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Hyaluronic Acid & Rosacea: The Acid You DO Want To Use

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If you’re becoming more careful of what ingredients you use on your rosacea-prone skin to avoid triggers you’ve probably heard that acids are not rosacea-friendly. And that’s true, exfoliating acids are not your friend when you have rosacea -- it’s best to steer clear. But hyaluronic acid is not like the other harsh acids. It behaves totally different.  

Instead of exacerbating symptoms like other acidic ingredients, hyaluronic acid could actually help solve a lot of your rosacea symptoms. Confusing, we know. 

In this article, we’ll outline why hyaluronic acid is the friendly “acid” that should most definitely be included in your rosacea skincare.


Is hyaluronic acid really an acid?

No, it’s really not an acid at all. It’s actually a carbohydrate (a long chain of sugar molecules).

Hyaluronic acid should not be confused with exfoliating acids such as glycolic, lactic, or salicylic. This great skincare ingredient has little in common with these “off-limits for the rosacea-prone” acids. 

Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a sugar molecule that occurs naturally in the body and is an essential lubricating competent for the joints, tissue, eyes, and skin. It naturally keeps our tissues plump with hydration.   

When applied topically it’s intensely hydrating for the skin. It traps the water it’s applied with and pushes it into skin cells. Impressively, HA can hold up to 1,000 times its molecular weight in water. 

Hyaluronic acid is a humectant that not only retains water but draws water from the environment around you (thanks, humidity). 

So, HA is not a drying, exfoliating acid, it’s a mega hydrator -- which is great news for those with rosacea. 


Hyaluronic acid benefits for rosacea-prone skin 

Everyone can benefit from adding HA to their routine because hyaluronic acid levels begin to naturally decline as we age. But, those with rosacea can especially benefit from hyaluronic acid.

As you might know, rosacea can cause some very uncomfortable symptoms. If you have rosacea you might find your skin is:

  • Red 
  • Dry
  • Flaky
  • Chapped
  • Inflammed
  • Sensitive due to a compromised skin barrier 

Hyaluronic acid can help address every one of those symptoms.

Here are a few benefits of hyaluronic acid:

  • Hydrates skin by drawing and retaining moisture 
  • Boosts collagen production 
  • Reduces visibility of fine lines and wrinkles 
  • Plumps up skin cells for a healthy glow 
  • Improves skin elasticity 
  • Helps support the skin barrier 

 It’s a powerful ingredient that can be used every day. However, how you apply this ingredient can take HA benefits to the next level. 


The way you apply hyaluronic acid matters

It’s important to apply hyaluronic acid correctly to enjoy its many benefits. 

By its self, hyaluronic acid is not very hydrating (however, it can draw water from deep within your skin). In order to retain and trap lots of moisture, it needs to be applied with water. 

The first ingredient in most moisturizers is water, so if you’re using a lotion that has lots of hyaluronic acid included, then all of the necessary components are there. However, if you apply that on damp skin, that HA is going to trap even more hydration. 

HA serums, on the other hand, are generally just pure hyaluronic acid which makes applying these serums with water even more important. 

The trick to hyaluronic acid is to help it trap as much moisture as possible by applying it with some good old H2O. 


Article summary

Hyaluronic acid is rosacea-friendly, in fact, it might even be considered a BFF. Rosacea is characterized by red, dry, and inflamed skin, often occurring alongside a compromised skin barrier. With continued and consistent use, hyaluronic acid can help address all of these symptoms. 

It’s important to apply HA with water so it can trap as much hydration as possible. 

For rosacea redness concerns, HA is not likely to be very effective. If you deal with rosacea with persistent redness or acne-like breakouts, consider custom prescription rosacea formulas

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