If you have dry skin like me, I hate to say it, but it’s time to hop on the hyaluronic acid bandwagon. For a while, it seemed like everyone I know – my friends, my dermatologist, heck, even TV commercials – were hounding me about investing in an uber-pricey bottle of hyaluronic acid.
Despite their persistence, I’m forever a beauty minimalist (read: beauty skeptic), so it took me months and months to get around to trying it. And truth be told, I didn’t really see that much difference in my lackluster skin after burning through an entire bottle. Then I did something that changed everything—I made my own—and I fell in love with the stuff.
What is Hyaluronic Acid?
First things first—what is hyaluronic acid, anyway? At its most basic, hyaluronic acid is a molecule that’s naturally found in your skin as well as the connective tissue in your body. It acts as a lubricant for the body – for joints, nerves, hair, skin, eyes, you name it – and its magic lies in its ability to attract and hold water, up to 1000x its weight!
As we age, the natural production of hyaluronic acid decreases, so our bodies don’t look and feel quite as young or supple as they once did. From a beauty perspective, supplementing with it helps keep the skin moist, so it looks dewy, plump and young. When applied directly to the skin, it holds water in the skin and increases overall hydration without irritating skin or clogging pores.
By creating a protective barrier, hyaluronic acid serum is said to help alleviate dryness, facilitate healing and soothe redness. Basically, it’s a game changer for healing dry skin and lessening the lovely side effects that come with it, like wrinkles, sagging and flakes.
In addition, hyaluronic acid helps to:
- Plump fine lines and wrinkles
- Soothe irritation
- Hydrate parched skin
- Repair skin’s moisture barrier
- Lessen the appearance of sun damage
- Improve skin’s overall elasticity
- Encourage healing
- Protect against free radical damage
Most store-bought brands contain somewhere between 0.25 to 2.5 percent hyaluronic acid, with the rest of the bottle being mostly water. But when you make your own serum, you get to control the amount of hyaluronic acid while also adding other ingredients to help nourish the skin.
I swear by things like rose water and carrot seed oil for improving skin health. Neroli oil is my go-to for calming inflammation. And vegetable glycerin gives the serum a little substance and locks moisture into the skin. You can always add a bit of aloe vera gel for additional anti-aging benefits or jojoba oil for added hydration. As always, feel free to tweak this recipe to meet your skin’s particular needs.
Since it’s naturally found in the skin, hyaluronic acid is generally safe for all skin types, and you don’t really need to worry about it causing irritation or exacerbating other skin issues. But as with all beauty products, you may want to do a small spot test to make sure it, or some other ingredient in your serum, doesn’t irritate your skin.
Homemade Hyaluronic Acid Serum Recipe
- small funnel
- 2-ounce glass dropper bottle
- Using a small funnel, pour the water into your dropper bottle. Add the hyaluronic acid powder, then screw on the lid and shake vigorously to dissolve. The cold water should help the powder dissolve more easily, but if you’re still seeing chunks, you can put the mixture in a small blender or food processor to get it to mix completely.
- Add the glycerin, carrot seed oil and neroli oil. Replace the lid and shake again.
- Let the serum sit for at least 4 hours to allow the hyaluronic acid powder to dissolve completely before using.
- To use, apply a bit of serum to freshly washed skin and let it soak in. Follow up with any additional serums or creams. Apply 1-2 times a day to keep skin looking fresh and dewy.
- Store remaining serum in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
This post was medically reviewed by Dr. Jennifer Haley, a board-certified dermatologist with extensive experience in medical, cosmetic and surgical dermatology. Learn more about Hello Glow’s medical review board here. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.58