Is Hyaluronic Acid Good for Acne? Derms Say It Can Help

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Acne is regular and unavoidable—and let’s face it, it is no picnic. For these with acne-prone pores and skin, navigating the world of skincare substances can really feel like a harmful sport. Artificial fragrances, important oils, and different seemingly innocent substances can set off breakouts within the blink of an eye fixed. However one ingredient that will not have you ever dialing your dermatologist in a panic is hyaluronic acid

Hyaluronic acid is understood for its super-hydrating properties, but it surely may very well be a game-changer in an pimples skincare routine. Are you curious if hyaluronic acid is definitely good for pimples? We spoke to board-certified dermatologists about every thing it’s essential learn about hyaluronic acid, together with what it’s and why it would possibly be a game-changer in your anti-acne routine.


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What’s hyaluronic acid?

Hyaluronic acid (pronounced “hi-ah-lew-ron-ic”), or HA for brief, is usually present in skincare merchandise. Opposite to its title, hyaluronic acid is not an exfoliating acid like salicylic or glycolic acid. As an alternative, it exists naturally in your physique, “present in excessive concentrations within the pores and skin, connective tissues, and eyes,” Dr. Meder says. Dermatologists check with hyaluronic acid as a glycosaminoglycan or a molecule that pulls water to the pores and skin, per Dr. Meder. However within the skincare world, you’ve got most likely heard it referred to as a humectant

Is hyaluronic acid good for pimples? 

Buckle in as a result of there is no super-straightforward reply on whether or not hyaluronic acid is sweet for pimples—it is fairly nuanced. However to begin, all 5 dermatologists interviewed for this piece confirmed that hyaluronic acid is secure for all pores and skin varieties, together with these vulnerable to breakouts.

“Hyaluronic acid is mostly secure for acne-prone pores and skin since it’s light-weight and non-comedogenic, minimizing pore-clogging danger, explains Dr. Meder. Nevertheless it’s necessary to know that whereas hyaluronic acid aids in hydration, it “does not straight goal the basis causes of pimples, similar to extra oil, irritation, or bacterial points,” she provides.

But, hyaluronic acid is perhaps the lacking piece for these with persistent grownup pimples, notably in case your pores and skin barrier is broken. (You may need heard this known as a “compromised pores and skin barrier” in skincare commercials or articles.) In line with Dr. Meder, a compromised pores and skin barrier can result in irritation, irritation, and dryness, which is the place hyaluronic acid is available in to revive moisture and stability to the pores and skin. 

However the advantages of hyaluronic acid for pimples do not finish there. Dr. Nazarian provides that hyaluronic acid is usually used with different acne-fighting substances or remedies. For instance, she explains that hyaluronic acid might help alleviate some irritation attributable to common resurfacing topicals like retinoids. 

The way to use hyaluronic acid for pimples

You’ll find hyaluronic acid in nearly each skincare class, from cleansers and exfoliators to serums and lotions. 4 out of 5 dermatologists cited on this piece recommend prioritizing a hyaluronic acid serum in your day by day skincare routine.

Nonetheless, Dr. Rachel Nazarian, the group’s solely outlier, recommends a hyaluronic acid moisturizer as an alternative (although there is no purpose to imagine she’s in opposition to serum.) “I discover it [hyaluronic acid] to be most helpful when used as a base lotion or cream moisturizer to offset any dryness or irritation, each morning and night time,” she explains. “It makes many pimples regimens (suppose: retinoids) far more tolerable, rising compliance and total efficacy.” 

Which to make use of? In the end, it boils down to non-public desire. However for those who’re searching for a potent method, select one with the next share of hyaluronic acid. (Over-the-counter choices usually max out at two %.) Do not forget that not all skincare merchandise disclose their share of hyaluronic acid. In that case, your finest wager is selecting a method the place hyaluronic acid ranks excessive on the ingredient listing. 

Which acid is finest for pimples?

Keep in mind: Hyaluronic acid is not technically an pimples remedy, however it could actually not directly assist pimples by soothing and hydrating the pores and skin. In line with Dr. Collins, exfoliating beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs) and alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) are your finest wager for treating pimples. “Salicylic acid is a beta-hydroxy acid finest identified for its acne-fighting capabilities,” says Collins. “It acts as a chemical exfoliant, successfully lowering sebum and clearing pores. It penetrates deeply and has an anti-inflammatory element that may be very useful in treating pimples.”

Dr. Collins additionally highlights glycolic acid as “the very best identified alpha-hydroxy acid,” noting its superior penetration in comparison with different AHAs like mandelic acid. “General, AHAs are useful for pimples as a result of they improve cell turnover and clear pores,” she provides. 

