication that HA might help reduce inflammation in the joints.
- Moisture retention: HA supplements can help maintain the moisture levels in the eyes, potentially benefiting those with dry eyes.
- Vision protection: While direct supplementation effects are still being researched, maintaining adequate eye hydration can support overall eye health.
Bones and Connective Tissues:
- Bone strength: Preliminary research suggests that HA might play a role in preserving bone strength.
- Tissue repair: Given its presence in connective tissues, there's interest in whether HA supplementation could aid in tissue repair processes.
- Gum health: Some evidence suggests that HA might support gum health and aid in the healing of gum tissues, possibly by reducing inflammation and promoting tissue regeneration.
- Hydration and strength: HA supplements might contribute to a hydrated scalp, potentially leading to healthier and stronger hair.
What Does Hyaluronic Acid Do for the Skin?
Hyaluronan is a skin sugar known as a glycosaminoglycan.
Hyaluronic acid is a humectant that holds 1000 times its weight in water, giving skin it’s plumpness and jello skin feel.
Topical products, natural HA, and HA supplements have these benefits and make your skin look:
Does hyaluronic acid get rid of redness?
Hyaluronic acid does not have any anti-inflammatory effects or skin calming benefits.
It can help other anti-redness ingredients absorb better.
It can also cause acne medications to eb more irritating by increasing their absorption.
Does hyaluronic acid tighten skin?
HA is a humectant that binds water to the skin's surface. This can make the skin feel tighter- but the effects are temporary.
It has been called a skin firming ingredient because it increases the skin's ability to hold onto water making it plumper and firmer.
How long does it take hyaluronic acid to tighten skin?
The tightening effects of HA occur in about 15- 30 minutes after application if you are in a humid environment.
If you are in a dry environment, HA may not tighten the skin or may take longer to work.
Is hyaluronic acid or Vitamin C better for wrinkles?
Hyaluronic acid and ascorbic acid work differently on wrinkles.
Hyaluronic acid works fast on wrinkles but effects are temporary.
Vitamin C takes months to improve wrinkles but wrinkle improvement is long lasting
For best results on wrinkles, some skin types can use Vitamin C, retinol, and hyaluronic acid together.
Take the quiz and build a routine to know the best products to use for your skin type.
What is better for wrinkles - retinol or hyaluronic acid?
Both retinol and HA are antiaging ingredients used in skin care products.
Retinol has side effects and takes longer to work, but improvements on wrinkles are much more permanent than with HA serums.
HA can immediately improve and plump wrinkles, but when HA is washed off, the wrinkles return within one day.
You can use retinol and HA together, but HA can increase side effects of retinol by increasing retinol absorption.
How long does it take hyaluronic acid to reduce wrinkles?
In a humid climate, applying HA to the skin can reduce fine lines within minutes as it pulls water to the skin's surface.
The anti-wrinkle effects of HA go away within hours after the HA is washed off. The beneficial effect will go away faster in a dry climate.
Is Hyaluronic Acid in Skin Care Products and Supplements Safe?
Topical HA is safe when used in skin care products. There is no risk of cancer or skin allergy.
The CIR reviewed the data on HA and published a paper on its safety. (3)
The EWG rates sodium hyaluronate as a 1, meaning it is safe.
Is HA a Clean Ingredient?
Unless HA is animal derived, it is considered a clean ingredient. It meets most clean beauty standards.
Hyaluronic Acid Side Effects
The side effects of hyaluronic acid serums and moisturizers are due to it’s ability to increase the penetration of other ingredients.
This is why you need a personalized skin care routine for your Baumann Skin Type- so that these issues can be taken into account when deciding if HA is safe for your skin.
Is Hyaluronic acid safe in Pregnancy?
Should you avoid hyaluronic acid in skin care products, supplements, and dermal fillers when you are pregnant?
You can use hyaluronic acid in skin care products when you are pregnant. Hyaluronic acid in serums and face creams is not dangerous when you are pregnant. There is not a risk to the baby.
Do not use dermal fillers when pregnant becuase the lidocaine anesthesia in the product is not safe for the fetus.
Discuss using oral supplements with your doctor when pregnant. HA supplements are probably safe, but you need to discuss with your doctor about which brand is safest in pregnancy.
Hyaluronic Acid Supplement and Capsule Benefits
HA supplements also used to treat many conditions.
Joints and Arthritis:
Hyaluronic acid (HA) supplements have emerged as a popular therapeutic approach in the management of joint health and arthritis. In the context of osteoarthritis, where the natural lubrication of joints is compromised, HA supplements, especially in the form of injections directly into the joint space, aim to restore this lost lubrication. By doing so, they can improve joint mobility, reduce friction between joint surfaces, and alleviate associated pain. The viscoelastic properties of HA make it an ideal substance for cushioning joints and providing shock absorption. Additionally, its anti-inflammatory effects can help decrease inflammation within the joint, further relieving pain and discomfort commonly associated with arthritis.
Hyaluronic acid's innate ability to retain moisture has led to its utilization in eye health supplements and treatments. Oral HA supplements are believed to support overall ocular hydration, potentially benefiting individuals with dry eyes. Furthermore, HA's water-binding properties are harnessed in many over-the-counter eye drops to provide immediate relief from dryness, irritation, and discomfort. By promoting moisture retention and forming a protective layer on the eye's surface, these eye drops can enhance visual comfort, especially in environments that contribute to eye dryness, like air-conditioned spaces or prolonged screen time.
