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If you have dipped your toes into skincare, you’ve probably heard of hyaluronic acid and salicylic acid.
These buzz-worthy ingredients have rapidly taken center stage in the skincare world, and for a good reason. Laden with promise, they’re now in everything from moisturizers and serums to cleansers, face masks, and even makeup products.
Hyaluronic acid has been praised for its moisturizing and age-reversing properties. But how much do we really know about it? What if I told you it is not even an acid, as the name suggests?
On the other hand, salicylic acid is a key ingredient in most products targeting acne due to its ability to exfoliate deeply and regulate oil production. But what else can salicylic do for your skin?
Both these ingredients boast endless skin-loving benefits. Can you use hyaluronic acid and salicylic acid together to harness their unique properties simultaneously?
Follow me as I dive deep into the science behind these skincare powerhouses and answer everything you want to know about hyaluronic acid and salicylic acid
Understanding Hyaluronic Acid: A Deep Dive
Let’s begin our hyaluronic acid and salicylic acid convo with the first of the two ingredients.
What Is Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic acid (HA) is EVERYWHERE! So, what’s the fuss about it? This ingredient is a true superhero for hydrating and rejuvenating your skin. Why?
Hyaluronic acid is a polysaccharide (a.k.a. a sugar molecule) naturally occurring in our skin. Among its many properties, it’s a humectant. This means it has the incredible ability to draw and retain over one thousand times its weight in water!
This helps the skin maintain its moisture balance and look plump, youthful, and radiant. Who doesn’t want that, right? However, factors such as aging and environmental stressors reduce levels of HA in your skin. This results in a loss of volume and elasticity.
That’s where HA products come into play. To understand the different properties of these products, you need to know that the hyaluronic acid they contain comes in different molecular sizes.
Regular HA products contain high molecular weight hyaluronic acid. This means that due to its size, it cannot penetrate our skin’s barrier and instead sits on top of it, providing a blast of hydration.
These products are perfect for dry and dehydrated skin. However, hyaluronic acid has been hyped for its ability to make the skin look younger. Was it all just a marketing scheme?
Absolutely not! New formulas containing low molecular weight HA can deliver hyaluronic acid in deeper skin layers. Studies have shown impressive results in reducing wrinkles and improving skin appearance.
Hyaluronic acid improves skin volume and boosts elasticity by stimulating the production of collagen and elastin – the components that keep your skin looking young and fresh.
What Are The Benefits Of Hyaluronic Acid
The amazing properties of hyaluronic acid don’t stop at hydration and anti-aging. HA also boasts antioxidant properties, protecting your skin from environmental stressors that lead to premature aging.
To sum up, the benefits of hyaluronic acid are:
- HA packs a punch of hydration – it acts as a humectant that retains water
- It has anti-aging properties – it reduces wrinkles and improves skin elasticity
- It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties
- It promotes wound healing and helps treat atopic dermatitis
You might be wondering if there are any downsides to hyaluronic acid. The truth is, it’s generally well-tolerated by all skin types. But don’t let that prevent you from doing a patch test before using new products. After all, everyone’s skin is unique, and what works for most might not work for you.
Now hold on; you’ve learned a ton about hyaluronic acid. But what about salicylic acid? Well, you’re in the right place. Continue reading, and we’ll take a deep dive into salicylic acid next.
The Lowdown on Salicylic Acid for Skin
We will continue our hyaluronic acid and salicylic acid debate by turning the spotlight on salicylic acid.
What Is Salicylic Acid
Salicylic acid is a Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) revered by beauty gurus for its amazing exfoliating properties. Salicylic acid is a small, oi-soluble molecule that can penetrate deep into your pores, unclogging them, regulating oil production, and preventing nasty breakouts.
Salicylic acid falls into the category of chemical exfoliants. By breaking down your skin’s keratin and the bonds between cells, it effectively exfoliates both the skin surface and within pores, resulting in a smoother, clearer complexion.
What Are The Benefits Of Salicylic Acid
If you care to know what else salicylic acid can do for your skin, get ready to be amazed.
Salicylic acid is also an anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial, derived from the same family of drugs as aspirin. It can reduce redness and swelling, making it great for calming inflamed acne or sensitive skin.
By promoting the sloughing away of dead skin cells, it reveals a more radiant and rejuvenated complexion. Salicylic acid has been shown to effectively tackle rough, textured skin, hyperpigmentation, freckles, as well as fine lines and wrinkles.
So, let’s gather the benefits of salicylic acid for the skin:
- Salicylic acid exfoliates and unclogs the pores
- It reduces whiteheads and blackheads
- It improves skin tone by fighting hyperpigmentation
- It minimizes fine lines and wrinkles
- It evens rough, textured skin
Hyaluronic and Salicylic Acid: Doing Wonders Together
Now that you have become an expert in all things hyaluronic acid and salicylic acid, you will understand that there is no reason to compare them. These two ingredients are not interchangeable and benefit your skin in completely different ways.
Salicylic acid clears your pores of excess sebum and dead skin cells, preventing breakouts, while hyaluronic acid hydrates your skin and reduces the signs of aging.
When it comes to skincare, one of the most common dilemmas you might face is choosing between products. But when it comes to hyaluronic acid and salicylic acid, do you really have to choose one?
Can You Use Hyaluronic Acid And Salicylic Together?
The million-dollar question arises. Can you use hyaluronic acid and salicylic together?
