Woman with healthy skin.

It’s often referred to as the Holy Grail of Hydration, and for good reason — hyaluronic acid just works. Just check the #topshelfies of skincare buffs around the world and you’ll find that most of them swear by its superior hydrating powers. But what else does this ingredient do and what’s the best way to use it? Let’s explore its many other benefits.

Hyaluronic acid is actually not a true acid. Unlike your exfoliating , it is best known for its hydrating properties and is widely used in skincare products to provide a calming benefit to many skin types, including oily, acne-prone, and sensitive skin. If you’re thinking of incorporating hyaluronic acid into your skincare regimen, here are some things you need to know:

Hyaluronic acid is a hydrator and shouldn’t replace moisturizer

Skin reacts to hyaluronic acid like a sponge reacts to water, immediately causing a smoothing and plumping effect upon contact. A powerful humectant, one molecule can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water.

This means it draws moisture to the skin from other sources, such as the environment (yay for humidity!), or your products. It preps the skin for your other serums and creams by creating an absorbent canvas that is receptive to other ingredients that are more targeted to your skin type. The key is to apply it right after , patting it all over your face with your palms, then apply the rest of your products.

Hyaluronic acid molecules don’t penetrate the skin barrier

Hyaluronic acid is quite a large molecule and does not penetrate the skin when topically applied. Some studies liken it to trying to get a basketball through the eye of a needle — a futile exercise that you need not worry about since skincare companies have already succeeded in introducing it in forms, such as sodium hyaluronate, that the skin can actually absorb.

Hyaluronic acid has antibacterial and wound-healing properties

The human body naturally produces hyaluronic acid, especially in areas that are in most need of repair. It regulates inflammation, relieves joint pain, and reduces the risk of infection. When applied topically as an essence or gel, it can reduce the appearance of acne as well as strengthen the skin barrier, helps protect it from irritants and bacteria that can cause more damage, and supports the skin while it heals. An essence is usually a viscous formula applied directly on the skin.

POND'S NEW YORK Bright Brilliance Day Serum Essence Vitamin C PRO contains a powerful mix of ingredients, including vitamin C, probiotics, and hyaluronic acid. Apply it on clean skin to brighten dark spots, even out the skin tone, and boost firmness.

Overall, hyaluronic acid is a fun ingredient to add to a hydrating skincare routine because of its immediate benefits. As an essence, it has a comforting, almost bouncy consistency that feels good on the skin. When incorporated into products such as cleansers and creams, it adds to its hydrating capabilities and allows the ingredients to seep deep into the skin so they can do their job.

The best part is, it is naturally produced by our bodies and is generally safe to use for all skin types, and is especially beneficial to acne-prone and oily skin for its moisturizing and skin-healing properties. It is a low-maintenance product that delivers results.

Want to read more? Learn about the for your skin and body, or , its salt derivative.