In their annual report on ‘How we shop, live and look’ John Lewis reported this year that sales of products with hyaluronic acid, were up 94%. They call it ‘this year’s miracle ingredient’, so what exactly is hyaluronic acid? and why is it so popular?
Well, it’s commonly known as ‘the fountain of youth’ so perhaps that gives you a little idea.
Here’s some more about it:
Hyaluronic acid – the facts
Hyaluronic acid, often abbreviated to HLA, is a natural component in our skin, as are the better-known collagen and elastin.
It is a natural polysaccharide and an important component of our connective tissues. About half the HLA in our bodies is naturally found in our skin, the rest in the connective tissues.
What does hyaluronic acid do for your skin?
One of the essential qualities of hyaluronic acid is its ability to help skin maintain moisture levels. This is critical to keeping skin firm and plump, and avoiding wrinkles.
It acts like a sponge in attracting water to your skin and is claimed to retain moisture up to 1,000 times its own weight. That brings an impressive boost to the overall moisture retention of your skin, so it’s an incredibly effective humectant moisturiser. Plump, moist skin has dewy softness and a youthful look.
Hyaluronic acid can also improve the suppleness and texture of your skin. More even skin has a natural glow and healthier appearance.
Beyond these skin rejuvenation properties, hyaluronic acid can help protect skin cells, defending against external threats and bacterial infections, and may reduce inflammation and support tissue repair.
Increased sun damage, dry skin and joint pain are all symptoms that have been associated with declining levels of hyaluronic acid as we age.
Why do we need it in a skincare product?
As we age, our production of hyaluronic acid gradually slows down. This is a contributor to increasing lines and wrinkles. So by replacing that loss with added hyaluronic acid through our skincare we can reduce the likelihood of developing those age-defining characteristics. That’s why you’ll often find hyaluronic acid in products aimed at older skins.
Hyaluronic acid as an ingredient in skincare
When skincare manufacturers first looked to include the benefits of hyaluronic acid in their products, the source they initially turned to was roosters’ combs. Picture for a moment the plump, erect nature of a rooster’s comb and you’ll get an impression of the skin firming potential of hyaluronic acid. As keeper of chickens I know that you can get an indication of health of your birds by looking at the fullness and quality of their comb, so that tells me that good quantities of hyaluronic acid are a sign of, potentially a contributor to, wellness.
Don’t worry, the roosters are safe and we have alternative ways now of mimicking the qualities of hyaluronic acid through plant-based materials. It is manufactured by producing enzymes from a bacteria-based biofermentation process. It’s this plant-derived hyaluronic acid that you’ll find in Field Fresh Skincare products.
Which products are you likely to find hyaluronic acid in?
Hyaluronic acid is often included in high end, expensive skincare products. Especially those targeted at anti-aging, including the serums and creams.
You can purchase a pure hyaluronic acid serum which is good to use directly on the skin, under other products. It’s ideally applied at nighttime so it can do it’s good work as you sleep. You can also blend your own hyaluronic acid serum, starting with a powder and adding water and glycerine.
3 best Field Fresh Skincare products containing hyaluronic acid
Three of Field Fresh Skincare’s creams contain hyaluronic acid. As you’d expect, it’s in our Marshmallow Dream Cream, the award-winning night cream. Here it’s accompanied by avocado oil to help take it deep into your skin overnight.
It’s also in the luxurious Essential Sensual Body Moisturiser our heavenly body cream scented with jasmine and boosted with rosehip seed oil.
You might not have expected to find it in our Summer Garden Hand Cream, but it’s there for sure. You’ll know that hands can be a give-away sign of ageing so we want to pack the very best ingredients into our hand cream to ensure your hands get treated as well as your face. So hyaluronic acid is in there, along with vitamin E, lovely plant seed oils, beeswax, and walnut butter. You can read more about how this cream was created here.
Are there other ways to increase our hyaluronic acid?
It’s possible that certain foods help the body to keep producing hyaluronic acid for longer.
Elderly residents of Yuzurihara, a village in Japan, have been noted for their youthful, wrinkle-free skin, healthy, shiny hair and general suppleness. It’s thought that their diet – lots of soy and tofu – is a contributing factor, helping them produce hyaluronic acid for that forever-young look.
Other studies have suggested that fermented soy milk is good for dry skin due to enhancing hyaluronic acid levels with its moisture-retaining ability.
Statistics – what do they tell us?
Any researcher knows, when you come across a startling statistic, it may look like an exciting story but there’s a far greater chance that it’s an error or a consequence of circumstance.
To achieve a 94% uplift in sales of hyaluronic acid products suggests a few variables may have been at play in John Lewis stores:
- I suspect they have increased their range of products including hyaluronic acid, thus creating more visibility and opportunities to buy
- It’s possible they’ve also trained their staff in the benefits of the ingredient so they’re able to better inform customers and build desire for the ingredient
- This may have been accompanied by promotions – from the brand, the store or in general media – to increase awareness and demand for hyaluronic acid in products
However, none of this takes away from the fact that hyaluronic acid is a great ingredient to include in skincare, especially for added age-defying qualities.