Here's When You Should Use Hyaluronic Acid In Your Skincare Routine

Hyaluronic acid is a skincare ingredient found everywhere — or at least in every hydrating product with rave reviews including toners, serums, and moisturizers. If the product calls itself hydrating, the odds are hyaluronic acid can be found within its formulation. However, those of us who are both skinfluencers and not as immersed in the world of skincare might still be confused about when and how to properly use hyaluronic acid. Does it go before or after niacinamide? Does it mix well with retinol? What if we're using salicylic acid? The more active ingredients you add to the mix, the trickier it gets.

Hyaluronic acid can be any step you want it to be. After all, it comes in all types of consistencies for a reason. Simply find the form of hyaluronic acid that works best for you, whether it comes in toner, serum, or cream form, and apply religiously every day. Your skin will be grateful. That said, there's an optimal approach to using this particular active, which can get volatile and irritating if used incorrectly.

Still confused about the correct way to use hyaluronic acid? We've got you. Keep reading to know when exactly you should use hyaluronic acid during your daily skincare routine and when you should skip it altogether.

Where does it fit in your routine?

If you have a skincare routine, you know how difficult it is to figure out the best order in which to layer each product. Some skinfluencers argue that a good rule of thumb is to layer from thinnest to thickest (toners, serums, then moisturizer). While this is logical in terms of how well each product will sit on top of the other, sometimes it's best to go by the ingredient rather than substance. While some active ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid, often have a low molecular weight and are more easily absorbed by the skin barrier, others are absorbed more slowly.

The easier an ingredient is for the epidermis to absorb, the sooner it may be applied in your routine. So, while you can technically use hyaluronic acid anywhere in your routine, you'll see the most benefits the sooner you apply it. This is why it's always best to procure hyaluronic acid toners or serums and apply them to damp skin (for optimal water absorption) while sealing it all with a moisturizer. Not all of your products need to be formulated with hyaluronic acid, but rest assured that a hyaluronic acid moisturizer over your hyaluronic acid serum will not be overkill. For dry skin folks, a heavier moisturizer with ceramides or peptides will work best to lock the hyaluronic acid and moisture in place.

Who does it benefit?

Hyaluronic acid is commonly used for a reason — it's effective, and its benefits are evident right away. While other moisturizing ingredients might take time to show results, hyaluronic acid works quickly to quickly hydrate and plump the skin. It's so effective, in fact, it can significantly diminish fine lines and wrinkles. And, for some people, it can even help reduce scarring and speed up wound healing. Talk about acne-friendly! Acne scars don't stand a chance.

That's right, hyaluronic acid is not, contrary to popular belief, exclusively beneficial to dry skin types. Most people can benefit from hyaluronic acid and its hydrating properties. Not only does it help dry and dehydrated skin with moisture retention, but it also helps people with oily and combination skin absorb enough moisture to regulate sebum production (more moisture, less oiliness). And, if you struggle with skin sensitivity, hyaluronic acid has anti-inflammatory properties that can calm redness and irritation.

Now, not everyone can use hyaluronic acid. Since hyaluronic acid needs moisture to work, it pulls from the moisture in your other skincare ingredients and the environment to function. If it can't pull moisture from the environment, it can dehydrate the skin. This means that people living in areas with dry weather should avoid hyaluronic acid to prevent irritation.