Hyaluronic acid is an extremely popular ingredient in skincare products, and there are hundreds of different hyaluronic acid skincare products on the market today. It will hydrate your skin, but is hyaluronic acid good for acne?
This is a question that often comes up from people dealing with acne or congestion-prone skin. Hyaluronic acid may indirectly help with acne, depending on the hyaluronic acid formula and your skin type.
Don’t be scared by the word acid. Hyaluronic acid is all about nourishing and replenishing the skin. It works well with many other skincare products and can easily be incorporated into your skincare routine.
We’ll discuss the benefits of hyaluronic acid in this blog post and see if it’s something you should consider adding to your skincare routine for acne-prone skin.
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What is Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a naturally occurring substance in the skin and body that can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water and is found throughout your skin tissue. This means it can attract and bind moisture from the air into your skin cells which helps keep them hydrated.
Hyaluronic acid is a humectant and acts like a sponge. HA works by holding onto water molecules, so they don’t evaporate from your face as quickly. It leaves your skin looking plumper, minimizing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. It also keeps moisture locked into your skin during the day.
As a result of lower levels of HA, skin experiences lower hydration levels, and the visible signs of aging become more pronounced, including wrinkles, fine lines, and sagging skin. Luckily, external application of hyaluronic acid on the skin provides surface hydration and helps to plump the skin.
There are different molecular weights of hyaluronic acid available. It is believed that lower molecular weight hyaluronic acid can penetrate the skin deeper for improved hydration. Choosing a hyaluronic acid product that contains multiple HA sizes should help improve surface hydration.
The Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid
Studies have shown that hyaluronic acid has many benefits for the skin. This study showed that after applying a serum with 5 different kinds of hyaluronic acid twice a day over 4 weeks, participants displayed an immediate and longer-term improvement in skin texture and skin moisture with a reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
HA also supports a healthy skin barrier. This study on skin tissue found that crosslinked resilient HA developed to be an injectable filler, increased epidermal water content, reduced transepidermal water loss, and improved skin barrier function. Injectable hyaluronic acid can even stimulate collagen production.
If you use an HA serum, be sure to follow with a moisturizer or oil to seal in hydration. Otherwise, choose a moisturizer formulated with hyaluronic acid to lock in moisture, like the Neutrogena moisturizer mentioned below.
The Drawbacks of Hyaluronic Acid for Acne
Hyaluronic acid is a trendy ingredient in skincare products today, so often, it is combined with other ingredients that might clog pores and may not work well for acne-prone skin. So it is important to review ingredient lists of hyaluronic acid products if you are concerned about breakouts and acne.
You also may be misusing hyaluronic acid. If using a hyaluronic acid serum, be sure to follow with a moisturizer to lock in all that HA hydration. Otherwise, it may evaporate, causing your skin to become dehydrated.
As previously mentioned, dehydrated skin can lead to oil overproduction and a worsening of acne and breakouts.
Is Hyaluronic Acid Good For Acne?
Hyaluronic acid helps moisturize your skin and hold in hydration. If you suffer from dryness or flaky skin, then hyaluronic acid can be very beneficial for you as it helps to retain the skin’s natural moisture.
For acne sufferers, hyaluronic acid may help hydrate your skin which may indirectly impact acne.
Oily and acne-prone skin types need hydration, too. If these skin types become
dehydrated, the skin may compensate by producing more oil, making acne and breakouts worse.
If you have acne-prone skin or are struggling with congestion, then hyaluronic acid may be something you want to consider adding to your skincare routine as it can help hydrate the skin and support a healthy skin barrier.
A strong skin barrier is crucial for protecting the skin against environmental aggressors, which can cause dryness, irritation and ultimately worsen acne.
So hyaluronic acid = a stronger, healthy skin barrier, which protects against inflammation, irritation, and an increase in breakouts.
Hyaluronic Acid Picks for a Healthy Skin Barrier
The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 Serum
The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 Serum is a vegan water-based serum that contains low-, medium- and high-molecular-weight HA plus a next-generation HA crosspolymer for hydration on multiple levels.
The formula also contains vitamin B5, also known as panthenol, which has anti-inflammatory properties and helps to strengthen the skin’s natural moisture barrier.
These ingredients make it a good choice if you want an effective hyaluronic acid serum to support a healthy skin barrier and improve dryness and dehydration.
La Roche-Posay Hyalu B5 Hyaluronic Acid Serum
La Roche-Posay Hyalu B5 Hyaluronic Acid Serum is an anti-aging hyaluronic acid face and neck serum formulated with concentrated pure hyaluronic acid, madecassoside, and vitamin B5 (panthenol) for effective hydration that is even suitable for sensitive skin.
Sodium hyaluronate is the salt form of hyaluronic acid. It hydrates and plumps the skin. Madecassoside, from the Centella Asiatica plant, offers reparative, soothing and antioxidant benefits, making it ideal for irritated skin. Panthenol (vitamin B5) moisturizes and has healing properties.
