A visual texture photo of SLMD Skincare Hyaluronic Acid Serum

Ingredient Spotlight: Hyaluronic Acid

Learn exactly what it is — and why it's one of Dr. Pimple Popper's top skincare ingredients.


2 minute read

Hyaluronic acid is a skin-plumping, complexion-hydrating hero that’s one of the most talked-about skincare ingredients around. Naturally produced by the body, this potent ingredient is a key component in moisturizers, serums, and even facial fillers. Here’s why.


What is hyaluronic acid?

Also known as hyaluronan or hyaluronate, the human body naturally produces hyaluronic acid — a slippery, gooey substance that keeps our skin hydrated and youthful. It also lubricates our eyes and joints. As we age, our ability to produce hyaluronic acid begins to slow and break down, contributing to those fine lines and wrinkles that reveal our age.

Dr. Pimple Popper's Hyaluronic Acid Product Picks

Why is hyaluronic acid so great for your skin?

The less moisturized and hydrated your skin is, the more it tends to sag and lose its structure. Hyaluronic acid is an excellent humectant — meaning that it draws in and holds onto an impressive amount of water in the skin. This amazing water-retaining property means hyaluronic acid can easily and effectively provide hydration, helping our skin stay supple and glowing.

When that water gets pulled into your skin, it plumps your complexion and helps lend that signature dewy glow. It’s notable, too, that hyaluronic acid is such a gentle ingredient it can typically be used on any type of skin, no matter its sensitivities or conditions. This soothing humectant is suitable for dry, oily, and acne-prone skin alike.

Where can you find hyaluronic acid?

Hyaluronic acid is widely available in topical skincare, typically in moisturizers and serums. When choosing skincare, look for formulas that feature smaller molecules that deeply penetrate the skin.

Try: SLMD Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizer, Vitamin C Serum, Hyaluronic Acid Serum

Hyaluronic acid is also a key component of many aesthetic facial fillers. Dermatologists and plastic surgeons inject these dermal fillers to treat fine lines and wrinkles and to plump features like lips.

How do you incorporate hyaluronic acid into your skincare routine?

Hyaluronic acid serums should be layered on after cleansing and before moisturizing. If you have dry or aging skin, adding a product that’s rich in hyaluronic acid is a great way to plump and hydrate the skin. Hyaluronic acid also pairs perfectly with powerful anti-agers like retinol, as well as alpha and beta hydroxy acids.

Prepping skin with a layer of hyaluronic acid prior to applying strong treatments, then adding another layer post-product — aka “sandwiching” — helps protect skin from potential irritation and maintains skin’s delicate balance. If you’ve got oily or acne-prone skin, hyaluronic acid is an ideal hydrator, because it’s lightweight, non-irritating, and anti-inflammatory.

Do you need to use moisturizer with hyaluronic acid?

This is where the difference between hydrating and moisturizing comes into play:

  • Hydrating: adding water to the skin
  • Moisturizing: adding oil to the skin

Hydrators like hyaluronic acid pull moisture directly into the skin. Sealing in that hydration with moisturizer is equally important. If your hyaluronic acid product doesn’t already contain moisturizing ingredients, layer one on after you apply your serum.

Dr Sandra Lee

Dr. Lee's Last Word

Hyaluronic acid is an excellent hydrator, which plumps up the skin when applied topically. We dermatologists also inject it to fill in those fine lines and boost facial contours. It’s a skincare ingredient I generally recommend for everyone, from normal to acne-prone to aging skin.


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