Can Hyaluronic Acid Cause Acne?

Hyaluronic acid is one of those skincare ingredients that you absolutely love seeing on your product list. And no, there’s nothing to worry about when you see the word ‘acid’. Hyaluronic acid is one of the most beneficial hydrators that can you can ever use on your skin, but the question is can hyaluronic acid cause acne?

If your skin is prone to breakouts and acne, I completely understand why you’d want to stay far away from heavily moisturizing skincare products. And it’s true that hyaluronic acid is very moisturizing, but when it comes to your concern about whether it can cause acne, you might want to reconsider because… 

Hyaluronic acid is highly unlikely to cause acne breakouts if you use the right form of it and if you carefully mix it with other ingredients. 

But before we go into further detail, why don’t we talk about the ingredients-acne relation. It might help you get a better idea of this super-powerful ingredient and why you shouldn’t shy away from it as much as you might have had.

How Can Skincare Ingredients Cause Acne?

So what exactly causes acne and why do some skincare ingredients have a reputation for making acne breakouts worse? 

First of all, acne is a skin problem that targets the pores on your skin. When dead skin cells clog your pores, that’s when sebum gets blocked and bacteria can start to grow. The trapped bacteria can multiply and cause inflammation, leading to breakouts and pimples. 

If you use unsuitable skincare products or bad ingredient combinations, they can make your skin break out by blocking your pores and causing the formation of comedones. That’s how you can get pimples from skincare products. 

On another hand, some products may increase skin cell turnover rate and cause skin purging. This happens as a reaction to a specific skincare ingredient and is different from a regular breakout because it doesn’t last more than six weeks. 

It’s a temporary acne flare-up that tends to happen when you introduce a new product into your skincare routine.

Can Hyaluronic Acid Cause Acne?

Despite what many people believe, hyaluronic acid is not like other acids (salicylic acid, for example) and is not an exfoliating ingredient. It can’t speed up the skin cell turnover, therefore, can’t cause skin purging. 

It’s just a powerful hydrating solution that can help retain your skin’s moisture and is particularly helpful during dry or cold periods.

The chances are that you’re having acne breakouts because of other ingredients in your skincare routine which are causing you to flare up. Look for AHA, BHA, or retinol in your products, because they could be causing you to experience intense skin purging.

So how can hyaluronic acid cause acne, then?

Well, if you’ve experienced acne breakouts after using hyaluronic acid in your routine, it could be due to the way you’ve used it. 

Since hyaluronic acid is a humectant, it means that it attracts moisture to itself. But if you live in a dry environment, it can’t draw water from the atmosphere so it will pull it from the deeper layers of your skin. This can cause skin irritation that may look like acne. 

Also, pay attention to what form of hyaluronic acid you’re using because some forms are more irritating than others. 

Remember that HA is not likely to cause acne, but just hydrate your skin and help retain moisture, so make sure you check out other ingredients on your list that could be causing you to break out.

What is Hyaluronic Acid?

As I explained above, hyaluronic acid is a powerful hydrator and a humectant, which means it hydrates your skin and attracts water into it. It actually can hold 1,000x its own weight in water and is an incredibly effective ingredient.

Hyaluronic acid is naturally present in your body – to be precise, it can be found in your connective tissues, eyes, and body – but over time, its natural levels start to decrease. 

Due to the natural aging process, pollution, and UV lights, HA starts to wear off at one point. Lower levels of HA can lead to dehydrated skin and more visible wrinkles, lines, and other signs of aging. 

To make up for the loss of hyaluronic acid in the skin, you can always turn to products containing this potent hydrator and boost your skin’s health.

Related: Can you use niacinamide with hyaluronic acid?

The Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid

In addition to intense hydration and a youth-looking complexion, hyaluronic acid offers many skin benefits. Here are some of the most incredible benefits of using hyaluronic acid in your skincare routine:

  • Deeply moisturizing
  • Anti-aging powerhouse
  • Wound healing
  • Smoother skin
  • Boosts skin cell regeneration
  • Fortifies skin barriers

How to Use Hyaluronic Acid

Not using hyaluronic acid properly can lead to potential skin irritation, dehydration, and skin breakout, especially if you live in a dry environment. Luckily, you can do something about it. 

Here are some suggestions to avoid dehydration after using hyaluronic acid.

Apply a moisturizer immediately after applying a hyaluronic acid product to lock in moisture and seal in all that hydration.

It’s recommended to apply a hyaluronic acid product on damp skin, which means, you don’t have to wait for the skin to fully dry off after using a cleanser. Instead, apply the HA product immediately afterward.

Another way to make the most out of your HA product is to apply it in a humid bathroom after showing while there’s still a lot of moisture around you.

Can Hyaluronic Acid Help With Acne?

Not only does hyaluronic acid not cause acne breakouts directly, but it’s also considered to be good for helping with acne. Because HA is an effective hydrator, it can do wonders for your skin, and the same goes for acne and pimples. 

Acne-prone skin needs moisture, just like any other skin type so don’t avoid hydrating serums powered with HA because you’re scared you’re going to break out even more.

While hyaluronic acid doesn’t treat acne directly, it’s an excellent complementary acne treatment, especially if you use medications to treat acne. Those meds are powerful but can leave your skin dry and desperate for additional hydration. 

Skincare products containing hyaluronic acid are great moisturizers and can be a great addition to your routine. On top of that, HA has soothing properties and will help you give your skin the overall treatment that it deserves.

Hyaluronic Acid Products to Try (Especially If You Have Acne-Prone Skin)

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The Ordinary HA 2% + B5 is the superhero of skincare, and it’s totally deserved. This powerful formulation contains three types of hyaluronic acid with different molecular weights (low, medium, and high) that can penetrate your skin at different depths. 

Continuously praised by beauty gurus and skincare experts, The Ordinary HA 2% + B5 not only features hyaluronic acid but it’s also supported with the addition of Vitamin B that provides enhanced hydration. 

This vegan product is formulated without oil, alcohol, silicone, nuts, and gluten.

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Paula’s Choice Hyaluronic Acid Booster deserves all the hype it gets. It has a super-potent formula that can revive hydrated skin and make it noticeably smoother. 

It contains a revolutionary blend of powerful hyaluronic acid, skin-replenishing ceramides, and panthenol that work together to keep the skin hydrated and moisturized. 

By smoothing out wrinkles and fine lines, the serum provides a visible boost to the skin and makes it more youth-looking and nourished. 

Whether you have dull skin, redness, or signs of premature aging, this booster could be a great addition to your skincare routine. It has no fragrance, no parabens, and it’s good for all skin types.

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Vichy Mineral 89 Face Serum contains 89% mineralizing thermal water, naturally derived hyaluronic acid, and hydrating glycerin. It helps improve the moisture barrier, makes the skin more wrinkle-resistant, and protects it from potential environmental pathogens and irritation.

Vichy Mineral 89 Face Serum is an ultra-powerful, lightweight solution that plumps and hydrates the skin. 

It’s safe and effective for all skin types, with a fragrance-free and minimalist formula containing only 11 ingredients.

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Final Thoughts

So all things considered, can hyaluronic acid cause acne? 

The answer is that it’s highly unlikely it will make your skin break out as long as you combine it with the right ingredients and use it properly following the suggestions I mentioned above.

As a matter of fact, HA-infused products may even help those with acne-prone skin and in desperate need of skin hydration. 

As I mentioned, acne-prone skin also needs hydration, so you shouldn’t shy away from moisturizing ingredients such as HA. 

On top of that, hyaluronic acid can complement your acne treatment and support you on your path to healthy skin.

Hyaluronic acid is a superstar ingredient that provides deep hydration, helps retain skin moisture, and enhances the overall skin condition. 

If you want to give your skin more love and care, give hyaluronic acid a try!

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