I watch a lot of beauty videos on You Tube. Admittedly most of the people I watch are not dermatologists (although one of them is).
They pretty much all say that the correct way to apply a hyaluronic acid (HA) product to the skin is to wash your face, leave it pretty damp, put on the HA product of your choice, and immediately top it with an occlusive moisturizer of some kind.
Supposedly if you apply it to a dry face and do not top it with an occlusive moisturizer, the HA will evaporate right off and possibly even pull some of the moisture out of your skin and actually leave your skin drier as opposed to moisturizing it.
I just always have a hard time believing this is true. If it is going to evaporate right off, how is it such a fabulous skin care ingredient then? Some people say their face feels drier after they apply an HA product. But HA is supposed to be this fabulous skin plumper and bring moisture INTO your skin.
Also, is there any difference in application method for an HA product that is oil free versus one that includes oil in the formula? Would having oil in the product negate the need to add additional layers on top?
With a molecular weight in the 800s and lots of polar groups, if that thing evaporates easily I’m the Queen of Sheba.
I don’t know what kind of formulations are used in the USA, but in Europe HA is part of creams whose formulation is otherwise that of a body milk or cold cream; there is no need to add a moisturizer since the creams themselves already are moisturizers and would be without the HA. And as for the concept of an “occlusive moisturizer” it’s giving me the willies. I’m reasonably sure it’s not what my pores need.
HA most definitely should be applied to moist skin. As a humectant, it will attract water so you don’t want it pulling it all from your skin if it’s not getting it from a dry environment. This is why some people complain of their skin feeling drier and tighter after applying HA. They’re probably not applying it to damp skin and live in a dry environment.
And yes, you want to use an occlusive agent as your last step to create a protective seal to retain hydration and reduce moisture loss, and to protect the skin from external irritants. If you don’t use a barrier, your skin is going to lose moisture through evaporation, with or without HA.
You want to stay away from HA with oil. It doesn’t work like that. You’re combing two different agents that have opposite effects. If you’ve already bought one, just use it an occlusive moisturizer.
The function of moisturizers and creams are different. The former is to add hydration whereas the latter is to retain it. Of course creams contain water but moisture content is nowhere near moisturizers or even lotions for that matter.
As for occlusive moisturizers giving you “the willies”, that’s exactly what you’re using when you use cold cream.