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Hyaluronic Acid: Ingredient Decoder

Photo: Wei

I turned 24 a week ago and experienced a minor freakout moment. Before you roll your eyes, let me explain. While 24 is still young, I’m now officially in my mid-twenties, which means it’s time to start being a real adult. One requirement of adulthood: a skincare routine that goes beyond splashing my face with cold water. As I realized from looking at old Facebook photos, my skin just doesn’t look as fresh as it once did. My solution? Products infused with hyaluronic acid.

In case you haven’t heard the buzz, this ingredient is famed for its holding up to a thousand times its weight in water. But what does that mean? Brief chemistry lesson: hyaluronic acid may sound like a lab scientist’s invention, but it actually occurs naturally inside your skin. Located beneath the dermis (translation: outer layer), it helps your tissues stay hydrated. When you apply the ingredient to your skin’s surface, it plumps up your face by forming an elastic film of moisture and instantly smoothes rough surfaces. 

In addition to giving skin a dewy glow, hyaluronic acid is a lifesaver for those with super dry skin because it boosts the hydrating properties of your moisturizer. Try layering it under your favorite face cream in the winter months. Product picks after the jump!   

I jumped at the chance to try hyaluronic acid for myself when I came across Wei’s Gingko Leaf Repairing Face Treatment Pads. This is the mother of all face sheet masks: infused with exotic botanical extracts, yes, but also a healthy dose of the water-binding acid. At home after work, I peeled off the mask’s blue top layer, fit the pad over my face, and felt it start to work its magic. The tingly sensation was a little disconcerting at first, but I sat tight for ten minutes. After peeling the mask off, I checked the mirror and noticed that my skin looked way brighter and (don’t scoff) a few years younger. It’s like I reverted to my teenage self again, minus the torn fishnets and the DIY purple highlights. 

Other hyaluronic acid products we love: 

— Mai

Read more Ingredient Decoder posts here.

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