What Is the deal with Hyaluronic Acid

Every month, there seems to be a new beauty trend that inundates news headlines and our Instagram feeds. Whether it's CBD infused oils, plant based retinol alternatives or marula oil, they all promise better glowing and healthier skin. But which of these trends actually do work? One beauty ingredient that seems to have made a lasting impression is Hyaluronic Acid.

Hyaluronic acid was first discovered in 1934 by Karl Meyer and John Palmer, who were scientists at Columbia University. It didn't become popular for modern use however till the 1960s when researches found high concentration of the molecule in other tissues. At the time it was mainly used for medical purposes for the management of skin lesions.

Fast forward to today, Hyaluronic Acid can be found in many beauty products including moisturizers, eye creams, and serums. It turns out that the substance is great at promoting healthier and more supple skin. While our skin cells produce its own Hyaluronic Acid, due to factors such as aging and environmental stressors, the amount our body generates takes a toll. This could lead to skin dullness, fine lines, and uneven tone and texture.

So with all this in mind, why and how should we incorporate Hyaluronic Acid in our day to day beauty routine? We spoke with Dr. Paul Cohen, owner of the Rosedale Dermatology Centre in Toronto who gave us the 411 on Hyaluronic Acid and why it's a beauty trend that is here to stay.

What is hyaluronic acid and why has it become such a popular beauty trend in the last couple of years?
Hyaluronic Acid is a natural substance produced in our skin. It provides moisture and gives our skin a nice hydrated, youthful look and plumpness. We know that applying Hyaluronic Acid is beneficial to the skin and in recent times, more people are opting to get it injected for fillers rather than collagen since it's a natural component that our bodies produce.

Oh that's interesting. Is the injection something that has become more popular recently or has it been around for a while?
It's been around for quite a while, probably in the last 15 years. However, while in the past Hyaluronic Acid injections have been mainly used for lip fillers and the cheeks, now we are actually doing micro droplets into the face to hydrate the skin. In the past the Hyaluronic Acid injections were quite thick so you couldn't put them in superficial spots in the skin, but now companies have come up with a very thin form of Hyaluronic Acid which can be injected just below the skin.

How should we incorporate hyaluronic in our day to day routine if we don't want to do the injections?
A lot of good moisturizers now have Hyaluronic Acid as one of the major ingredients so you can use that to apply to your skin for everyday use.

What are the main benefits of hyaluronic acid?
Hydration is number one. They defintiely draw water to the surface of the skin and they also add volume. So when they are injected, it gives volume to places where that skin has lost its plumpness. When applying to the skin, it's mostly for hydration and smoothing.

Is it possible to misuse hyaluronic acid? Is there a correct way to use it?
In terms of applying to the skin, there is no wrong way to use it as it is really there to provide moisture. If you are getting it through injections, there is such as thing as too much of it.

Who should be using hyaluronic acid?
Hyaluronic Acid is a great skincare ingredient, and it's perfect for anyone whose skin is dry, dehydrated and needs shine and tone. Really, most people could benefit from it if they apply it as part of their daily beauty routine.

BONUS - Here are the Scoop's top picks of Hyaluronic Acid products to add to your skincare collection:

Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 by The Ordinary, $6.80
Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizer by Youth to the People, $59.00
Celery Green Cream with Hyaluronic Acid by Volition Beauty, $74.00
Kosasport LipFuel Hyaluronic Lip Balm by Kosas, $24.00
Hyaluronic Marine Hydrating Mask by Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare, $63.00

Dr. Paul Cohen M.D. F.R.C.P.C. D.A.B.D. is a board certified dermatologist and Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Dr. Cohen is a diplomat of the American Board of Dermatology and is a member of numerous associations, including the Canadian Dermatological Association and the Toronto Dermatological Society. He is the owner of the Rosedale Dermatology Centre which offers the latest anti-aging procedures in cosmetic dermatology. The centre is also a renown medical dermatology facility.