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Here’s why hyaluronic acid is the one product you should be using right now

Raise your hand if, at some point in the last few months, you’ve looked in the mirror and seen fine lines that definitely weren’t there yesterday, then promptly convinced yourself that you aged overnight and the world was ending. Yeah, us too. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with aging — it’s a fact of life, blah, blah — but it doesn’t mean that those new lines, wrinkles and dull patches aren’t alarming and frustrating. And it also doesn’t mean we have to like it.

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woman in water
Image: Aspen Plummer/Unsplash

But we’re here to say that no, you (most likely) did not magically age overnight, so push that worry aside. As the weather grows colder, moisture gets zapped from your skin at alarmingly fast rates (think: grape-to-raisin transformation sped up to mere minutes), which causes a compromised skin barrier. Translation: More visible fine lines, dry spots, irritated patches and an overall blah complexion. Luckily, unless you live in Alaska, the compromised barrier isn’t totally permanent — what up, warmer temps — but if you neglect your skin all winter, you will increase your risk of wrinkles and aging. And that’s where hyaluronic acid comes in.

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If there were a team of superheroes watching over the skin-care world, hyaluronic acid would be its captain. And yeah, you’ve heard of hyaluronic acid before, mainly because it’s been touted in every skin-care product this year, but it’s not just talk — this stuff really works. Hyaluronic acid is essentially a magnet for water. Once the sugar molecules penetrate your skin, they almost immediately balloon up with water, temporarily plumping fine lines and smoothing out roughness. And though the acid already exists naturally in your skin, its supply significantly decreases as you get older (like most excellent skin things), resulting in a drier, more wrinkled complexion.

woman in striped shirt smiling
Image: Brooke Cagle/Unsplash

The good thing is, hyaluronic acid offers instant gratification by seriously making your skin look amazing within minutes of applying it. No, it won’t permanently turn back the clock on aging, but as long as you apply it in the morning and night, you’ll reap the youthful benefits for the rest of the day. And thankfully, hyaluronic acid isn’t insanely expensive. You can find it in drugstore face creams, like Garnier Moisture Rescue Hydrating Daily Lotion (called “sodium hyaluronate” in the ingredients) and CeraVe SA Renewing Lotion, but to get the most fine line-plumping action, make sure hyaluronic acid is close to the top of the ingredient list. Or just opt for a straight hyaluronic acid serum, like Paula’s Choice Resist Hyaluronic Acid Booster or Skin Inc. Hyaluronic Acid Serum, which can be applied to dry skin before your moisturizer or mixed into your moisturizer for a concentrated dose of hydration.

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Pick up a bottle (or two) yourself, and then get excited for the dewy, glowy transformation. We promise you’ll notice a difference both immediately and after a full week of consistent use. Just be prepared to explain for the umpteenth time why your skin looks so good at your next holiday party.

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