If you’ve spent any time researching the best in skincare, you’ve undoubtedly heard the term “hyaluronic acid.” Praised as the elixir of youth for your skin, hyaluronic acid comes with promises to plump skin, smooth fine lines, and deliver a youthful glow.
You can find it popping up in nearly every type of skincare product, from serums to face cream to sunscreen to face masks.
But what is hyaluronic acid, and what exactly does it do? More specifically – is a hyaluronic acid face mask a good step in your skincare regimen?
We’ll answer these and many more questions as we dive into the benefits and features of hyaluronic acid face masks.
What is Hyaluronic Acid?
In scientific terms, the hyaluronic acid molecule binds and retains water within our cells and tissue. Our bodies produce it in places like our eyes, joints, and skin to keep our tissue lubricated and supple.
In Your Skin
Hyaluronic acid creates a barrier for your skin, pulling in water and storing it in your skin’s upper layer.
By retaining moisture in your skin cells, hyaluronic acid creates a plumping effect that reduces fine lines and wrinkles. When your skin is healthy and moisturized, you will also have faster cell production and turnover, which helps keep your skin smooth and fresh.
Hyaluronic acid is not like other acids in skincare, like salicylic acid, that gently exfoliate dead skin cells. Instead, hyaluronic acid simply soaks in. You can apply it to your face directly as a clear, gel-like serum or use products that incorporate hyaluronic acid into their other ingredients.
Some skincare products use an ingredient derived from hyaluronic acid called sodium hyaluronate, which acts like HA but penetrates more deeply into the skin.
What is a Hyaluronic Face Mask?
Hyaluronic acid face masks use hyaluronic acid as an active ingredient to maximize moisture and other benefits.
Because hyaluronic acid helps your skin keep moisture in, it’s an excellent supplement for other moisturizing ingredients, maximizing their benefit as well as its own. The acid soaks in and prepares your skin to retain moisture from any serums or lotions that follow.
When you think of moisturizing face masks, you’ll often picture heavy creams or oils best used only for those with dry skin. But hyaluronic acid is great for all skin types, including oily skin.
Our skin produces oils due to dryness, so hyaluronic acid can help reduce oil production. The ingredient works with your natural hydration so your cells can relax.
Using hyaluronic acid, skincare brands can deliver premium moisture masks for any skin type without causing clogged pores. We love it because even those of us with oily or combination skin need hydration, too!
Benefits of a Hyaluronic Face Mask
You can probably begin to guess that hyaluronic acid face masks have massive benefits. Let’s explore the most important ones.
Reduces Fine Lines and Wrinkles
Over time, the natural aging process and environmental factors cause our moisture levels to drop. Our bodies tend to produce less hyaluronic acid and retain less water. That’s when – you guessed it – we start seeing signs of aging like fine lines, wrinkles, dry patches, and uneven or dull skin tone.
Reintroducing hyaluronic acid to our bodies can help rejuvenate dull, dry, and aging skin. It helps reduce wrinkles and fine lines and plumps and lubricates your skin for a supple, healthy glow.
By adding hyaluronic acid to your skincare regimen, you can help your skin retain moisture and fight signs of aging.
Gives You a Glow
What gives you plump, youthful, glowing skin?
You guessed it – moisture! Your skin needs plenty of water to stay supple and radiant. If you’re experiencing tightness or dullness, you probably need to consider adding a moisturizer to your skin.
Hyaluronic acid is an excellent way to supplement your body’s natural lubrication. Not only does it moisturize, but it helps your skin retain any other moisture it receives. Some studies have even shown that microinjections of hyaluronic acid can plump skin for months.
Smooths Skin Tone and Reduces Redness
Hyaluronic face masks, if applied regularly, can help even out your skin tone and reduce redness over time.
Most unevenness in your skin occurs because of a lack of proper hydration due to environmental factors, aging, or simply your skin’s natural structure.
Applying a face mask with hyaluronic acid will drench your skin with moisture and fortify it with the ability to keep that moisture in longer. Say goodbye to dry patches and fine lines, and hello to smoother, more even skin.
The hydrating effect of hyaluronic acid can also reduce redness and dermatitis.
Acts as an Antioxidant
According to some studies, hyaluronic acid has antioxidant properties that are incredibly good for your skin.
Antioxidants actively limit the production of free radicals in your skin. Free radicals are essentially unstable molecules that latch onto other molecules to stabilize, causing a chain reaction of damage to healthy cells. Our bodies produce them naturally, but UV damage and other environmental factors can also cause free radical production.
Introducing antioxidants to your skincare regimen can reduce the amount of damage caused by free radicals.
Vitamin C is another natural antioxidant and works wonders on sun damage and other skin problems when paired with a hyaluronic acid serum.
Works for All Skin Types
As we mentioned before, hyaluronic acid is an excellent hydrating product for any skin type. It works with your cell’s natural process to lock in moisture rather than produce excess oil.
Hyaluronic acid is also one of the gentlest products in the skincare world, so it’s an excellent choice for anyone with sensitive skin. You can apply it in the morning or at night, or more than once a day.
Are There Any Downsides to Using Hyaluronic Acid?
Because it’s so gentle and works universally, hyaluronic acid doesn’t have much of a downside. Dermatologists swear by it, and it is a safe ingredient in all kinds of other products.
However, you should exercise caution when buying or using products that use hyaluronic acid alongside other ingredients. Just because one element is good for your skin doesn’t mean all of them are.
