This is how you should *actually* be applying your hyaluronic acid, according to experts

In partnership with Superdrug

Woman holding skincare pipette to face
(Image credit: Getty Images/Youngoldman/Tanja Ivanova/Future)

Hyaluronic Acid is the wonder ingredient revered by dermatologists and skincare experts for its skin-plumping, line-smoothing powers. But what exactly is it and how should you apply it for best results? To find out we asked Dr Kemi Fabusiwa, a skin expert and NHS junior doctor, to set the record straight. 

Hyaluronic acid is a water-based humectant that is able to hold over 1,000 times its weight in water,” Dr Kemi Fabusiwa explains. “This means that it binds onto the surface of the skin and helps to draw water in from the environment.”

She says that it’s this ability to hold onto so much water that makes hyaluronic acid such a multi-functional ingredient with many skin benefits – from hydrating the protective barrier to plumping the skinand preventing irritation. Impressive, right?

But if there’s one thing that Dr Fabusiwa wants us to know about hyaluronic acid, it’s how to apply it. “Hyaluronic acid can be used both morning and night, but it’s best applied to cleansed, damp skin,” she says. “Hyaluronic acid is a powerful humectant that works by drawing water in from the environment,” she says. “If your skin is not damp, then hyaluronic acid will pull water from the lower layers of skin which may leave your skin feeling dehydrated”.

How to add hyaluronic acid into your skincare routine

me+ hyaluronic acid

(Image credit: Superdrug)

So, now you know a little more about this wonder ingredient, you’re probably keen to give it a go. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to add it to your routine. “Because of its ability to hold onto water so effectively, hyaluronic acid can be found in many different cosmetics preparations such as face serums, hair serums and cleansers,” says Dr Fabusiwa.  From a gentle cleanse in the morning, to a hydrating sheet mask before a night out, here’s how you can start using it today...

The Cleanser

“As always, your cleanser should come first. Including hyaluronic acid in the first part of your routine helps to add hydration from the beginning,” says Dr Fabusiwa. “Hyaluronic acid can also be cosmetically prepared in a way for the hydration to remain on the skin for a significant amount of time – even after you wash off the product”. 

Fancy giving it a go? Superdrug’s Me+ cleanser is formulated to gently remove oil and impurities without stripping moisture from the skin. It also uses hyaluronic acid, niacinamide and ceramides to leave your skin feeling softer and smoother.

The Serum

A serum such as Superdrug’s Me+ Hydrating Booster is an effective way of adding hyaluronic acid into your routine. Formulated with 2% hyaluronic acid, it will give your skin a boost of moisture while helping with the appearance of dehydrated skin after just four weeks of use. 

So, where should a serum come in your routine? “Hyaluronic acid does not react with other ingredients which means that you can layer it before your other serums and before applying your moisturiser,” Dr Fabusiwa advises. Don’t forget to apply it to slightly damp skin for best results. 

The Sheet Mask

For instant hydration and dewiness, a sheet mask drenched in hyaluronic acid is your answer. This biodegradable option from Superdrug’s Me+ range is the perfect spa-night treatment or an ideal way to prep your skin before applying makeup. “Sheet masking is a relaxing way to add hydration into your skincare routine but will reap the same amount of benefit as a hyaluronic acid serum,” says Dr Fabusiwa.

She advises applying it after washing your face, allowing your skin to become almost dry but not completely. “Leave a little bit of moisture for the hyaluronic acid in the mask to pull water from. Once you've left your mask on for the desired amount of time, you can rub any residue into your skin and then follow up with your second serum or moisturiser”.  

The Hair Serum

If you thought that hyaluronic acid was just for the skin, think again. In fact, it can help to maintain healthy-looking hair when applied as a hydrating treatment. This Hyaluronic Acid Anti-Frizz Serum from the Me + range helps to reduce frizz and static while increasing smoothness and shine. For best results, apply a few drops when your hair is still damp.

For more information and to discover the full Me+ range, visit Superdrug