Our skin is one of our most important organs. Our skin barrier protects against the environment, illness, and germs and helps regulate our body temperature. But what about that oily shine on our faces?
The body produces natural oils to help keep the skin healthy and hydrated. However, an overabundance of oils can mix with dead skin cells and clog pores, creating acne-prone skin.
Hyaluronic acid is a key component in many skin care hydrating serums. Like natural oils, they help hydrate and moisture the skin. But do hyaluronic acid and oily skin go together?
Below, we will explore some of the benefits of hyaluronic acid and whether or not it is right for those with oily skin types.
Table of contents:
- What Are the Basics of Oily Skin?
- What Does Sebum Do?
- Antioxidants for Skin Health
- How Does Sebum Contribute to Oily Skin?
- What Are the Common Causes of Oily Skin?
- What Is Hyaluronic Acid?
- What Are the Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid?
- Is Hyaluronic Acid Serum Beneficial for Oily Skin?
- Does Hyaluronic Acid Clog Pores?
- How Can I Incorporate Hyaluronic Acid Serum into a Skincare Routine?
What Are the Basics of Oily Skin?
Everyone’s skin produces oil. Some people’s skin produces more oil than others. Also, some parts of the face produce more oil than others. For example, it is not uncommon to have dry skin but an oily nose.
These natural oils are produced by the sebaceous glands located under the skin. This natural oil is called sebum. This oily and waxy substance is found mostly on the scalp and face.
What Does Sebum Do?
Sebum acts as your body’s waterproofing system — it helps keep your skin moisturized by keeping water from leaving your body.
Since sebum mixes with lipids (or fat molecules), it also acts as a protective coating to help keep bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens at bay.
In addition to its protective functions, sebum also helps transport fat-soluble antioxidants to the surface of the skin. Antioxidants are important molecules that can help fight the effects of oxidative stress and damaging free radicals.
Antioxidants for Skin Health
Antioxidants are key players when it comes to skin protection. For instance, antioxidants can help offer protection against the damaging effects of UV light. Also, antioxidants have been shown to have a variety of potential health benefits.
Some people believe antioxidants help to temporarily minimize the signs of aging, like fine lines and wrinkles, can help minimize hyperpigmentation (dark spots), and help temporarily boost skin elasticity.
One of the most effective antioxidants is vitamin C. In fact, vitamin C supplementation has been linked to supporting skin health.
This is why topical vitamin E and oil-free vitamin C serums are commonly used for skin health — to help temporarily protect, boost radiance, hydrate, and revive uneven skin.
How Does Sebum Contribute to Oily Skin?
Sebum plays an important role in skin health, but there can be too much of a good thing. One of the primary factors that affect sebum production is hormone levels. When certain hormone levels are high, sebum production rises too.
This rise in hormones is very common during puberty. Excess hormone production causes the sebaceous glands to get bigger, increasing sebum production. The result is a greasy, oily look to the skin.
When excess sebum mixes with dead skin cells, it can clog pores. So this is why excess sebum can lead to breakouts of acne, blackheads, blemishes, and more.
What Are the Common Causes of Oily Skin?
Aside from the overproduction of hormones, genetics can also play a big role in excess sebum production and oily skin. Genetics can affect skin type, whether normal, dry, oily, or sensitive skin and the size and appearance of pores.
Age is also a factor. Older adults tend to have drier skin since sebum production decreases with aging. Weather can also affect the skin. For example, humid climates and warmer months tend to cause more sweating and excess oil production, while cooler weather may lead to dryness.
Board-certified dermatologists often recommend the following tips for helping to control oily skin:
- Avoiding alcohol-based and oil-based facial cleansers
- Using oil-free and non-comedogenic skin care products
- Applying a moisturizer daily to help keep skin properly hydrated
Using sunscreens to help prevent sun damage
Using the wrong skincare products for your skin type can affect sebum production. That is why those with oily skin should stick to oil-free facial cleansers and moisturizers.
