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An Expert's Guide to Hyaluronic Acid

Three skincare experts talk all things hyaluronic acid: what it is, why it’s important to use, and when it is best to use it.

In the world of skincare, “it” ingredients seem to come and go. This oversaturated reality causes many of us to feel overwhelmed when it comes to figuring out what products to try. But if there’s a staple you should include in your routine, it’s likely hyaluronic acid.

“It’s an important hydrating compound made up of sugars and is both naturally-occurring and found in the human body,” says board-certified dermatologist Caroline Robinson MD, FAAD. “It powerfully attracts moisture throughout the deeper layers of the skin and in other areas of the body such as our joints.”

In addition to it being a powerful hydrator, it’s also important to note that hyaluronic acid comes in many different “molecular weights,” each having different functions, says Jessica Kizovski, the product development manager at Rose Inc. “Larger forms of HA help to hydrate the top layers of the skin,” she says, adding that larger molecules create a protective barrier across the skin. “Smaller forms are able to penetrate slightly deeper and hydrate the skin from within,” she adds. “In general, the larger the molecule, the harder it is to penetrate the skin.” That means not all HA is created equal.

To help you figure out which hyaluronic acid is right for you, top experts weigh in on what the ultra-hydrating ingredient is, why it’s important to use, and when it is most recommended to use it, ahead.

“HA is considered a humectant, which is a hydrating molecule that attracts water to the skin”

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