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Does Hyaluronic Acid Cause Acne

Does Hyaluronic Acid Cause Acne? Expert Commentary

Started using Hyaluronic Acid (HA) and noticed more breakouts than usual. Perhaps you have acne and you’re finding that it’s become worse since starting to use.

Well, the thing is… Hyaluronic acid isn’t known to cause acne. It’s an ingredient that has been around for years and years. We recommend it to many of our clients some of whom are actively trying to manage and improve their acne. 

Hyaluronic acid helps the overall health of your skin, including helping to keep your skin hydrated and plump. It also helps to improve your skin barrier which is quite often compromised when we have acne; particularly if we’ve used harsh, stripping products in an attempt to control the breakouts. Your skin barrier helps to protect you from external threats such as pollution, harsh winds, and so on.  Additionally hyaluronic acid helps to control oil production, a common factor in acne. Hyaluronic acid has been shown to significantly decrease sebum production in those with oily skin. The overproduction of oil, or sebum, can contribute to blocking your pores and therefore helping spots and blackheads to form. 

Not particularly helpful for you, I realise, seeing as you’ve noticed a link between using HA and your acne. In fact, why am I even here writing this if that’s all there is to say-sorry, no known link…? 

So, Hyaluronic Acid Helps My Acne? Then Why Do I Have A Breakout?

If HA can be so helpful for acne, then why are there anecdotal reports that some people experience acne breakouts after using products containing it? The most likely answer is going to be found in the other ingredients within your product containing hyaluronic acid. If you have acne, you don’t want to use thick, heavy creams or oily serums that have a comedogenic impact on the skin (blocking the pores). You can buy creams and serums that are non-co-comedogenic, which is an excellent starting point. 

Additionally, an ultra-thick product that doesn’t absorb quickly may be creating a perfectly moist (ugh hate that word) environment for acne-contributing bacteria to thrive. If you’re not acne-prone, this may not be a problem but if you are it’s a consideration.

One of our very favourite hyaluronic acid serums for many of our clients, not just those with acne, is one by the UK brand Medik8. It is called Medik8 Hydr8 B5. We love it because you get all the amazing hydrating, restorative benefits that hyaluronic acid offers in an oil-free, fragrance-free lightweight serum that does not irritate the skin. It absorbs quickly and does not block the pores.  We’re not on commission, we have just loved this product and experienced no acne-inducing problems with it. 

If you have acne, or are acne-prone, but would like to experience the benefits that hyaluronic acid has to offer (honestly, it should be a base-line product for so many of us) then TEST PATCH to the side of your face (often easier to hide/less obvious than in the centre of your face should a breakout occur) before using your HA product all over your face. 

I am sharing my years of knowledge and experience in using this product with clients and myself (acne-prone) and one thing I do know is that there is always going to be an exception to the rule…that’s Human Body 101. Hyaluronic Acid is not currently a known cause of acne (it has been available for years, as mentioned previously) but there are other factors to consider when using a product containing HA, such as the other ingredients it contains. 

Another point to mention here is also the potential for skin purging when you try a new product. Skin purging occurs when a skin treatment or skin product stimulates your skin cell turnover (a good thing), but this can cause an initial breakout. Of course, if you already have acne who can truly say if it’s a normal flare of the condition or if it’s purging? A breakout because of a purge can last a few weeks, similar to a ‘normal’ breakout out. One thing to look out for is a breakout in an area that you don’t usually experience to better understand if it’s a product or just your acne. For example, my ‘usual’ breakouts tend to be confined to my chin and occasionally the sides of my cheeks… it would be unusual for me to get a typical breakout on my forehead or nose. Be aware that a ‘purge’ can happen with almost any product that has active ingredients in it, such as hyaluronic acid. We would expect a breakout from a purge to settle. 

If you have persistent acne and would like professional help managing and reducing the frequency and severity of your breakouts and symptoms, we would be happy to discuss your skin and possible products and clinically proven acne facials and acne treatments for your specific needs. Contact us here to arrange your skincare consultation.

Can Hyaluronic Acid Serum Trigger Acne Acne-Prone Skin?

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Hyaluronic acid serum is generally not associated with triggering acne-prone skin. Hyaluronic acid is known for being non-comedogenic, which means it doesn’t clog your pores. While it may not directly help with acne, it can indirectly benefit individuals with acne-prone skin by maintaining proper skin hydration, creating a balanced and healthy skin barrier, and potentially reducing excess oil production that can contribute to acne.

However, it’s essential to be aware of the overall formulation of the hyaluronic acid product you’re using and consider your specific skin type and sensitivities. If you have concerns about how hyaluronic acid serum may affect your skin, consulting a dermatologist or skincare professional for personalized guidance is advisable.

Can Hyaluronic Acid Cause A Breakout?

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Hyaluronic acid is like that cool, drama-free friend. It’s not here to stir the pot; it’s here to hydrate. It doesn’t typically trigger the skin purging process, as it primarily focuses on hydration, not exfoliation. Purging usually occurs with ingredients that speed up cell turnover, like retinoids or AHAs. Since hyaluronic acid’s role is to attract and hold moisture, it generally stays out of the purging business.

Is Hyaluronic Acid Good for Acne-Prone Skin?

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Hyaluronic acid can be an ally for those with acne-prone skin. Acne-prone skin often needs hydration, and hyaluronic acid excels in providing moisture without adding oiliness. It helps maintain a balanced and healthy skin barrier, reducing the likelihood of excess oil production that can contribute to acne. Pairing hyaluronic acid with acne treatments can enhance their effectiveness, and its gentle nature makes it suitable for acne-prone individuals. Hyaluronic acid products can help when added into your skincare routine, and help heal minor acne scars over time.

Can You Overuse Hyaluronic Acid?

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While it’s tricky to overdo it with topical hyaluronic acid, there’s a limit to how much your skin cells can absorb and retain moisture. Using too much can make your skin feel overwhelmed, especially sensitive skin, resulting in a heavy or slightly greasy sensation. It’s essential to use the right amount of hyaluronic acid products, typically a pea-sized amount for your entire face as part of your skincare routine, to hydrate your skin effectively without overloading it. Different formulations have varying concentrations of hyaluronic acid, so adjusting your usage based on your skin’s response and environmental factors is key to finding the right balance in your skincare routine. If you are using a hyaluronic acid moisturizer, make sure it is for all skin types, better yet, if it contains salicylic acid and alpha hydroxy acids, it will help treat acne and improve skin health for all skin types.

Disclaimer: This blog is not to be used for diagnostic purposes. We are all unique which means that our results, recovery and suitability for any type of treatment will vary. Always seek the advice of a professional should you have any health or cosmetic concerns or to discuss treatments specifically for you.

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