This Is The Only Beauty Product That Helped My Dry, Inflamed Winter Skin
This might be an unpopular opinion, but I'm just going to say it: I like winter. Maybe it's because I grew up in perpetually sunny Arizona or I'm just a freak of nature, but the coziness of winter and the excuse to drink warm drinks and wear fluffy scarves and hats thrill me.
Despite the fact that it's cold, dark, and windy—and many people are suffering from low moods and seasonal affective disorder—there's still something magical about a snowy day, especially in New York City.
That said, the big downside of winter for me has always been my skin's propensity for dryness. I get it on my body, sure, but it's nothing a good body butter or body oil can't solve. The real problem is on my face, specifically the lower half of my face, including my cheeks, chin, and around my mouth. I get dry, I peel, and everything just feels red and inflamed—and it hurts!
I've tried a lot of different products, creams, lotions, serums, and oils, and none of them seemed to help. Some even made the problem worse. And then, I discovered the product that will forever be a part of my winter beauty routine: hyaluronic acid.
How hyaluronic acid changed my winter skin forever.
What is hyaluronic acid? Put simply: It's a molecule that's largely responsible for skin moisture. It's also a known humectant, which means it draws moisture from the environment into our skin, leaving it more plump and better hydrated than many other creams and lotions ever could. After using it just once, I was already feeling some relief.
You might be surprised to learn that HA is completely natural. You heard that right: HA occurs naturally in our body by our skin cells, and like collagen, it's totally safe for topical use.
I'll admit that I was hesitant to try this product because of the word "acid." That felt like the total opposite of what my skin needed, as sensitive as it was. But HA is actually incredible soothing and gentle. It comes out in a thick gel-like liquid that quickly absorbs into your skin, and left mine more hydrated than it had been in weeks.
Why HA could be the answer to your winter skin, too.
HA is a favorite among dermatologists and holistic beauty experts. This is, in part, because it's actually perfect for those of us with sensitive skin that is likely to react to unfamiliar ingredients or scents. Cybele Fishman M.D., an integrative dermatologist and go-to mbg health expert, explained to mbg earlier this year, "Since hyaluronic acid is a natural component of our skin, allergy is not a concern," and neither is irritation."
You can also take hyaluronic acid internally. According to the Cleveland Clinic, while there isn't a ton of research on HA, it does "show promise for treating skin aging." And although HA is mostly present in the skin, it's actually found in all the tissues and fluids in our body in some quantity. As an added bonus, HA is also one of the important ingredients in the fluid that keeps our joints pain-free and well-lubricated, something called synovial fluid. In other words, the benefits of HA could extend far beyond just saving my skin from effects of the cold, windy days ahead.
Eager to try it out? Look for HA in Hyaluronic Acid Serum from NOW Foods ($16) or in Ultra Repair Serum ($30) from First Aid Beauty.
Gretchen Lidicker is an mbg health contributor, content strategist, and the author of CBD Oil Everyday Secrets: A Lifestyle Guide to Hemp-Derived Health and Wellness and Magnesium Everyday Secrets: A Lifestyle Guide to Epsom Salts, Magnesium Oil, and Nature's Relaxation Mineral. She holds a B.S. in biology and earned her master’s degree in physiology with a concentration in complementary and alternative medicine from Georgetown University.