Over-the-knee boots, cashmere, and an incentive to stay in and binge-watch Narcos—there’s a lot to love about cold weather, but dry skin isn’t on the list. As winter descends, skin needs an extra dose of moisture to maintain maximum bounce. Yup, the feeling when you press your face and it springs right back. For an instant dose of moisture, nothing works better than hyaluronic acid. Its plumping properties are found in injectable fillers like Juvederm, but topical use of the skin-smoothing ingredient can dramatically improve the look of skin.
Here, Josh Zeichner, MD, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at New York’s Mt. Sinai Hospital, breaks down the benefits of hyaluronic acid.
It’s a natural ingredient
While beauty products can often come packed with mystery ingredients, you don’t need to worry about this one being foreign to your face. “Hyaluronic acid is a natural sugar in the skin that sits between skin cells and helps maintain hydration and skin plumpness,” Zeichner says. It has humectant properties, meaning it maintains moisture by pulling in water to the skin like a sponge. As time goes on, the level of naturally occurring hyaluronic acid decreases–that’s why people’s skin gets dryer and sags as they get older. Adding it to your skin care regimen counteracts that fate.
It works on all skin types
“It can be universally used,” Zeichner says, adding that it’s “more effective and more noticeable…in people with baseline dryer skin.”
It makes wrinkles disappear
When you use products boosted with hyaluronic acid, the retained moisture will instantly airbrush away fine lines. You’ll notice an instant plumping in the skin because the water acts as a kind of caulking into the wrinkles. The more you use it longterm, the more you’ll notice results like permanent reduction in wrinkle depth thanks to creating that scaffolding of moisture. Zeichner suggests applying a product with hyaluronic acid as primer to seal skin before applying other actives like retinol.