Ingredient Highlights

What Does Hyaluronic Acid Do in Skincare?

We've all heard the buzz around hyaluronic acid, but is it worth the hype? Hyaluronic acid is one of the most hydrating ingredients in skincare. Here's how hyaluronic acid works to keep you looking youthful.

What Does Hyaluronic Acid Do in Skincare?

If you’ve ever had dry skin—momentarily, perpetually, or seasonally—or if you want to prioritize anti-aging within your skincare regimen, then you need hyaluronic acid. No ifs, ands, or buts. The fact of the matter is, hyaluronic acid is one of the best skincare ingredients, no matter your skin type, since it helps boost and retain moisture levels in the skin.

Hyaluronic acid is also a naturally occurring ingredient in our bodies, as a sugar molecule, that helps a variety of body functions. However, the body’s natural quantity decreases as we age, and is of course most visible on the face. This increases the need for supplementation through skincare products. You’ll find hyaluronic acid in a variety of products, too, from facial serums to eye creams to nourishing face masks. It’s in Cardon’s Dark Circle Eye Rescue, and 3-in-1 Hydro Boost Gel Moisturizer, and in our Charcoal and Cactus face masks (as Sodium Hyaluronate).

Learn more about this super hydrating ingredient below.


The biggest benefit of hyaluronic acid is that it holds up to 1000% of its weight in water. So imagine what that does for your skin, in terms of absorbing and retaining moisture. Here, though, are hyaluronic acid’s skincare benefits that occur after you apply it.

1. It Pulls Moisture into the Skin

Hyaluronic acid is a humectant, which means that it draws moisture into your skin from the air around you. This is good for all skin types, especially dry skin. However, hyaluronic acid is less effective when it is in arid environments, when there is no moisture to pull in. (Try applying it to damp, freshly cleansed skin to get the greatest benefit.)

2. It Absorbs Quickly, and Gently

Hyaluronic acid typically works on all skin types (though do a spot test to be sure). It absorbs quickly, and starts working relatively fast.

3. It Firms and Plumps the Skin

By bridging water molecules to the collagen in your skin, hyaluronic acid gives you a more firm, plump complexion.

4. It Boosts Radiance

Hyaluronic acid also makes skin ‘dewy’—which you might recognize as a healthy, radiant shine (not an oily one).

5. It Slows Signs of Aging

By keeping the skin hydrated, firm, and plump, hyaluronic acid significantly slows the formation of wrinkles and fine lines. (In addition to helping reduce the appearance of existing ones.)

6. It Boosts Recovery

If you have a wound on your skin (like a freshly popped and recovering pimple), hyaluronic acid helps speed up and fortify the healing process.

Hyaluronic Acid in Eye Creams and Serums

Hyaluronic acid is usually touted as an ingredient in moisturizers and serums that target the entire face. That’s precisely why we’ve included it in our nourishing face masks (Charcoal and Cactus), as well as our nighttime moisturizer. But it’s also terrific in formulas for the eye area, which counter things like puffiness, dark circles, and wrinkling.

That’s why we put hyaluronic acid in our Dark Circle Eye Rescue. For one, the ingredient’s anti-aging abilities make it a prime candidate for daily habitual application (to prevent the formation of crow’s feet, fine lines, and wrinkles). And, by plumping the skin in this area every day, it also helps reduce the appearance of existing fine lines.

Secondly, the namesake benefit: Hyaluronic acid helps mask dark circles around the eyes. This skin is some of the thinnest on the body, so it’s easy to see the constricted blood vessels on the other side of the skin. By pulling moisture to this area and “plumping” the skin, it becomes less translucent, so you can easily reduce the darkening effects.

And, speaking of plumping: It’s not always a good thing. The area under the eyes tends to swell when the body or skin is dehydrated, especially as the surrounding skin loses firmness. Fluids can gather there, and the fat pads under the eyes can slip into this sagging space, since they aren’t being held up by the taut skin. Regular applications of hyaluronic acid can keep the skin firmer in the long term and hydrated in the short term (that daily “lift” will help expel any pooled fluids and elevate droopy fat pads).

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