Some choose to use apple cider vinegar-based cleansers for additional benefits. These are rich in vitamin B5 and contain aloe vera to help soothe irritation and purify pores. Make sure your skincare products are free from parabens, sulfates, silicone fillers, and colors.
What Is Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic acid is a naturally-occurring compound that is produced by the body. This gooey substance is commonly found in the eyes, joints, and skin.
Ordinary hyaluronic acid plays a very active and important role in the body. For example, the biological functions of hyaluronic acid include hydration, lubrication of joints, and tissue repair.
Hyaluronic acid has also been found to be a key molecule in how skin ages. For example, its functions include skin elasticity, helping skin flex and stretch. It is also a key component in the body’s natural process of wound healing.
What Are the Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic acid, or sodium hyaluronate, has long been a staple in the skincare industry. As a topical substance, it can help temporarily boost its naturally-occurring benefits. It falls under the category of humectant, which means it pulls moisture to itself. This is due to its high molecular weight.
Helps Support the Skin Barrier
Hyaluronic acid helps retain and pull moisture to the surface of the skin. This helps keep the outer layers of the skin hydrated and supports proper skin elasticity.
This helps temporarily reduce the appearance of fine lines and can soothe dryness.
Boosts Skin Appearance
Another benefit of hyaluronic acid is its temporary brightening effect. Its ability to retain water helps make skin texture appear plumper, to support a more radiant and youthful look.
Things like age and environmental exposure (like cool or dry air and sun exposure) dry out the skin. Hyaluronic acid can help retain this lost moisture.
Is Hyaluronic Acid Serum Beneficial for Oily Skin?
Since hyaluronic acid is a skincare pro when it comes to improving skin moisture, it makes many wonder how the ingredient will work for those with oily skin.
Here’s the good news: Hyaluronic acid serums work well for all skin types and skin tones, even oily ones. Unfortunately, there is a common misconception out there believing that oily skin equals hydration. But this isn’t true.
In many cases, the opposite is true. Oily skin can occur when the skin is dehydrated — when the skin is starving for moisture, it can overcompensate and produce extra sebum (skin oils). So, that oily skin could mean your skin needs the help of a moisturizer.
Does Hyaluronic Acid Clog Pores?
One skin concern for many that are acne-prone is moisturizing, leading to clogged pores. Thankfully, pure hyaluronic acid serums are non-comedogenic. This is a fancy way to say a formulation that won’t clog pores.
This is important for those with oily skin which lacks moisture. Hyaluronic acid can help improve hydration without adding to the pore-clogging effects, potentially making it one of the top serums for oily skin.
How Can I Incorporate Hyaluronic Acid Serum into a Skincare Routine?
The best hyaluronic acid serums are often found in combination with other skincare products, including creams, moisturizers, and hyaluronic acid intensifiers. This makes it easy to incorporate into your daily skincare routine.
Cleanse Regularly, Exfoliate Often, Seal in Moisture
Reducing oily skin starts with keeping your face clean, morning and night. Cleansers help keep your pores free from clogging by removing excess sebum, dirt, and other skin-polluting elements.
Cleansing twice a day is the goal: Wash your skin once when you wake up and again before your head hits the pillow at night.
Don’t forget to exfoliate. Exfoliating helps your skin breathe by removing excess and dead skin cells. Also, regular exfoliation actually helps make other skin care products work better. It allows for deeper penetration of the skin’s surface as it opens up pores.
Moisture is also key. Never skip the moisturizer. Every skin type and tone needs moisture, especially those with oily skin. This can help lock in hydration and ward off oily skin.
Make sure to choose a skin moisturizer with natural vitamins and nutrients for added benefits.
Hyaluronic acid is a naturally-occurring compound that helps improve skin health. As a skincare ingredient, hyaluronic acid serum can help retain skin hydration, especially for those with oily skin. Make sure to check out WOW for more natural skin care products.
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