I think everyone has probably heard of hyaluronic acid. Whether you take it for your joints or you apply it topically for anti aging purposes, it’s a pretty well known substance. I mean, you can go to Walmart and find loads of skin care products that contain hyaluronic acid. I always noticed it in skin care but I never really knew what it was. I just assumed it was a lab-created ingredient that was probably unsafe. When I read THIS book I realized hyaluronic acid is actually a natural substance that is already found in our bodies. As with collagen, the younger our skin is, the more hyaluronic acid our skin has. And to put it quite simply-the most radiant and young looking skin contains ample amounts of water. Increase your skin’s water content and you will be restoring the youthfulness of your skin.
Hyaluronic acid is a humectant. This means it draws in water and holds on to it. HA can hold 1000x it’s weight in water. Basically, when hyaluronic acid is abundant in the skin, the skin looks smooth, plump and dewy. As we age, especially in the late 30’s to early 40’s, the amount of hyaluronic acid our skin has, greatly decreases. What’s new, huh? Well, luckily there is an easy way to replenish it and that’s what we’re going to talk about today!
First off let’s get one thing straight-hyaluronic acid is not what we think of when we hear the word acid. It is in no way an exfoliant or a harsh substance that will remove dead skin. It’s actually quite the opposite. As I mentioned above, it is responsible for managing the water content of our skin. It grabs and holds on to water. Basically, young skin is well-hydrated. The water is what makes young skin look even, wrinkle free and healthy. Old skin is dehydrated, wrinkled and dull. Restore moisture in the skin and you can restore a healthy glow! It’s really that simple.
Hyaluronic Acid Benefits:
- Plumps fine lines and wrinkles!
- Repairs the barrier of our skin.
- Eradicates free-radical damage.
- Smooths and softens skin.
- Increases elasticity!
- Heals damaged tissue.
- Protects from UV rays.
Come to find out, hyaluronic acid comes in a powder form much like the vitamin C we use for THIS and THIS post. It is water soluble and can be added to a water based ingredient to make a gel. It is so simple to make-You literally pick your water base (distilled water or hydrosols) and then sprinkle hyaluronic acid over the top, close the lid and shake. Put it in the fridge and after a couple of hours your serum will have thickened and be ready for use! Basically this makes a 1% hyaluronic acid serum which is exactly the correct amount for your skin. Adding more HA to your water will not be beneficial to the skin.
Originally I bought THIS hyaluronic acid. I had read in several different places that in order to make a serum I needed high molecular weight hyaluronic acid. This is because the smaller the molecule, the deeper it goes into the skin. The deeper it goes, the higher the possibility it will inflame and irritate the skin. The problem with my high weight HA serum is that the molecule is too big to really do much long-term good for my skin. What I noticed when I use this serum though are some really exciting results. My skin looked immediately smoother and more even toned. It almost looked plastic-in a good way. I actually felt confident to not apply a tinted moisturizer or foundation! I really like my original serum. I have since read more about the molecular size of HA and found that there is a low molecular weight that is safe. It isn’t the smallest size but it is just small enough to go a little bit deeper for more long term results. What I’m looking to achieve beyond what my original serum did is long term hydration. With winter coming I want my skin to stay moist and dewy despite the dry, cold air that wreaks havoc on my skin. So, long story long-I ordered THIS HA and this is what I suggest you buy for this serum recipe.
One more angle to this ingredient I would like to mention is that there are a lot of articles and products I researched that suggest using both high molecular weight HA and low molecular weight HA in the same serum. This guarantees that you will have the benefits I’ve been experiencing (barrier repair and immediate plumpness and smoothness) as well as the more long term benefits of the low molecular weight HA. I’ll let you be the judge of your own serum. If you are looking for the ultimate HA serum, buy both and add equal parts to your serum (1/16 tsp. of each).
DIY Hyaluronic Acid Serum:
1/4 cup Distilled water
- Add your COLD distilled water (the cold might help with dissolving the HA) to a serum bottle like THIS. You will probably need a funnel.
- Add the hyaluronic acid on the top of the water.
- Replace the cap and shake your mixture. It might appear lumpy after it’s been shook but that’s OK, just mix the best you can by shaking. UPDATE: I’ve made several batches for experimental purposes and am having a little trouble getting the HA thoroughly mixed. I prefer, rather then just shaking the bottle-to use a blender (a magic bullet is perfect) to really mix it up-it’s not 100% necessary but it really helps make sure you get that powder evenly distributed. The blender seems to thicken the serum up almost immediately so this makes it hard to put it in a bottle with a small neck-Since you are making such a small batch, you could use a small glass jar-it would be much easier! Shaking might work depending on the brand of HA you chose.
- Put your serum in the fridge. Over the next couple of hours your serum will thicken and the clumps will dissolve.
- Apply morning and/or night after toning and before moisturizing.
The exact serum recipe I used is 2 TBSP. of helichrysum hydrosol (found HERE), 2 TBSP. distilled water and 5 drops of lavender essential oil plus 1/8 tsp. HA. You can use any hydrosol you like or you can simply just use distilled water. I did not use a preservative but I only used this serum for 2 weeks then threw out what I had left. I also stored it in the fridge for the entire 2 weeks. You’d be surprised how amazing a cold HA serum feels first thing in the morning! The cool also cuts down on inflammation and redness!
SIDE NOTE ON HELICHRYSUM HYDROSOL-I chose this hydrosol for it’s powerful anti inflammatory benefits as well as it’s toning abilities. It is also extremely helpful in healing damaged skin as well as reducing scaring.
What I’m going to do once my low molecular weight HA comes in the mail is double this batch and add the preservative. I’m going to work on a recipe for a face cream that we can add the1% serum into it! I for sure want it to last longer then 2 weeks when making a larger amount. I’m also super excited to come up with more serum possibilities using HA! The possibilities are endless!
I plan to eventually experiment with other water based ingredients such as glycerin, aloe vera gel and witch hazel. I don’t see why these ingredients wouldn’t work but I haven’t personally tried them.
I’m really quite excited about this DIY. It’s so rewarding to make effective anti aging products for a fraction of the cost of a high-end product!