Beauty School: what is hyaluronic acid?

You might have heard the term hyaluronic acid several times in relation to skincare and just let it wash over your head. It sounds scientific, and the word acid is scary. Why would I put acid on my face? Well, that's for another day. The term 'hyaluronic acid' first stopped washing over my head when I heard Jennifer Rock describe it as having the ability to turn skin that resembled a raisin to having the plumpness of a grape, so I asked her to explain a little more.

When did hyaluronic acid first enter the universe?

"Skincare follows fashion and catwalk trends. Hyaluronic acid was THE skingredient for 2015 and 2016 and still carries its own weight. Rightfully so, as it is a humectant."

What's a humectant?

"It means that it has the ability to pull water to an area and thus swell it so that it makes the skin visibly plumper and fuller. It is a known hydrator but beware, you need to be careful of depending on it too much if it is being used alone."
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READ MORE: Ask The Expert: How Long Do I Need To Use A Skincare Product Before I Start Seeing Results?

Why? What's the worst that can happen from over-hydrating your skin?

"Due to its ability to bring moisture to the area, if it is used solo and in a dry climate or atmosphere it can dehydrate the skin as it draws the lack of moisture to the skin. I love to mix it in with another oil-based serum so it locks the nourishment in."

What are your favourite products containing hyaluronic acid?

OUR HYALURONIC HEROES

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Seoulista Super Hydration Instant Facial, €8.99

WHAT IS IT?

A gel-like mask infused with hyaluronic acid.

WHAT'S IN IT:

The mask contains natural coconut and hyaluronic acid and is packed with vitamins and antioxidants. All the good stuff.

WHAT DOES IT DO?

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Leave it on a freshly cleansed face for twenty minutes or more to reveal skin that feels smoother, plump, soft and purified. It's like giving yourself a facial. If you take it off carefully and place it back in the packaging, you can get another wear out of it, and you can stick your finger in and use up all the leftover serum on your neck. Big night out planned? Wear it for 30 minutes, wait another 30 minutes before doing your make-up then watch your make-up glide on. Use it again the next day to get rid of any drinkles. Wear it on a long-haul flight too, if you're fancy.
Vichy LiftActiv Hyalu Mask, €45

WHAT IS IT?

A once-a-week mask that immediately hydrates the skin after a rough week.

WHAT'S IN IT?

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There's agave yeast syrup to protect your skin's natural hyaluronic acid and a 1% dose of natural low weight and high weight hyaluronic acid to hydrate and plump the skin while fighting signs of ageing.

WHAT DOES IT DO?

Skin feels instantly hydrated and smoothed and over time, skin tone is improved. It's an especially good Sunday facial treat to yourself to get your skin feeling fresh and back on track, particularly if you engaged in some dehydrating activities the night before.

WHAT IS IT?

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This is a serum and cream in one, hydrating and plumping the skin with hyaluronic acid molecules coupled with vitamin B5 to minimize signs of ageing and replenish the barrier of the skin.

WHAT'S IN IT?

There's high weight and low weight hyaluronic aid for a double dose of external and internal plumping, vitamin B5 to restore your skin's repairing process, a soothing and wound healing ingredient called madecassoside and, of course, La Roche-Posay's famous thermal spring water for sensitivity soothing, free radical destroying and skin barrier restoring.

WHAT DOES IT DO?

The high weight hyaluronic acid creates a barrier on the skin, plumping it and holding in moisture, where the low weight hyaluronic penetrates in the skin to replump it from within. It feels like bringing your face for a swim.
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For more beauty features, check out the September issue of IMAGE Magazine, on shelves nationwide now.

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