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Is Hyaluronic Acid Good for Acne: What the Science Says

An open bottle of hyaluronic acid represents the question: Is hyaluronic acid good for acne?

 

What’s your idea of the perfect day? Maybe you’d love to stay home with a good book and a warm cup of tea, or maybe you’d like to hit the town with friends. No matter what your perfect day looks like, a new acne breakout is definitely not part of it.

If you’re a frequent acne sufferer, you’ve likely tried multiple products and active ingredients to stop a breakout in its tracks. But have you tried hyaluronic acid, the active ingredient making waves in the skin care world?

Is hyaluronic acid good for acne? Will it eliminate your pesky breakout? Read on to find out!

About Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is a goopy substance that feels wet, tacky and sticky. As you slide it between your fingers, you’ll likely wonder, “Is hyaluronic acid good for acne?”

You were likely introduced to hyaluronic acid in a science class. Found in your connective tissues, hyaluronic acid is a cluster of sugar molecules our body produces naturally. These molecules lubricate the connective tissues and provide an extra cushion.

As you age, your body will produce less and less hyaluronic acid on its own. Things like smoking or pollution exposure may also lead to a decrease in natural hyaluronic acid production

When you use hyaluronic acid on your skin, it has a moisturizing effect, as it pulls together water molecules and binds them. When your skin’s moisture levels are balanced, you’re less likely to develop signs of premature aging, such as wrinkles and fine lines. Supple, flexible skin has a flawless appearance that is soft to the touch — and hyaluronic acid can help you attain it!

Is Hyaluronic Acid Good for Acne?

We know this substance is great for your skin in general, but is hyaluronic acid good for acne specifically?

Acne-prone skin is often excessively dry, as dead, flaky skin is more likely to clog your pores and lead to acne breakouts. The moisturizing superpower of hyaluronic acid is often all you need to add to your skincare routine to achieve soft, radiant skin.

Hyaluronic acid also aids your skin’s healing process. When breakouts damage your skin, hyaluronic acid sends signals to your body to repair the wounds. In response, your skin increases the blood circulation in the damaged area through additional blood vessels. 

Additionally, hyaluronic acid helps control your skin’s inflammation levels for faster healing, reducing the chance that your acne will leave scars.

When acne breaks open, the risk of infection increases significantly. Hyaluronic acid has an antibacterial effect on open wounds, which will decrease your risk of infection during the healing process.

When Should You Avoid Hyaluronic Acid?

So, is hyaluronic acid good for acne? Yes — but not all products that contain hyaluronic acid are appropriate for acne-prone skin.

Some ingredients added to hyaluronic acid formulas are comedogenic, meaning they are more likely to clog your pores and lead to breakouts.

  • Lanolin is a non-vegan ingredient that’s extracted from wool. It’s very similar to the natural oil produced in human skin called sebum. In addition to clogging pores and causing breakouts, lanolin may be mixed with chemicals that can irritate acne-prone skin.
  • Silicone, derived from sand, creates a protective barrier on your skin. It’s effective at keeping dirt, debris, and bacteria away, but it’s also very good at trapping those harmful substances on your skin. This is an easy way to get clogged pores and, you guessed it, more acne!
  • Comedogenic oils, such as mineral oil or linseed oil, are sometimes included in hyaluronic acid serums. These ingredients are not appropriate for acne-prone skin and will likely lead to severe breakouts.
Infographic: Is Hyaluronic Acid Good for Acne: What The Science Says

 

Vet each product label carefully for comedogenic ingredients. Research any ingredients you’re not sure about before adding a new hyaluronic acid serum to your skin care routine.

Proceed With Caution

So, is hyaluronic acid good for acne? The answer is a resounding yes

Hyaluronic acid is safe to use on all skin types and has no common adverse side effects. However, when using a new skincare product, test it on a small patch of skin first. Wait 24 hours to see if your skin has any reaction to the product’s ingredients. While rare, allergic reactions to hyaluronic acid are possible.

If you pass the skin patch test, it means hyaluronic acid may be the breakout-fighting miracle you’ve been waiting for!

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