Does Hyaluronic Acid Cause Acne? Here’s What You Need To Know

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One of the biggest cosmetic concerns for people is whether hyaluronic acid causes acne. That’s because many products in the market are advertised to make you look younger and reduce wrinkles. While there are many components inside a beauty regimen, your skin should also be taken care of. This article aims at helping you learn what hyaluronic acid does and how it can help you clear your skin through prevention of acne breakouts. Hyaluronic Acid is one ingredient that has been questioned by many. So, does hyaluronic acid cause acne? We’ll take a look at the facts and you can decide for yourself.

Hyaluronic acid is a glycosaminoglycan. It’s a sugar molecule that can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water. Hyaluronic acid holds water inside the skin, making you look smoother and younger. It is naturally present in the human body.

The skin produces hyaluronic acid on its own, but as we age, the production decreases. As a result, your skin becomes dry and wrinkled.

Hyaluronic acid is a natural skin moisturizer and helps your skin retain its elasticity. It is extremely popular as an ingredient in anti-aging creams and serums.

What are the benefits of hyaluronic acid?

  1. Anti-Aging PropertiesAccording to research, haluronic acid has anti-aging properties that help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  2. Moisturizing Effects – Hyaluronic acid provides an instant moisturizing effect when applied on skin and helps maintain moisture levels by drawing water from deeper layers of your skin cells. Recent research has shown that it can also help control sebum production and even improve acne conditions
  3. Anti-Inflammatory Effects – Hyaluronic acid has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects that help reduce redness, irritation and inflammation.
  4. Improve Skin Texture – Since it is a moisture magnet, it attracts water into the deepest layers of your skin cells where it can be naturally absorbed into your body through your pores.
  5. Protects Against UVA/UVB Rays – Hyaluronic acid can act as an SPF, protecting against harmful UV rays that damage the skin cells and cause premature aging.
  6. Improving skin barrier functionA study suggest that – Increasing evidence suggests that hyaluronic acid may be beneficial for improving skin barrier function, particularly in conditions such as dry skin, atopic dermatitis, and eczema.

Does hyaluronic acid cause acne?

Before answering the question of whether or not hyaluronic acid causes acne, it is important to understand that how skin care ingredients can cause acne.

How Do skincare ingredients cause acne?

There are two main types of adverse reactions that skincare products can cause in acne-prone skin:  purging and break-out

What is purging?

Purging is a term that is used to describe an increase in cell turnover when using a new skincare product. When you begin using a new product, your skin begins to purge itself of the impurities that were stuck in your pores.

This can cause an increase in acne breakouts initially but once your skin cleanses itself, you should see a decrease in acne. Purging happens with all new skincare products and usually lasts for about 2-4 weeks.

Does hyaluronic acid cause purging?

No, hyaluronic acid won’t cause the skin to purge. Hyaluronic acid does not increase skin cell turnover, so it will not cause the skin to purge.

Hyaluronic acid is a humectant, meaning it helps skin retain moisture. It does not contain any active ingredients that would cause your skin to purge.

If you are experiencing purging after starting to use hyaluronic acid, it is more likely due to another product in your routine, such as an exfoliant or retinoid. Try discontinuing use of other products one at a time to see if the purging stops.

Is hyaluronic acid comedogenic?

Hyaluronic acid is non-comedogenic, which means it’s unlikely to clog your pores and cause breakouts. However, if you use products that contain other ingredients, such as oils or silicones, along with hyaluronic acid, they can still clog your pores.

If you’re concerned about breakouts, look for products that contain hyaluronic acid and are labeled “non-comedogenic” or “oil-free.” These products are less likely to cause breakouts.

Below is a list of comedogenic ingredients to help you find the right product for you.

If you’re not sure whether or not a product contains comedogenic ingredients, use this as a guide

What type of hyaluronic acid should you use for acne prone skin?

When it comes to hyaluronic acid, not all types are created equal. The type of hyaluronic acid you use in your skincare routine can make a big difference in how effective it is.

There are two main types of hyaluronic acid: low molecular weight and high molecular weight hyaluronic acid.

