Supercharged Hyaluronic Acid Will Save Your Skin This Winter

A glowy, hydrated complexion is what we strive for year-round, but come wintertime, it’s easy for that to feel like nothing short of a Christmas miracle. You’ve likely slathered on lotions and potions galore in your quest to combat gale-force winds, brisk temps, and stifling heaters, and as such, are probably aware of a clever little molecule called hyaluronic acid (HA): a naturally occurring glycosaminoglycan, which is science speak for a substance that aids in supporting connective tissues and cushioning joints. On a vanity level, HA is the MVP of moisture (for every skin type since it doesn’t clog pores), adding instant bounce and hydration to the skin.

Although naturally produced by our bodies, hyaluronic acid levels decrease as we age. The good news? You can plump things up just by smoothing it on, says cosmetic chemist Zoia Lascu. “Topical application of hyaluronic acid has been shown to help decrease water loss from the skin’s surface as well as draw in moisture from the surrounding environment.” But the catch up until now: HA molecules were often too large to be absorbed by the skin, so deep, long-term hydration was hard to come by, says New York City dermatologist Dr. Doris Day.

Not so anymore. A new wave of smart HA formulations work harder, penetrate deeper, and are more stable than ever before. Case in point: the LJH Grow Hyal B5 Toner and Ampoule use not one, but five different types of hyaluronic acid to offer intense hydration, while still managing to be featherlight. “Incorporating HA forms of various molecular weight into your skincare routine can tackle multiple concerns like short- and long-term hydration, tissue repair, firming, and elasticity at once due to a ‘synergistic effect’,” says Lascu. “If used consistently over time, HA will not only be absorbed into the skin but with its superior retaining ability, it will also help form a strong moisture barrier,” adds Dr. YoungHoon Kim, a dermatologist at one of Seoul’s LJH Dermatology Clinics.

Here’s how each specific type helps boost hydration and make skin glow:

For instant plumping

Hyaluronic acid is the OG molecule with the capacity to carry up to 1000 times its weigh in water. It acts as a magnet to draw moisture in and give skin an immediate glow.

For deep moisture

Hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid has a lower molecular weight, meaning its able to pass through the skin’s surface to reach the deeper layers of the dermis.

For long-lasting hydration

Sodium hyaluronate (NaHA) is the sodium salt form of hyaluronic acid. It’s more stable and less likely to break down when exposed to air and light.

For barrier repair

Derived from sodium hyaluronate, acetylated hyaluronate (AcHA) is both lipophilic (lipid loving) and hydrophilic (H2O attracting) and has been shown to have higher water-binding abilities that help the outer layers function properly and fight off surface-level dehydration.

For a brightening effect

Ascorbyl propyl hyaluronate, a highly-stable HA-vitamin C hybrid, offers powerhouse brightening and line-softening properties to keep skin plump and even.

If your skin is super parched, try a one-two punch of moisture by pairing an HA-spiked toner and ampoule together, recommends dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner. “Essences and serums tend to be concentrated with high levels of HA and are designed to deliver it [on a deeper level] to the skin.” Hyaluronic acid (in all its glorious forms): 1, Winter: 0

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