One other dermatologist-recommended ingredient for pimples is azelaic acid. “I like to make use of this for sufferers with a major quantity of post-inflammatory erythema or hyperpigmentation as a result of this acid is especially effectively suited to serving to even the pores and skin tone,” explains Dr. Collins.

Is it OK to make use of hyaluronic acid every single day?

Whereas it is completely fantastic to make use of hyaluronic acid day by day, the jury’s out on whether or not you may discover vital enhancements in your pimples. The good information is that—as talked about earlier—hyaluronic acid is unlikely to clog pores or exacerbate pimples,” Dr. Collins explains. And to not sound like a damaged document, but it surely additionally might help cut back irritation, making it the potential lacking puzzle piece for these utilizing harsh pimples remedies like day by day tretinoin.

Will hyaluronic acid assist pimples scars?

Briefly, sure. Hyaluronic acid might help with acne scars. You might even see short-term or everlasting outcomes relying in your chosen methodology. A delicate, short-term resolution is utilizing a skincare product containing hyaluronic acid. The ingredient “briefly smoothes the looks of pimples scars due to the humectant motion,” explains Dr. Collins. In different phrases, the ingredient briefly plumps your pores and skin in order that your fantastic strains, wrinkles, and scars look much less outstanding. Should you’re searching for extra lasting outcomes, she recommends asking a trusted board-certified dermatologist about combining hyaluronic acid with a CO2 laser remedy. Dr. Collins factors out that research has proven promising mixed results in serving to pimples scars.

The perfect merchandise with hyaluronic acid for pimples

CeraVe SA Face Wash — $12.00

This cleanser is good for these combating pimples as a result of it comprises hyaluronic acid, salicylic acid, and niacinamide, which “might help with acne-related and acne-treatment-related irritation,” says Dr. Collins. As a result of this product is a wash (and thus solely is available in contact along with your pores and skin briefly), “there’s no want to fret about it over-moisturizing acne-prone pores and skin,” she provides.

Beauty Pie Triple Hyaluronic Acid Deep Moisture Miracle Cream — $29.00

This face cream makes use of a trio of hydration: hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and squalene, plus phospholipids, that are fat that “might help with penetration into the pores and skin as a result of they intently resemble the construction of what’s naturally discovered within the pores and skin’s lipids,” says Dr. Marcus. It really works alongside squalane, “a lipid discovered naturally within the pores and skin barrier,” and, when utilized topically, might help shield the pores and skin barrier and supply hydration.

Vichy Mineral 89 Face Moisturizer — $32.00

Dr. Collins recommends this moisturizer as a result of it “comprises a wholesome dose of hyaluronic acid for hydration, however this can be very light-weight.” She deems it a “nice product to make use of as a moisturizer over pimples remedies like retinoids.” Given its tremendous light-weight texture, she recommends it for individuals with oily pores and skin. (Just a little FYI, per the derm: “It’s a standard false impression that individuals with oily, acne-prone pores and skin don’t have to moisturize. In reality, if individuals with oily pores and skin deprive their pores and skin of hydration, they will produce much more pore-clogging sebum as their physique makes an attempt to take care of moisture.”)

La Roche Posay HyalU B5 Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum — $40.00

Dr. Marcus speaks extremely of this serum, which makes use of two sorts of hyaluronic acid (sodium hyaluronate and hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid). The good thing about that is that they’ve totally different molecular weights, which implies they penetrate the pores and skin layers at totally different ranges and, thus, ship a extra thorough hydration enhance.

Serum 6 by Maei MD — $140.00

That is Dr. Marcus’s very personal hyaluronic acid serum. Just like the beforehand talked about La Roche-Posay method, it makes use of “different-sized molecules to penetrate totally different ranges of the pores and skin, serving to with each hydration and plumping,” she explains. It really works in tandem with brightening niacinamide and antioxidant-rich vitamin C.

Proactiv Green Tea Moisturizer — $34.00

This moisturizer encompasses a “cocktail of hydrating substances,” says Dr. Nazarian, who considers it one among her favorites. “It has hyaluronic acid and different pure moisturizers like squalane, allantoin, and glycerin.” Plus, it’s light-weight and specifically formulated for acne-prone pores and skin.

Ultimate takeaway

Hyaluronic acid is not an pimples remedy however can nonetheless assist your acne-focused skincare routine. It might assist ease irritation from remedies like retinoids, restore a compromised pores and skin barrier, and even briefly clean pimples scars. In contrast to some exfoliating acids, hyaluronic acid is mild and unlikely to clog pores, making it appropriate for numerous pores and skin varieties. Seek the advice of a board-certified dermatologist for a complete pimples remedy plan for those who’re coping with persistent pimples. They will assess your pores and skin’s distinctive wants and inform you how hyaluronic acid would possibly complement your routine (if in any respect). 


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