Good news: Retinol and hyaluronic acid actually have a synergistic effect. “They can be combined so that the benefits of retinol can be achieved more easily with concomitant use of hyaluronic acid, which helps to prevent retinol irritation,” says Hartman.
Unlike many other skin care ingredients out there, hyaluronic acid and retinol can be used in the same skincare routine. Not only that, but using them together can help to lessen the severity of the side effects that often come with retinol usage.
What should a person use between hyaluronic acid or retinol? Hyaluronic acid is best if they're looking to moisturize dry skin, while retinol works better by encouraging better skin by boosting collagen production.
"If you have dry, irritated skin that is lacking in moisture, choosing a product with hyaluronic acid would be my recommendation," Hartman says. "Anyone with acne-prone skin, or someone who is looking to even out tone and fine lines and wrinkles would benefit from using retinol."
“Serums continue to be the most effective way to deliver active ingredients to the skin,” she says. “For hyaluronic acid, water-based serums allow it to optimize its effects.” When applied correctly, HA serums will leave your skin feeling plump and smooth.
The ingredient needs to be used in conjunction with other moisturizers; hyaluronic acid alone will not provide the necessary hydration skin needs. "It's really meant as a temporary hydrator, when applied to damp skin," Dr. Shamban says. "If your skin is already dry, you could actually be doing more harm than good."
"Hyaluronic acid is safe and beneficial to use everyday for maintaining skin hydration," says Dr. Russak. You just need to make sure you're applying it correctly. As a rule, you want to apply your hyaluronic acid product to clean, damp skin, and the lock it in with a moisturizer and face oil.
In the morning, after applying your vitamin C serum, follow it with a layer of hydrating hyaluronic acid. In your nightly routine, apply hyaluronic acid serum before retinol, as it can increase its effectiveness while also helping to lock moisture in for maximum hydration.
Hyaluronic acid has beneficial properties when used on your skin. It's especially useful for reducing the appearance of wrinkles and age lines.
Using an AHA product regularly prepares your skin to better absorb other products and stimulates the growth of smooth, evenly pigmented new skin. AHAs , beta hydroxyl acids and a newer form called polyhydroxy acids have also been shown to be effective in reducing fine lines and wrinkles.
They'll Irritate Your Skin
For instance, Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs), such as Lactic Acid and Glycolic Acid, and Synthetic Retinol are a pair that can easily cause irritation. Both ingredients are thought to have a positive impact on fine lines and wrinkles, but Synthetic Retinol on its own is harsh for most.
And while people with very dry skin would benefit most from hyaluronic acid everyone else, especially those with acne, should opt for retinol as it has much more potent and widespread effects on the skin", says Jack.
Also known as retinoic acid, tretinoin is about 20 times more potent than retinol. It's stronger because retinoic acid is a form of vitamin A that acts directly on the skin to boost cell renewal, turnover, and DNA damage repair.
It's perfectly safe and okay to use hyaluronic acid and retinol together. Using skin care products that contain these ingredients together shouldn't cause any interactions or side effects. Hyaluronic acid and retinol are one of the most popular skin care combinations.
Don't Mix: Retinol with vitamin C, benzoyl peroxide, and AHA/BHA acids. AHA and BHA acids are exfoliating, which can dry out the skin and cause further irritation if your skincare routine already includes retinol.
Like Hirsch mentioned, there's actually a good chance you're already using a product with hyaluronic acid in it—whether it be a moisturizer or the retinol formulation itself. You should always be using a moisturizer after retinol, so using one with hyaluronic acid can help keep your routine streamlined.
With all the fancy HA formulations on the market now (serums, pills, masks, and so much more), it can be tempting to adopt a “more the merrier” mentality. However, some research has shown that overuse of hyaluronic acid can result in redness and inflammation.
There's a reason it's ubiquitous: Not only does hyaluronic acid do a killer job when it comes to moisturizing the skin, but it minimizes signs of aging, since plump, hydrated skin makes fine lines and wrinkles less visible.
Moisturizers. Use a moisturizer infused with hyaluronic acid at the time when you'd usually moisturize. Ideally, this would be 2 times a day and always after cleansing, exfoliating, or applying serums.
Hyaluronic acid should be layered before retinol in case of dry or sensitive skin, as it helps create a barrier between retinol and your skin, offsetting irritation. Must-mention: let your hyaluronic acid serum dry before following with retinol as, if applied to damp skin, there's a higher risk of redness and dryness.
Well, when it comes right down to it, the choice is really in what you're looking to do for your skin. While vitamin C is incredible for the skin because of its ability to help brighten and improve hyperpigmentation, the best active ingredient for wrinkles is retinol.
Should you use retinol under your eyes? Yes, definitely. While it is true that retinol – a form of vitamin A – is a powerful ingredient and the skin under your eyes is delicate, there's no reason why you should miss out on the amazing benefits of retinol.
As long as you have the serum sandwiched between slightly damp skin and a moisturizer, you're good to go. It really plumps up the skin and makes it look nice and moisturized, and stays moisturized, throughout the day. NT: You definitely want your skin to be wet or damp before applying a hyaluronic acid serum.
Most people who take hyaluronic acid every day in the right dosage see results (such as the improvement of skin elasticity and reduction of skin roughness) in 4-8 weeks. However, everybody is different and some may see results in as little as 2-4 weeks.
Hyaluronic Acid: Instantly – 2 months
Your skin should feel more hydrated, soft, and plump immediately upon application; if you use it consistently for up to 8 weeks or more, you should start to see improvements in skin elasticity and skin smoothness as well.