Guide to Hyaluronic Acid for Skin: How it Works and Benefits

By Tara | Updated: 26/08/2023

Whether you are new to skincare or have dabbled in a few different products, you have probably heard of hyaluronic acid. It’s easily one of the most popular ingredients in skincare, but many people often don’t know exactly what it is, how it works and how to use it properly in your skincare routine. 

In short, hyaluronic acid (HA) is a hydration hero. Its main benefit is to draw in and retain moisture in the skin, keeping it plump and hydrated. While it can be applied topically in products or ingested in supplements on HA-rich foods, our bodies actually produce natural hyaluronan that’s most commonly found in our skin, connective tissue and eyes.

If you’re looking to learn more about this wonder ingredient, we explain what HA is, its various benefits, how it works and how to use it.

Read on for the Beauty Space guide to Hyaluronic Acid.

Hyaluronic Acid 101

What is hyaluronic acid?

Hyaluronic acid is a transparent, gel-like substance that is found naturally in the human body. Its main function is to lubricate and cushion joints, but it also plays an important role in keeping skin hydrated and plump.

Hyaluronic acid can be applied topically to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and improve skin hydration; however, injectable forms of hyaluronic acid are also used to treat joint pain and add volume to the face. Whether applied topically or injected, hyaluronic acid is a safe and effective way to reduce the signs of aging.

How it Works

Hyaluronic acid attracts and binds to water molecules, increasing the skin’s water content. It’s capable of absorbing more than 1000 times its weight in water.

The amount of hyaluronic acid in the body declines due to age. Also, environmental factors such as smoking and pollution may accelerate the decrease of hyaluronic acid in the body.

In theory, skin products like a hyaluronic acid serum can help restore the body’s depleted amount of hyaluronic acid.   

Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid for Your Skin

Keeps the Skin Hydrated

Hyaluronic acid is considered one of the most powerful ingredients to hydrate skin. It works as a humectant, drawing external moisture into the skin for better absorption and helping the skin retain moisture too. You can take hyaluronic acid as a supplement or use it as a topical serum or cream. 

A study that involved female participants applying topical hyaluronic acid lotion, serum, and cream demonstrated increased skin hydration of up to 96% after eight weeks of application.

Targets Signs of Ageing

Hyaluronic acid can reduce wrinkles and enhance skin firmness and elasticity. According to a study, applying hyaluronic acid topically twice daily for eight weeks reduces wrinkles.

The result of the study also suggested a decrease in the depth or wrinkles by 40% and increased skin firmness by up to 55% compared to participants who didn’t apply the acid.  

Suited To All Skin Types

Topics Hyaluronic Acid is non-irritating and can be used on all skin types. Those will particularly dry skin will, of course, benefit the most from integrating it into their skincare routine.

Fast Absorbing

Hyaluronic Acid acts like a big gulp of water for your skin and absorbs very quickly into the skin, meaning you are less likely to experience a sticky, sweaty residue layer on the top of your skin post-application.

How to Use Hyaluronic Acid

With no known downsides, HA is safe to be used on a daily basis to maintain skin hydration.

Due to its efficacy and popularity, hyaluronic has been formulated into many different skincare products, including cleansers, toners, serums and moisturisers. It is used most commonly in a serum form.

Being a humectant, you will want to apply a hyaluronic acid serum before moisturising or face oil (which will essentially work to lock the moisture in) and after you cleanse.

Use It With

What’s more to love about HA is that it complements other skincare ingredients without causing irritation.

If working this ingredient into your skincare routine, it can be used with retinol (vitamin A), vitamin c, alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs).


Hyaluronic acid is indeed beneficial to your skin. It contains anti-aging properties, which hydrate and moisturise the skin. It is also rich in moisturising properties, making it the best ingredient for skincare products.

If you’re trying to find the best hyaluronic acid serum on the market, read our articles for suggestions!

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Tara Lusk is the founder and creator of Beauty Space
Tara Lusk is a Sydney-based beauty enthusiast and the founder of Beauty Space. She launched the blog in 2018 to showcase the best beauty and skincare brands emerging from Australia, while also providing insider tips and tricks for hair and skincare. With a focus on tried-and-true products, Tara puts the latest cult products to the test to separate hype from substance.

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