Well, the answer is a resounding YES. In fact, combining these powerhouse ingredients in one skincare routine is your ticket for clear, glowing skin.
When used correctly, these acids have a harmonious relationship that could elevate your skincare regimen.
Salicylic acid helps to clear clogged pores and reduces any inflammation, preparing the perfect, clean canvas for the hyaluronic acid to step in. It then grabs onto the moisture and seals it in for longer-lasting hydration.
I will also remind you that salicylic acid can have a drying effect that can be easily corrected by the highly moisturizing hyaluronic acid.
Can You Combine Hyaluronic Acid, Salicylic Acid, And Niacinamide
Niacinamide is another skincare favorite. Therefore, the question that often arises is, can I use hyaluronic acid with salicylic acid and niacinamide?
The answer is yes, you can! Niacinamide shares a bit of the benefits of both hyaluronic acid and salicylic acid. It minimizes the pores, regulates oil production, and offers much necessary moisture.
I will soon spill the tea on how to layer hyaluronic acid and salicylic acid. To learn about how to combine salicylic acid and niacinamide, read this post.
How To Layer Hyaluronic Acid And Salicylic Acid
I hope that you are convinced that hyaluronic acid and salicylic acid are a true match made in heaven. However, just as goes with every ingredient, you need to know how to layer them properly. Otherwise, they will go to waste.
Well, first things first, there is no point in mixing them. Salicylic acid works by digging into the pores, while hyaluronic acid prefers to stay at the top layers. However, you can use them during the same routine.
The correct order of layering these ingredients is using salicylic acid first and then hyaluronic acid. This happens for a number of reasons:
1. Way Of Action
Just as I told you above, hyaluronic acid and salicylic acid work in completely different ways.
The one targets the deeper levels of the skin and dissolves excess sebum, while the other forms a protective layer on top of the skin, hydrating and preventing water loss.
Therefore, wearing hyaluronic acid before salicylic acid is counterproductive and overall wrong.
When we layer products, we prefer to go from thinner to a thicker consistency. That is because we want the thinner products to dissolve into the skin while the thicker ones sit on top of it, locking in moisture.
Salicylic acid usually comes in the form of cleansers, toners, or serums, which means it goes first in your routine by default.
On the other hand, you can usually find hyaluronic acid in serums or creams, which naturally come towards the end of your routine.
3. pH Levels
Our skin’s natural pH ranges from 4.5 to 5.5. Salicylic acid, just like all BHAs, has a pH level of 2.5-4, which places it on the acidic side. On the other hand, hyaluronic acid has a more alkaline pH of 5-8.5.
When layering ingredients, we prefer to begin with more acidic products because they tend to absorb better into the skin. Hence, salicylic acid goes first.
To sum things up, here is what your routine with hyaluronic acid and salicylic acid would look like:
- Step 1: Cleanse your skin using a mild cleanser
- Step 2: Apply a salicylic acid product (usually a cleanser, toner, or spot treatment) on dry skin.
- Step 3: Wait until salicylic acid is fully absorbed, which will take 10-15 minutes.
- Step 4: You can optionally use a mist to dampen your skin before using hyaluronic acid for maximum absorption.
- Step 5: Apply hyaluronic acid (usually a serum or cream) to finish your routine with a moisturizing touch.
Best Practices for Using Hyaluronic Acid And Salicylic Acid Together
If you use the above steps, there is little that could go wrong with the hyaluronic acid and salicylic acid combo.
Using these power ingredients can do wonders, but there are a few best practices to take note of when incorporating them for maximum effectiveness.
Things to remember when combining the two:
- Wait an adequate amount of time before using hyaluronic acid: Allowing salicylic acid to fully absorb into your skin before applying hyaluronic acid avoids diluting the latter.
- Start with lower concentrations: Both hyaluronic acid and salicylic acid formulas come in concentrations of 0.5-2%. If you have sensitive skin, opt for lower concentrations at first. Notice how your skin reacts, and you can build up the concentration in time.
- Use active ingredients in moderation: Consistency matters with these ingredients, but you don’t want to overdo it. If you notice any irritation, itching, or redness, it’s best to cut back on salicylic acid and focus on hydration. In this case, hyaluronic acid comes to the rescue. If these symptoms persist, stop your routine and consult a dermatologist.
- Do a patch test: Patch testing each product separately first is crucial before combining them. Your skin type can determine how these acids will work on you. Do a patch test first, especially if you have sensitive skin.
To summarize, using hyaluronic acid and salicylic acids together can bring about notable improvements to your skin. Just remember, it’s all about balance and moderation. Figure out your skin’s needs and proceed with caution when introducing new ingredients to your routine.
Wrapping It Up – Overall Benefits for Your Skin
Choosing the right skincare ingredients might feel like navigating a complex maze. But the hyaluronic acid and salicylic acid combo is here to simplify your routine.
Salicylic acid cleanses your pores, making way for hyaluronic acid to come in and hydrate your newly refreshed skin. Whether used together or individually, both of these ingredients can yield significant benefits.
But combining hyaluronic acid and salicylic acid is the best way to go since they work in harmony, providing a thorough cleanse followed by deep hydration. They are an unbeatable combo!
Remember, skincare is a personal journey. What works for some may yield different results for others. So, pay attention to the signs your skin gives you, and don’t hesitate to consult a dermatologist before introducing new skincare products.
Frequently Asked Questions