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Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid for Acne

5 Ways Hyaluronic Acid
Can Help Your Acne

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How this miracle moisturizer plays a role in treating acne and acne scars.

You may be familiar with the skincare hero that is hyaluronic acid. A cushiony lubricant found naturally in skin and joints, it can hold 1,000 times its weight in water—and many skincare brands are adding the ingredient to their formulas. What does that mean for your complexion? More hydrated skin. Since hyaluronic acid levels diminish as we age, attempting to replace it with lotions, creams, masks, and serums infused with the ingredient has become all the rage. But even better: Hyaluronic acid can be hugely helpful for acne-prone types. Here, Valerie Callender M.D., a board-certified dermatologist in Glenn Dale, MD and an Acne Store advisory board member explains the benefits of hyaluronic acid for acne.

1. Hyaluronic acid won’t clog pores

Hyaluronic acid is known as a humectant, which is an ingredient that draws moisture into the skin. For those prone to blemishes who may fear moisturizers will only lead to more breakouts, it’s a great source of hydration. “A hyaluronic acid serum is probably one of the best ways to hydrate skin when you have acne, and especially if you have very oily skin,” says Callender. “It really helps to soften skin without making it greasy or shiny.”

2. Hyaluronic acid helps bolster other hydrating ingredients

In addition to hyaluronic acid being at the top of Callender’s most moisturizing list, so are ceramides, the lipid (or fat) molecules also found naturally in skin. “Typically, if my patients are dry, I will have them use both—a serum that contains hyaluronic and then a face cream or lotion that has ceramides,” she adds. “It’s the perfect combination.”

3. Hyaluronic acid repairs skin’s barrier

When your skin is dry, it has cracks and fissures throughout. “When you have those openings, it’s easy for skin to get irritated, especially if you’re using acne medications,” says Callender. And you’re probably more likely to stop using those medications if your skin feels dry, tight, or sore. That’s important because, to be effective, an acne regimen needs to be used consistently. “If you stop using treatment products, you’re obviously not going to get results—most regimens need to be performed daily,” says Callender. The soothing hydration of hyaluronic acid helps acne. “Making that epidermal barrier healthy is really integral to the success of acne treatment because it helps with irritation.” You must seal or repair that epidermal barrier—and using a product with hyaluronic acid is often an effective solution.

4. You can prep every inch of skin with hyaluronic acid for acne treatment

“I’ll suggest using a moisturizer with hyaluronic acid to prepare a patient’s skin for whatever acne medication I’m going to recommend,” says Callender. Acne may not completely cover the face, but typically medication is applied evenly all over, so it’s important to keep the entire face hydrated and healthy amd able to tolerate prescription or over-the-counter treatments. “If we’re talking acne or hyperpigmentation and you’re targeting those specific areas, I want the surrounding skin to be able to accept whatever treatment I’m recommending—and remain healthy throughout the process.”

5. Hyaluronic acid heals skin

The goal is to clear up acne and create a glowing, healthy complexion without scarring or hyperpigmentation. But that can take time and requires the TLC of solid skincare habits. “It’s important during the healing process to keep skin moist and hydrated,” says Callender. “I love hyaluronic acid as an ingredient because it’s light and helps smooth skin.” The beauty of hyaluronic acid for acne and acne scars is that it is excellent for all skin types and something that can be incorporated into a routine long-term.

Information in the Acnepedia is for general educational purposes only. It should not be relied on as medical advice. You should not use this information for self-diagnosis or for treating any health problem or disease. Some of the information in the Acnepedia may reflect individual dermatologists' views and may be different from the label information on skincare products. You should always carefully follow the label information on skincare products. If you have questions about your health or the use of any drug or cosmetic skincare product, please speak to your healthcare provider. The provider of this website is not licensed to practice medicine in any state. Members of the Acne Store Board of Dermatologists have reviewed the Acnepedia articles but have not evaluated the safety or efficacy of specific products and do not endorse or recommend specific products.

Valerie Callender, M.D., F.A.A.D.

Dr. Valerie Callender is a member of the Acne Store Board of Dermatologists and an internationally recognized Board-Certified Dermatologist known for her sensitive and innovative approach to the treatment of pigmentation disorders. Dr. Callender is a prolific contributor to the dermatology literature and has co- edited a textbook on Treatment for Skin of Color. Dr. Callender has conducted and participated in over 60 research studies and clinical trials for both therapeutic and cosmetic products and is a consultant for some of the world’s leading cosmetic and consumer brands. She is a Past President of the Women’s Dermatologic Society and Skin of Color Society and has served on the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Dermatology. She is the Founder of the Callender Dermatology & Cosmetic Center and Callender Center for Clinical Research, which are located in the Washington, DC metropolitan region. Dr. Callender received her medical degree from Howard University, where she also did her residency and currently serves as a Professor of Dermatology at the College of Medicine.

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