This anti-aging concentrate has a rich texture that helps moisturize the skin and plump out fine lines making it a great choice if you want an effective hyaluronic acid serum that can help hydrate your skin without irritating it.
The oil-free formula is non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog your pores. It’s allergy tested and paraben-free.
Related Post: Can You Use Niacinamide with Hyaluronic Acid?
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Water Gel
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Water Gel (shown above in the fragrance-free gel-cream formula) is formulated with hyaluronic acid, which acts like a sponge, absorbing water from the air and holding it in the skin.
It is also designed not to clog pores, making it a good option for those dealing with acne-prone skin or who want an effective hyaluronic acid moisturizer without concerns about breakouts.
The oil-free formula is very lightweight and non-greasy. It absorbs quickly into the skin like a gel and can help protect against moisture loss during the day like a cream without feeling heavy on your skin. It’s perfect for wearing under makeup.
Does Hyaluronic Acid Help With Acne Scars?
Hyaluronic acid can provide a temporary plumping of the skin, which might improve the look and smoothness of some acne scars. When used as a filler and injected by a professional, hyaluronic acid can help to reduce the look of depressed acne scars.
Does Hyaluronic Acid Cause Acne?
If hyaluronic acid is not used correctly, it has the potential to make acne worse. Hyaluronic acid itself is non-comedogenic, which means that it won’t clog pores. But depending on the hyaluronic acid product formula, it may contain ingredients that could cause acne.
It is possible for a product that contains HA to cause acne in some skin types as the formula can be too rich and heavy, but this is more likely to happen with products that contain comedogenic ingredients.
Related Post: Is Cetaphil Good For Acne?
Does Oily Skin Need Hyaluronic Acid?
Oily skin needs hydration, too. If oily skin becomes dehydrated, the skin may compensate by producing more oil, worsening acne, and breakouts.
If you have acne-prone skin or are struggling with congestion, then hyaluronic acid may be something to consider adding to your skincare routine, as it can help hydrate the skin and support a healthy skin barrier.
A strong skin barrier is very important for protecting the skin against environmental aggressors, which can cause dryness, irritation and ultimately worsen acne.
Does Hyaluronic Acid Work On Cystic Acne?
If you have cystic acne, adding hyaluronic acid to your skincare routine may not have much of an effect on your acne breakouts. It can be more effective at helping hydrate the skin, leading to a healthier skin barrier and better overall skin health.
Will Hyaluronic Acid Clog Your Pores?
Hyaluronic acid does not clog pores, as it is noncomedogenic. But be sure to review all ingredients in your hyaluronic acid product to ensure that it does not contain any comedogenic (pore-clogging) ingredients.
Related Post: Does Rosehip Oil Clog Pores?
Is Hyaluronic Acid Similar To Salicylic Acid Or Glycolic Acid?
Hyaluronic acid is often compared to glycolic acid and salicylic acid as it can have similar effects on the skin, like helping with hydration, boosting glow, and supporting a healthier skin barrier.
Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), and salicylic acid (BHA) is a beta hydroxy acid. Glycolic acid offers anti-aging benefits and helps to refine skin tone and texture.
Salicylic acid also exfoliates the skin and travels into pores to remove excess sebum and dirt that can contribute to blemishes and acne. Both are exfoliating acids that sweep away dead skin cells to reveal brighter and fresher skin.
Hyaluronic acid is not an exfoliating acid, like AHAs or BHAs. It is an effective moisturizer for the skin and can help boost hydration levels.
But it is not a blemish or pore-clearing ingredient. It may have some purifying benefits when used in skin care products due to its ability to help support a healthy skin barrier, but it is not an exfoliant or chemical peel.
Hyaluronic acid can help replenish the skin after or in conjunction with these exfoliating AHAs or BHAs.
Is Hyaluronic Acid Good For Your Skin Type?
While hyaluronic acid works well for most skin types, it may not be ideal for those with very oily skin types as it can feel too heavy and greasy on the skin.
However, it is still a great ingredient to consider if you have normal, dry, sensitive, oily, or combination skin, as it helps boost hydration levels and helps the skin retain moisture.
Final Thoughts on Hyaluronic Acid for Acne Prone Skin
Hyaluronic acid is a beneficial ingredient that can help hydrate the skin and support a healthy skin barrier. It may be helpful for those struggling with dehydration or lack of moisture, but it probably won’t directly help or hurt acne.
If you have acne-prone skin or are struggling with congestion, then hyaluronic acid may be something to consider adding to your skincare routine. It can help hydrate the skin and support a healthy skin barrier, which can protect the skin from irritation and dryness, which may eventually cause acne.
Thanks for reading, and until next time, here’s to your good skin health!