Oral health is another area where HA supplements have shown promise. The health and regeneration of gum tissues are essential for overall dental well-being. HA, with its wound-healing and anti-inflammatory properties, is believed to support gum health by promoting tissue repair and reducing inflammation. Some dental products, including toothpaste and oral gels, now incorporate HA, aiming to boost gum recovery after dental procedures or simply to maintain healthy gum tissues. Regular intake of HA supplements might also contribute to gum resilience against common oral health issues, ensuring strong and healthy gums.
Hyaluronic Acid Toners and Essences
HA toners and essences are a great way to apply HA to the skin.
Essences and toners are often less expensive that hyaluronic acid serums.
These are good HA toners:
Where is hyaluronic acid found in the skin?
HA is found in the dermal layer of the skin in the extracellular matrix and concentrated at the periphery and interface of collagen and elastin fibers.
Mature skin has less HA and connections of HA with collagen and elastin fibers are decreased.
Is HA a natural Ingredient?
HA is naturally occurring and is considered a natural ingredient.
However, some HA is animal-derived (from rooster combs) so make sure you know where the HA in your skin care products come from. Most HA in skin care is derived from fermenting bacteria or yeast.
What does natural hyaluronic acid do in the skin?
HA is found naturally in your skin. It is an important molecule and has many beneficial effects.
Hyaluronic acid levels in the skin decrease with age. This makes skin loose volume and look less plump.
Other important actions of natural HA are:
- Affects keratinocyte differentiation (2)
- Affects formation of lamellar bodies via its interaction with CD44, a cell surface glycoprotein receptor with HA binding sites.
- Binds growth factors and cytokines and hold them creating gradients of these communicating factors. (3)
What is hyaluronic acid made from?
Hyaluronic acid is not a protein- it is technically a sugar.
Hyaluronic acid is made from sugars called disaccharides. These disaccharides are composed of alternating D-glucuronic acid and N-acetyl-D-glucosamine linked into chains.
Do HA serums and creams absorb into the skin?
When HA skincare products are applied to the skin, their ability to penetrate depends on the size and structure of the HA molecules. Despite HA being highly water-attracting, it can penetrate the skin's layers, if the molecule size is under 500 kDa.
Once it's in the skin, HA doesn't stay long as it breaks down after a while from natural enzymes in the skin called hyaluronidase.
The degree to which HA is absorbed by the skin hinges on the molecular weight and chain size of the pieces of HA, as well as whether these chains are crosslinked.
Larger, crosslinked HA molecules are found in dermal fillers. They cannot penetrate into skin without a needle. Long chains of HA with a high molecular weight (mw) tend to stay on the skin's surface, providing moisturizing benefits. Meanwhile, shorter chains with a smaller mw can both remain on the surface or penetrate into the skin.
Often skin care products will contain short and long chains of HA. One example is the SkinMedica HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator which contains five different lengths and sizes of HA, which is why it is the most expensive HA serum.
Is HA right for my skin type?
Our dermatologists can tell you if HA is worth the cost for you and help you find the best HA products for your skin type!
Best References and Scientific Publications on Hyaluronic Acid in Skin Care::
- Baumann L. in Ch 2 Dermis of Baumann’s Cosmetic Dermatology (McGraw Hill 2022)
- Strnadova, K., Sandera, V., Dvorankova, B., Kodet, O., Duskova, M., Smetana, K., & Lacina, L. (2019). Skin aging: the dermal perspective. Clinics in Dermatology, 37(4), 326-335.
- Bergfeld, W. F., Belsito, D. V., Marks Jr, J. G., & Andersen, F. A. (2005). Safety of ingredients used in cosmetics. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 52(1), 125-132.
- Belsito, M. D., Cohen, D. E., Klaassen, C. D., Rettie, A. E., Ross, D., Thomas, J., ... & Writer, C. I. R. Safety Assessment of Hyaluronates as U
- Becker, L. C., Bergfeld, W. F., Belsito, D. V., Klaassen, C. D., Marks, J. G., Shank, R. C., ... & Andersen, F. A. (2009). Final report of the safety assessment of hyaluronic acid, potassium hyaluronate, and sodium hyaluronate. International journal of toxicology, 28(4_suppl), 5-67.
- Maheu, E., Rannou, F., & Reginster, J. Y. (2016, February). Efficacy and safety of hyaluronic acid in the management of osteoarthritis: evidence from real-life setting trials and surveys. In Seminars in arthritis and rheumatism (Vol. 45, No. 4, pp. S28-S33). WB Saunders.
- Bravo, B., Correia, P., Goncalves Junior, J. E., Sant'Anna, B., & Kerob, D. (2022). Benefits of topical hyaluronic acid for skin quality and signs of skin aging: From literature review to clinical evidence. Dermatologic Therapy, 35(12), e15903.
- Legouffe, R., Jeanneton, O., Gaudin, M., Tomezyk, A., Gerstenberg, A., Dumas, M., ... & Schnebert, S. (2022). Hyaluronic acid detection and relative quantification by mass spectrometry imaging in human skin tissues. Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry, 414(19), 5781-5791.