Many products that use hyaluronic acid may also include ingredients that cause sensitivity in your skin or aren’t gentle enough. We recommend avoiding products with phenoxyethanol, a mild preservative in many skin care products that can irritate the skin in large doses.
Who Should Use a Hyaluronic Face Mask?
Everyone! As we’ve explained, this gentle product is safe for anyone seeking the benefits of good hydration. It’s a powerful moisturizing agent but light enough for oily or combination skin.
While it’s an excellent product for anyone, here are a few reasons you might particularly consider making a hyaluronic face mask part of your skincare regimen:
- You are ready for anti-aging products. Hyaluronic acid is an excellent step in an anti-aging skin care regimen, prepping your skin for maximum hydration and a youthful glow.
- You have combination skin with excess oil in some spots and dry patches in others. Hyaluronic acid can help balance your skin’s hydration, allowing those dry spots to retain moisture and soothing the areas producing excess oil.
- You are using tretinoin like Retin A or other retinoid products. These products are prescription-strength anti-aging wonders, but they can cause redness, dryness, and irritation. Incorporating hyaluronic face masks into this regiment can help ensure your skin stays moisturized.
How to Use Hyaluronic Face Masks
If you’re ready to plump your skin with a hyaluronic face mask, let’s be sure you know how to do it correctly.
How Often to Use
Hyaluronic acid is usually one of many ingredients in a face mask. Maybe you have a Vitamin C sheet mask with hyaluronic acid, overnight cream, or even a cleansing clay mask with HA added to the formula. Here’s how often you should apply each type of mask:
- Clay or mud mask: Apply for 15 minutes up to three times per week.
- Charcoal mask: Apply for 15 minutes up to three times per week. For sensitive skin, use only once per week or every few weeks.
- Peel-off masks: Apply for 15 minutes only once per week. For sensitive skin, test an area of your skin before applying.
- Gel or cream mask: You can apply these hydrating masks for twenty minutes up to overnight for some. Use up to three times per week for the best results.
- Sheet masks: Sheet masks are a unique way to apply serums and other skin benefits. You can use them daily and massage the remaining serum into your skin.
How to Apply with Your Skincare Regimen
You can use masks in the morning or evening as part of your regular skincare regimen. Follow the instructions on the mask packaging for the best results.
With most masks, you will apply in the following steps:
- Step 1: Cleanse your face.
- Step 2: Pat dry.
- Step 3: Apply the mask gently to your cleansed skin.
- Step 4: Allow around 15 minutes for the skincare goodness to soak into your skin.
- Step 5: Remove mask and either rinse off or rub in the excess serum, depending on the type and instructions.
- Step 6: Massage in your regular moisturizer.
If you have an overnight mask, stop at Step 4 and leave it on all night. The mask itself is your moisturizer.
What Other Products and Ingredients are in a Hyaluronic Face Mask?
Hyaluronic acid is a key ingredient in a wide range of products and skincare routines. You’ll even find it in some cosmetic products, especially BB creams.
A few of the most common ingredients in a hyaluronic acid face mask are:
- Vitamin C – a natural antioxidant and skin brightener
- Glycerin – another humectant that works in concert with hyaluronic acid to lock in moisture
- Alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) – a water-soluble acid that helps exfoliate the skin
- Beta hydroxy acid (BHA) – another water-soluble acid that helps exfoliate the skin
- Aloe extract – soothes skin and reduces redness
- Green tea – a natural antioxidant that fortifies skin against free radical damage
What Should You Consider When Looking For The Right Product?
Look for other ingredients that can help deliver the results you want. We recommend looking for paraben-free, natural ingredients. Avoid harsh preservatives and other products that may have toxins or be too intense for your skin.
Face masks come in all different formulations and can target a multitude of various skin complaints or issues. Always read the label carefully and follow instructions for the best results.
- For dry skin: We recommend moisture-focused products and heavier cream masks to deliver intense hydration deep into the skin’s surface.
- For combination or oily skin: We recommend exfoliating products and deep pore cleansers. Hyaluronic acid is an excellent addition to these masks as it will help ensure the masks don’t strip needed moisture from your skin.
- For aging skin: Look for antioxidant products for skin smoothing and brightening your complexion.
Other Product Recommendations
As we’ve mentioned, the benefits of hyaluronic acid are available in a wide range of products beyond just face masks. You can find it in moisturizers, creams, serums, cleansers, and makeup.
If you’re looking for a product to help deliver the promise of plump, supple skin, we highly recommend adding a collagen cream to your regimen. Collagen cream maximizes the benefits of hyaluronic acid and packs in hydrating ingredients. The result is firmer, plumper, more glowing skin.
Hyaluronic acid is an incredibly versatile and powerful yet gentle skincare giant. While we usually think of acids as exfoliants, hyaluronic acid is a humectant that works as the skin’s barrier. It soaks up and locks in moisture for long-lasting skin hydration.
Experts have found more and more benefits to hyaluronic acid in the past decade, including anti-aging, antioxidant, and skin-smoothing features. Dermatologists love this ingredient and recommend its use for all skin types. A hyaluronic acid face mask is an excellent way to deliver deep hydration to your skin. Simply follow our step-by-step process above, and look for other ingredients that can maximize the benefits of your hyaluronic acid. You’ll love the fresh, youthful glow it gives your skin!