Surge in Skincare Fame: The Science Behind Hyaluronic Acid Serum

Written by: Georgie Steele



Time to read 6 min

You’ve heard the buzzword, you’ve witnessed the celebrity endorsements, and you’ve quite possibly bought one (or a few) products to try yourself. Hyaluronic acid serum has quickly become a household name in skincare routines, and for good reason – but what does this miracle product actually do, and why should we be using it?

If you’re in the ‘I know I should use face serums like hyaluronic acid, but I’m not entirely sure why’ party, then this guide is for you. Here, we delve deep into the scientific benefits of hyaluronic acid, the effect it has on your skin, and what to pair with this golden child of the skincare family for optimal results in your well-being journey.

Ultimately, you’ll discover the real reasons hyaluronic acid is considered the modern day’s fountain of youth in a bottle!

Serum bottle lying next to a green plant leaf

What is Hyaluronic Acid and Where Does it Come From?

Hyaluronic acid (HA) isn't just another trendy skincare ingredient – it's a natural compound found abundantly in our bodies, particularly in our skin, connective tissues, and eyes. Hyaluronic acid plays a crucial role in maintaining hydration and elasticity in our tissues.

When it comes to skincare (aka your favourite serums), hyaluronic acid is derived from various sources like plants, animals, and biotechnology. Its ability to hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water makes it a prized asset in the quest for hydrated, youthful-looking skin.

Hey, here’s the science: A 2022 clinical study concluded that cosmeceutical products containing HA offer a non-invasive and highly effective approach to enhancing skin hydration, rejuvenating the skin, and supporting its healing processes.

Another study tested the effects of hyaluronic acid on females between thirty and sixty years old. After two months of applying a variety of different 0.1% HA products, results showed significant improvements in the women’s skin hydration and elasticity. Interestingly, the study also found that formulations with a low molecular weight contributed to reduced wrinkle depth.

What Are the Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid Serum?

How long do you have? While we could probably write an entire book on the incredible benefits of HA serums, we’ll do you a favour and cut to the chase.

The benefits of hyaluronic acid extend far beyond mere hydration. Its lightweight texture allows it to penetrate deep into the skin, where it works its magic:

  • Moisture Retention and Hydration: Hyaluronic acid acts as a humectant, drawing moisture from the environment into the skin and locking it in for long-lasting hydration.
  • Plumping and Smoothing Effects: By replenishing the skin's moisture barrier, hyaluronic acid helps to plump up fine lines and wrinkles, giving the complexion a smoother, more youthful appearance.
  • Support for Collagen Production: Hyaluronic acid stimulates collagen synthesis, promoting firmer, more resilient skin over time.
  • Antioxidant Properties: As a potent antioxidant, hyaluronic acid helps to neutralise free radicals and protect the skin from environmental damage.

What this boils down to is the fact that hyaluronic acid serum is a scientifically proven and naturally occurring anti-ageing solution (hence the celebrity endorsements, of course). 

We’re not saying it will have magical, instant effects like a badly-disguised TikTok filter, but we can attest to the outstanding results we see with this must-have product.

Woman applying HA serum on her face

What HA Does for Skin

Picture this: a skincare ingredient that not only quenches your skin's thirst but also revitalises it from within. That's exactly what hyaluronic acid does. But why is this so important?

Not to worry you, but research shows that our skin’s natural HA content begins to reduce from as early as twenty years old, and it essentially halves by the time we’re fifty. Enter: hyaluronic acid products.

By replenishing the skin's moisture reserves and fortifying its natural barrier, hyaluronic acid reinvigorates these naturally diminishing HA supplies, leaving your complexion looking plump, radiant and rejuvenated. 

Whether you're dealing with dryness, dullness, or the early signs of ageing, hyaluronic acid is your ticket to a hydrated, healthy-looking glow.

Who Should be Using Hyaluronic Acid?

