Beauty fact: if you want soft, glowing, happy-looking skin, hyaluronic acid is your go-to guy. It fights free radicals, stimulates the production of collagen, the stuff that makes your skin bouncy like a trampoline, and keeps your skin supple and wrinkle-free.
Lucky for you, your body produces plenty of hyaluronic acid naturally, then uses it to keep your joints limber and your skin smooth and unlined.
Not so lucky (and this explains why you see your first wrinkles in your late twenties and early thirties) is the fact that as time goes by, your body produces less and less of it, although nobody really knows why; it's one of those things science can't explain. What it can tell you is that by the time you’re 40 your body’s making exactly half as much as the stuff it needs, which is why dermatologist Dr. Kiran Lohia recommends adding the ingredient to your skincare in the form of a serum or moisturiser as soon as you turn 30.
Fair enough, but which one works best? I've been test-driving a few; here are some recommendations.
Best all-round performer: L’Oreal Revitalift Laser Renew Super Serum
I wasn’t expecting my anti-aging serum to give me smaller pores – I always figured only pore minimisers could do that – but that’s what L’Oreal’s serum-lotion did, and I’m definitely not complaining. In addition to the unexpected benefit of seemingly poreless skin, it also delivers smoother, brighert, plumper looking skin, so I’m definitely hanging on to this one for a while. Note: it takes longer than most serums to sink in, so this one’s best used at night.
Best targeted treatment: Kiehl’s Double Strength Deep Wrinkle Filler
The hyaluronic acid-rich treatment from Kiehl’s looks, smells and feels just a tiny bit like Fevicol – remember that stuff? – but use it on the regular, and you’ll notice the faint lines around your mouth and forehead appearing even fainter after a week. This is also a great primer, especially if you’re now at that lovely age when you notice your foundation sinking into any little lines you may have and magnifiying them by a 1,000. Dab a bit of this stuff on before you do your makeup, and it’ll sort that problem right out.
Best eye treatment: Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Eye Cream
Neutrogena’s anti-aging eye treatment features retinol and hyaluronic acid, so you’ve got a double whammy of anti-aging ingredients in one product but with none of the irritation associated with eye treatments. I’ve been using this for a month now and I’ve noticed firmer skin around my eye area and a brighter under-eye region overall; it also moisturizes without feeling greasy, which is always a bonus.
Most fun to use: L’Oreal Hydrafresh Mask-In Lotion
Borrowing from the Asian 10-step skincare regime, this fruity fragranced gel works as a toner, an essence (an added moisturizing step between your toner and moisturizer) or as a mask. To use it like a mask, you soak a few cotton pads in the formula before you go to bed and place them over your face. Read a book or catch up on your Instagram; fifteen minutes later peel the cotton pads off and pat the excess formula into your skin. You’ll wake up to plump, glowing skin the next morning. Do this every night if you have normal or dry skin. If your skin tends to be oily, save this as a pick me up for those times when it’s especially dull or dehydrated.
The classic: Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair II
I’ve waxed poetic about the advantages of Estee Lauder’s bestselling serum before; the original was one of the first products to ever feature hyaluronic acid and was beloved for its ability to erase wrinkles over time, while the newer, amped up version does pretty much the same thing – but quicker. You’ll notice a difference after just one use. For real!
Best travel buy: Juju Aquamoist Hyaluronic Acid Lotion
I’d be lying if I said that the novelty of the blue bottle and the Japanese text didn’t contribute somewhat to my love this Japanese skincare classic, but the fact that light, watery formula (suitable even in the summer! Moisturising enough for winter!) consists of hyaluronic acid, Vitamin C and not much else doesn’t hurt, either.
Special mention: Schwarzkopf Bonacure Moisture Kick Shampoo
Hyaluronic acid does your hair plenty of good too; we know that the ingredient can hold upto 1,000 times its weight in moisture, so it’s a no-brainer ingredient for dry, lifeless hair. If yours needs a little extra loving, try Schwarzkopf’s simple, fuss-free shampoo; while the entire Moisture Kick line is great for dry hair, the shampoo is a special favourite – a couple of uses will leave your hair soft and so gloriously tangle-free, you might even want to skip the conditioner.