Can Hyaluronic Acid Cause Acne?

According to anecdotal evidence, people who use serums, face creams, and other skincare products with hyaluronic acid may get pimples. So, here's the deal: It's hard to tell if the problem is hyaluronic acid or something else, like oils.

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Can Hyaluronic Acid Cause Acne?
In a nutshell, hyaluronic acid is not to blame for any outbreaks that may have occurred.

What Is Hyaluronic Acid?

What is hyaluronic acid first? Hyaluronic acid is a natural sugar found in the skin’s dermis layer and the eyes’ fluids. It helps cushion many joints in the body. Hyaluronic acid is used in skincare because it is a powerful moisturizer. This acid is called a humectant, which means that it draws and holds water in the skin. Hyaluronic acid can hold 1000 times its weight in water when fully absorbed into the skin. Because of this, hyaluronic acid is often used on its own or as a key ingredient in many serums, moisturizers, and masks that hydrate the skin.

Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid:

  • Provides intense hydration without adding weight.
  • Skin gets plumper and smoother.
  • It can help smooth out the look of fine lines.
  • It helps skin retain its natural elasticity
  • It can help stop oily skin from making sebum.
  • Antioxidant properties
  • It can help reduce redness, swelling, and irritation.
  • It can help keep fine lines from getting worse over time.
  • Non-comedogenic means it won’t make your pores clog up.

Is Hyaluronic Acid Comedogenic?

Hyaluronic acid by itself is not comedogenic. Even though ratings of comedogenicity aren’t perfect, it’s unlikely that hyaluronic acid will cause acne by clogging your pores.

But the product may have other comedogenic ingredients.

What Type of Hyaluronic Acid Is Found in Skincare Products?

Hyaluronic acid can have many different molecular weights depending on where it comes from. For example, hyaluronic acid with a low molecular weight is better at getting into the skin, while hyaluronic acid with a high molecular weight can hold more water.

Hyaluronic acid with a high molecular weight doesn’t always go deeper into the skin than hyaluronic acid with a lower weight, but it does moisturize the skin more. Studies have shown that high concentrations of hyaluronic acid are better at keeping water in the skin.

Much of the research has been done on low molecular weight hyaluronic acid, but it’s important to remember that this isn’t always what you’ll find in skin care products.

There are many ways to determine how comedogenic an ingredient is, but remember that these ratings should only be used as a guide. The formulation is what matters.

Does Hyaluronic Acid Cause Acne When Misused?

As we’ve already said, hyaluronic acid is a humectant. It absorbs and keeps moisture from your dermis and the air around you. This keeps your skin soft, smooth, and hydrated without making it feel heavy. Hyaluronic acid can work if you use it in a humid environment or mix it with other skincare products made with water.

But putting hyaluronic acid on your skin can make it more dry and prone to breakouts if you live in a colder, drier climate and don’t use it correctly. How? Hyaluronic acid needs an occlusive property or something it can stick to do its job. If you don’t do this, your skin will make too much oil to make up for it.

Does Hyaluronic Acid Have Any Side Effects to Note?

Marchbein says that hyaluronic acid is generally safe for all skin types and doesn’t usually cause any bad side effects when it’s put on the skin. “Hyaluronic acid is a natural part of our skin, so you shouldn’t have any problems with it,” says Dr. Rothaus. “When people use products with hyaluronic acid and get rashes or other problems, it’s often because of a problem with another ingredient, like one of the preservatives.” According to DermNet NZ, some preservatives, like parabens, formaldehyde-releasing agents, and isothiazolinones, can cause irritation.

Marchbein says that hyaluronic acid is also in a lot of injectable fillers. While the ingredient is safe, the procedure can be dangerous. It should only be done by a doctor certified by the American Board of Dermatology or the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

How can hyaluronic acid help treat acne?

Hyaluronic acid is already in your body, which helps cushion your joints and does other important things. It is primarily used in skin care products because it is a humectant: It helps your skin keep water in and keeps it from getting dry.

Dry skin tends to look dull, red, and irritated, so adding moisture and locking it in helps hydrate and plump your skin, giving it a healthier look.

So, what can it do for acne-prone skin?

As you may already know, acne can happen when your skin makes too much oil. Sebum is an oily substance that your sebaceous glands produce. It can clog your pores and cause acne. So, controlling the amount of sebum your skin makes can help prevent clogged pores and zits.

New research from 2017 shows that hyaluronic acid does more than help keeps water in. It can also help keep sebum production in check, making it a good ingredient for preventing acne.

People who have acne may also have a problem with the skin barrier. Your skin barrier protects you from things like the sun, the weather, and other dangers from the outside world. Damage to the barrier can cause skin problems like acne and dryness.

Since hyaluronic acid helps keep water from escaping the skin, using it may benefit the skin’s barrier function, reducing redness and irritation.

How To Use Hyaluronic Acid

If you misuse hyaluronic acid, your skin can dry out. This can cause breakouts and make your skin look less plump and a little saggy.

Don’t be afraid! You can fix this by keeping the skin well-hydrated.

If you live in a place with a lot of humidity, you probably don’t have to worry about hyaluronic acid drying out your skin. But if you live in a dry area, here are a few things you can do:

Hyaluronic acid should always be put on damp skin after cleansing or using a facial mist or spray.

Use a humidifier or put it on in a bathroom with a lot of moisture (like after a shower) so that there is a lot of moisture in the air around you.

Afterward, use a moisturizer to lock in the moisture (the hyaluronic acid can also draw water from the moisturizer into your skin).

Does Hyaluronic Acid Cause Acne? Our Verdict

So, does hyaluronic acid cause acne? The short answer is no because hyaluronic acid is not a comedogenic acid and does not remove dead skin cells. If you get pimples after using a new hyaluronic skin care product, look at the label to see if it has any comedogenic ingredients. If the product you use on your skin is comedogenic and you still get pimples, you might misuse hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid, when used correctly, can help your skin keep its natural moisture, smooth fine lines and scars and give your face a plump, dewy glow.

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