The beauty of hyaluronic acid serum lies in its versatility—it's suitable for all skin types, from oily and acne-prone to dry and sensitive. If your skin is parched, lacklustre, or showing signs of ageing, hyaluronic acid could be the missing piece in your skincare puzzle. 

As we mentioned above, you can start incorporating HA serums into your skincare routine from your twenties onwards.

However, if you have specific allergies or sensitivities, it's always wise to patch-test new products and consult with a dermatologist or your GP before incorporating them into your routine. 

Woman looking at a face serum

Are All Serums Made the Same?

The short answer? Not quite. We’ve sung its praises enough by now for you to be aware that hyaluronic acid is fabulous, but that doesn’t mean any bottle on the shelf will deliver the results you want. Let’s take a look at the science behind the success.

Harvard Health says that when choosing your hyaluronic acid serum, it’s important to look at the molecular sizes (well, not literally, of course – you get our drift). Serums with larger HA molecules offer the best hydration, while those with smaller molecules can seep into deeper layers of skin. 

Their recommendation, and ours? Look for products with a variety of molecular sizes to gain the best of both worlds.

Hot tip: Dr Tanya’s Hyaluronic Acid Serum is infused with Hylamesh 4D, an ingredient with a high molecular polymer that's powerfully water-binding and deeply penetrating. We love that for us.

Hyaluronic Acid for Skin: Dr Tanya’s Top Pick

It’s clear that the celebrity of new-age skincare is here to stay, and we’re certainly not mad; in fact, we’re surprised it took the skincare industry so long to harness this all-natural superpower into everyone’s favourite serum form.

So, what’s Dr Tanya's top product pick? 

Our Doctor-formulated Hyaluronic Acid Serum balances intense hydration with deep tissue penetration, making it the perfect addition to your skincare routine. The lightweight Dr Tanya serum can help to:

  • Increase your skin’s cell function
  • Even out your complexion
  • Strengthen and firm your skin
  • Reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Maintain optimal hydration levels 

Want to set yourself (and your skin) up for ultimate success and health? Check out our guide to serum layering and how strategic use of multiple Dr Tanya products can lead to amazing results.

FAQs: The Perfect Pair

Can hyaluronic acid serum be used with retinol?

Absolutely! In fact, hyaluronic acid and retinol make a dynamic duo when it comes to tackling multiple skincare concerns.

While retinol works its magic on fine lines, wrinkles, and uneven texture, hyaluronic acid steps in to keep the skin hydrated and comfortable.

Can I pair hyaluronic acid with vitamin C?

Yes, and it’s a great idea – seems like you know your stuff! Vitamin C and HA complement each other beautifully, with vitamin C brightening and evening out the skin tone while hyaluronic acid provides essential hydration. 

Together, they form a powerhouse pair that delivers radiant, luminous skin.

Can hyaluronic acid cause breakouts?

While hyaluronic acid is generally well-tolerated by most skin types, there's always a possibility of individual reactions. 

If you're concerned about potential breakouts, start by patch-testing hyaluronic acid products on a small area of your skin before applying them more liberally. This is a great idea when using any new product.

Hyaluronic acid vs niacinamide: Can they be used together?

Yes, this is another match made in heaven. Hyaluronic acid and niacinamide are like best friends for your skin, working together to address a wide range of concerns, from hydration and pore refinement to brightening and smoothing.

Incorporating both ingredients into your skincare routine can lead to a complexion that's balanced, healthy, and radiant.

Can you use hyaluronic acid when pregnant?

Yes, hyaluronic acid is considered safe for use during pregnancy. Its lightweight, hydrating properties can provide much-needed relief for dry, stressed-out skin, making it a go-to choice for expectant mothers seeking gentle yet effective skincare solutions.

If you’re concerned at all, or if you’re struggling with skin issues since becoming pregnant, we recommend speaking to your dermatologist or GP about your individual circumstances before applying hyaluronic acid serum.