So what’s the difference between these two types of hyaluronic acid?

High molecular weight and low molecular weight hyalueonic acid

If you look at the picture below, you will understand the difference between them.

Difference between High molecular weight and low molecular weight hyaluronic acid

So, which one should you use? That depends on your goals.

If you are looking for a hyaluronic acid that will help you retain moisture, then you should look for one that is high in molecular weight. These types of hyaluronic acids are larger molecules that can hold onto more water.

If you are looking for a hyaluronic acid that will help reduce fine lines and wrinkles, then you should look for one with a lower molecular weight. These types of hyaluronic acids are smaller molecules that can penetrate the skin more deeply.

How to use hyaluronic acid for acne prone skin?

It really depends on the type of product you’re using.

If you’re using a moisturizer, then it’s best to apply it after cleansing and toning your skin.

If you are using serum, apply it when the skin is still slightly damp after cleansing. Then it’s important to apply a moisturizer to lock in all the hydration.

A study published in 2017 suggested that the topical application of hyaluronic acid could reduce the appearance of acne scars when combined with CO2 laser resurfacing.

It is very important to cleanse the skin before you apply any skincare products. For acne-prone skin, it is advisable to use a good quality acne face wash while cleansing he face. If you don’t, then all the dirt and germs that still sitting on your skin will mix in with the product which may cause breakouts.

How often can you use hyaluronic acid?

When it comes to hyaluronic acid, timing is everything. For best results, apply the product when your skin is damp. If you have acne prone skin, then it s best to use Hyaluronic Acid twice a day (morning and night).

Which ingredients can be combined with hyaluronic acid for maximum result?

While hyaluronic acid can be used alone, it is often combined with other substances to maximize its benefits. For example,

One popular substance that is often combined with hyaluronic acid is vitamin C. Vitamin C is known for its brightening and anti-aging effects on the skin. When used together, these two ingredients can help to improve the overall appearance of the skin.

Another substance that can be combined with hyaluronic acid is retinol. Retinol is an ingredient that is often used in anti-aging products. It works to improve the texture of the skin and to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Does hyaluronic acid cause acne when used incorrectly?

Hyaluronic acid can be incredibly beneficial for dry or dehydrated skin. However, when used incorrectly, it can actually clog pores and lead to breakouts. Below we describe all the problems that can be faced by using hyaluronic acid incorrectly.

  • If you use HA without a moisturizer, your skin will become dehydrated and dry. This can lead to an overproduction of sebum, which can then clog pores and lead to breakouts.
  • Not using HA as the final step in your skincare routine can also cause problems. If you put HA on before other products, it will attract moisture from those products and won’t be able to properly hydrate your skin. This can again lead to dryness and an overproduction of sebum.
  • When applied to dry skin, hyaluronic acid can actually cause acne. This is because it draws moisture from the deeper layers of skin and then evaporates. This can leave the skin feeling dry and tight, which can lead to irritation and inflammation.


So, you’re wondering whether you should use hyaluronic acid in your skincare routine? If so, congratulations. This is a great decision to make. The reason I say this is because hyaluronic acid is one of the most effective skincare ingredients around for those who want to keep their skin looking young and healthy.

Hyaluronic acid does not cause acne. This is because it is non-comedogenic and non-exfoliating. Therefore, it is safe to use for people with acne-prone skin, but the most important of them all are the fact that it can plump up skin and encourage it to hold on to more moisture. And when your skin’s healthy, it shows.

Abhijit Sarkar

Abhijit Sarkar

Abhijit Sarkar is a passionate automobile engineer and part-time content writer. With his deep interest in skincare and hair care, he brings a unique perspective to the world of beauty. Abhijit's expertise lies in dissecting the science behind various hair and skin problems, providing effective solutions, and sharing practical tips for a healthy and radiant appearance. As a meticulous researcher, he delves into the intricacies of beneficial and harmful ingredients, empowering readers to make informed choices. Through his engaging articles, Abhijit aims to simplify the complexities of hair and skincare, helping readers unlock their true beauty potential.

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