What Is Hyaluronic Acid & Why Is It Important For Your Skin?

You might have heard of it, or seen it in the ingredients in your skin creams, but have you ever thought ‘what is hyaluronic acid’?

Let’s be real – hyaluronic acid doesn’t sound like something you’d want to use for your skin. It sounds like something that you’d find at the back of the old Chemistry cupboard in school.  But actually, according to ELLE magazine, Hyaluronic Acid actually “holds the key to smooth, flawless and hydrated skin“. Here is why.

What Is Hyaluronic Acid?

Hyaluronic acid is a gel-like molecule that binds to water to retain moisture.

Our bodies actually produce hyaluronic acid naturally. It is used in our connective tissues, like our joints, muscles, and skin, where it stores 1000x its own weight in water. Most of it, just over 50%, is in our skin cells.

However, like most things, our natural ability to produce this miracle molecule declines with age. That’s not great news when, according to Dr Maryam Zamani, it “is critical in maintaining skin hydration“.


How To Replace Your Natural Levels

Now you have the answer to ‘what is hyaluronic acid‘, you probably understand why this little molecule is so important. But you might now be wondering how you get more of it?

There are two popular ways of getting hyaluronic acid to your skin: in topical serums; in a supplement. But which one is best?

  1. Topical creams 
    Hyaluronic acid has been in face creams for a while, but according to Dr Axe, “when applied topically, hyaluronic acid cannot be absorbed”.
  2. Supplements
    According to a leading New York dermatologist, “studies show that ingesting it orally leads to the improvement in the appearance of skin by actually softening wrinkles.”


Which Is Better: Hyaluronic Acid Or Collagen?

Collagen has been a popular beauty supplement for years, but in 2019 Hyaluronic Acid is set to take off. But why is this lesser-known ingredient suddenly trending?

Both collagen and hyaluronic acid are found naturally in our skin cells. But the two work very differently.

Collagen is a structural protein, providing our skin cells with strength and structure. Hyaluronic acid, on the other hand, is a water-retaining molecule, providing our skin cells with moisture.

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Doyle, A., 2019. ‘Move Over Collagen – There’s A New Buzzy Skin Care Supplement In Town’ [Online] <>

Dr Axe, 2018. ‘Hyaluronic Acid Benefits for Skin & Joints — Your Own Anti-Aging Acid’ [Online] <>

ELLE, 2018. ‘What Is Hyaluronic Acid And How Does It Work?’ [Online} <>

Zamani, M., 2018. ‘Discussing The Use Of Hyaluronic Acid In Skincare’. [Online] <>

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Roxanne Griggs

Roxanne Griggs

Public Health Nutritionist (ANutr)

Qualified, Public Health Nutritionist (ANutr).