It’s not just the cold winter weather that scares our skin. Most of us have started going back to work, thus being more exposed to the sun, commuting with pollutants, and sitting in a freezing centralised AC building all day long—invariably our skin is having to deal with environmental aggressors all over again. It’s time to prepare our skin to hold on to hydration, collagen promoting minerals and protect it against the damage-causing external factors.
Solution: Hyaluronic acid.
This hydrating, skin-plumping, anti-ageing ingredient has taken over the skincare industry and for good reason. We spoke to dermatologist Dr Rickson Pereira, from Dr Rickson’s Dermatherapie Clinic, to know more about this miracle acid, what works best with it and why you should add it to your routine right away.
BB: How does hyaluronic acid help the skin?
Dr Rickson Pereira: Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a sugar that is already a key component of your skin in addition to collagen and elastin. It’s the natural water-holding substance in the skin responsible for giving it a plump and hydrated appearance. HA acts as a ‘humectant,’ meaning: it works like a sponge to help skin retain water. In addition, it also helps with healing wounds , repairing damaged skin, and it acts as an antioxidant to protect skin from damaging molecules or free radicals.
BB: What’s the right age to use this acid? Is it good for a specific skin type?
Dr Rickson Pereira: Anyone who is above the age of 25, and has dry skin or fine lines can use it. A single molecule of hyaluronic acid can bind up to a thousand molecules of water. It is mostly present in serums, creams and lotions that help lock in water, making your skin appear smoother and hydrated.
BB: Can hyaluronic acid help reduce fine lines?
Dr Rickson Pereira: Yes. Hyaluronic acid can significantly reduce the appearance of fine lines by locking moisture on the surface of the skin. Studies have shown that applying hyaluronic acid-infused products twice daily for 8 weeks can reduce the depth of wrinkles and improve the firmness and elasticity of your skin.
BB: Can hyaluronic acid harm your skin in any way? What is the recommended dosage?
Dr Rickson Pereira: Hyaluronic-acid-infused products can make your skin sensitive, cause redness and breakouts for some. A patch test is always recommended. If the weather is dry, hyaluronic acid can lose water and absorb it out of the skin, making your skin drier. In dry weather, you should layer an emollient cream over a hyaluronic acid product to lock in moisture.
BB: What should this acid be paired with for best results?
Dr Rickson Pereira: It can be paired with retinol, niacinamide, vitamin C esters, peptides or panthenol. Avoid pairing it with very acidic products such as L-ascorbic acid or AHAs, as it can cause irritation.
BB: Is hyaluronic acid injectable? What are the kind of treatments that involve this acid?
Dr Rickson Pereira: As we age, the fat, muscles, bones, and skin in our face begin to thin. This loss of volume often leads to either a sunken or sagging appearance of the face, fine lines, wrinkles, facial folds, and thin lips. Injectable HA is known to reduce the appearance of these concerns and to help to create structure, framework, and volume to the face and lips. Hyaluronic acid in its natural form breaks down easily by an enzyme called hyaluronidase in the tissues. Injectable HA is treated to make it last long in tissues for a few months to years.
BB: How should one layer hyaluronic acid? What should be used before, and after?
Dr Rickson Pereira: Hyaluronic acid serum should be layered first on damp skin so it can hold the moisture. You can follow this up with retinol, a moisturiser or a mask-cream to lock all the ingredients in. During the day, you could use a niacinamide or vitamin C ester serum or cream followed by sunscreen.
Now that you know more thanks to Dr Rickson Pereira, add this wonder ingredient to your regimen now. Here are some fabulous, hard working products that you can start with: Nykaa SKINRX 2% Hyaluronic Acid Face Serum, Pilgrim Retinol Under Eye Cream with Vitamin C & Hyaluronic Acid, TONYMOLY Pureness 100 Hyaluronic Acid Mask Sheet, Clinique Moisture Surge 100h Auto-replenishing Hydrator, Dot & Key 72 Hr Hydrating Gel + Probiotics, Re'equil Ceramide & Hyaluronic Acid Moisturiser