Our winter must-have: Hyaluronic Acid

4 min read

Hyaluronic Acid
Cheat Sheet

Its that time of year again... we put on our cable-knits, decorations come out, homes get cosier, and best of all – Christmas is right around the corner.

The worst part of the changing of the seasons is the effect it has on our skin. The cold weather outside and central heating inside can make skin dry out, which can have negative effects.

Enter superstar ingredient Hyaluronic Acid: this guy is one of the basics you need in your skincare routine. Easy to incorporate, easy to mix with other ingredients, and very effective.

The HA low-down

Pronounced hiya-loo-ron-nick, hyaluronic acid (or as it is more trendily known as – HA), is a natural component of skin. It is a humectant, which means it retains water and so is the key molecule that keeps skin hydrated. Professionals suggest that Hyaluronic acid can hold up to one thousand times its own weight in water molecules. The magic ingredient that keeps skin moisturised throughout the day? There’s a reason why dermatologists call it winter’s must-have.

Hyaluronic acid naturally occurs in our skin: its a chain of carbohydrate molecules which forms part of our skin's extracellular matrix (i.e. the stuff between skin cells). Over time these groups of small but mighty sugar molecules (called polysaccharides), depreciate – due to ageing and other factors like smoking and air pollution. Less HA means the skin has a harder time locking in moisture and staying plump and hydrated – queue fine lines, wrinkles, and dry, dull skin. Uh-oh.

Fortunately for us, we can replace this loss through HA skincare products, like our Mad About Moisture drops.There’s no mistaking that HA is a powerful ingredient we all could do with incorporating into our skincare routine, but how do you use it? How much? And when?

Different types: 

When you look at your INCI (the list of ingredients in a product), you won't normally see the words "hyaluronic acid". This is because hyaluronic acid in its "pure" form is too big to penetrate the skin and so will just sit on its surface. This isn't a bad thing, but it won't have the same effect as other forms of HA which can penetrate deeper. Here are the most common forms to look out for:

Sodium Hyaluronate is the salt of HA. Its a smaller molecule than HA and so can penetrate the top layers of our skin, helping draw in moisture and keep skin looking plump.

Hydrolyzed Sodium Hyaloronate is, ultimately, an even smaller version of hyaluronic acid (we take sodium hyaluronate and put it through a further chemical reaction with water to get hydrolized sodium hyaluronate). Because it has an even smaller molecular weight than sodium hyaluronate, it can go deeper into our skin helping to bring moisture there.

Sodium acetylated hyaluronateis a chemically altered version of hyaluronic acid (where the hydroxyl group of HA is partially replaced with acetyl group). Its able to attract and retain water in the epidermis, helping plump and hydrate skin.

What does Bolt use, and why?

We use sodium hyaluronate and hydrolized sodium hyaluronate in Mad About Moisture.

By combining both hydrolyzed sodium hyaluronate and sodium hyaluronate (i.e. small molecules and even smaller molecules) in Mad About Moisture, we get to effectively target different parts of the skin with water-attracting ingredients.

What products is HA used in?

  • Moisturisers
  • Serums
  • Sheet masks
  • Eye creams
  • Cleansers
  • Lip treatments

Basically anything that you might use for a hydrating or skin plumping boost.

How can I use it?

We recommend incorporating HA into your skincare routine via your daily moisturiser. This is because moisturisers are made up of different types of "moisturising" ingredients which are designed to work well together. HA is a "humectant" - which meant that it attracts water molecules and holds on to them. You want to combine humectants with emollients (ingredients which trap in moisture by forming a barely detectable layer on the top of your skin) so that the water attracted by the humectant ingredients doesn't disappear. (If you're using an HA serum, it goes on under your moisturiser for this reason.) We also love a HA face mask or sheet mask for an extra boost of hydration.  

Most ingredients are completely fine to use with hyaluronic acid, including retinoids, vitamins, other acids and even peels. But make sure you watch out for acids with low pH levels, like glycolic acid, because they may degrade the HA and make it ineffective.


The takeaway:

Hyaluronic Acid is a wonder ingredient year round, but is most useful in Winter, as that is when your skin has trouble retaining moisture most due to the cold weather (this is because when it's cold and dry, the water in our skin evaporates more quickly versus when its hot and humid). Our Mad About Moisture moisturising drops contain two weights of HA, to keep skin healthy, glowy, plump and hydrated, (and also prevent wrinkles). These can be used on-the-go, at your boyfriends/girlfriends house, before date night, after the gym, or wherever you like. When you're done, just pop them in the compost bin or dissolve in boiling water for sustainable skincare.🌏⚡️

Kelly Washington

Kelly is Bolt's Social Media Manager and London-based freelance Fashion and Arts journalist.

She has an MA in Fashion Communication from Central Saint Martins and a BA in English Literature and Linguistics from the University of Manchester. She has written for Hunger Magazine, TANK, Miuse and Fashion Unfiltered covering a range of topics including fashion, music, youth culture and art. For copywriting and commissions email kelly.washington1@outlook.com.

Kelly Washington - Bolt Beauty

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