Can Hyaluronic Acid Cause Acne? What Are the Possibilities?

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Can hyaluronic acid cause acne?

Every other product in your skincare routine could be the reason why you’re breaking out with acne, not hyaluronic acid. Some ingredients on your routine could trigger skin flares and acne breakouts with first-time use or because they trigger cell turnover.

Hyaluronic acid is a natural acid that is found in some areas of the body like the skin, eyes, and joints. It is also very hydrating, and this is one of the reasons why it is the least likely ingredient in your routine to cause recurring or new acne breakouts.

This water-based ingredient quickly absorbs into the skin and leaves no residue. However, there are certain conditions under which your skin will break out when you use hyaluronic acid. This only happens when you use the acid incorrectly.

Is Hyaluronic Acid Safe for Acne-Prone Skin?

Hyaluronic acid works well for every skin type. Unlike some ingredients, it could be the balm for acne-prone skin. It is lightweight, quick-absorbing, and non-comedogenic. Acne-prone skin usually causes insufficient moisture in the skin.

To make up for this moisture insufficiency, the skin’s oil glands begin to produce more oil than is necessary. This oil then clogs the pores and causes your skin to break out with different types of acne.

Moreover, acne-prone skin is also characterized by a weak lipid barrier. When the skin is defenseless, it is prone to environmental irritants that can trigger acne breakouts. Hyaluronic acid boosts hydration levels, enhances the skin barrier, and increases resilience.

Experts always recommend that people with acne-prone skin should have at least one hyaluronic acid-based product in their skincare routine.

Can Hyaluronic Acid Serum Cause Acne?

As mentioned earlier, hyaluronic acid is the least likely reason why your skin is breaking out with acne. However, on the off chance that you experience acne breakouts when you use hyaluronic acid serum, the serum may contain additives that cause skin flares.

Some hyaluronic acid serums contain exfoliating acids like salicylic acid or glycolic acid. Such serums have tendencies to exfoliate your skin and cause acne (as a side effect).

In addition, another reason why hyaluronic acid serums can make your skin break out with acne is when you use the serums incorrectly. After applying hyaluronic acid serum, you should follow up with a moisturizer to seal in moisture.

However, when you do not do this (especially in a dry climate), the acid turns to your skin for moisture instead of the atmosphere. It begins to draw moisture from your skin and leaves it dry.

To make up for the lost moisture, your skin begins to produce more sebum. Consequently, you have recurring or new acne breakouts.

Can Hyaluronic Acid Supplements Cause Acne?

Ingesting hyaluronic acid will not give you acne. It does not stimulate cell turnover, a biological process that the skin responds to with acne breakouts.

Hyaluronic acid supplements can help lower the effects of factors that cause acne breakouts.

The oral intake of this acid is most effective for health-related issues like joint discomfort, dry and itchy eyes, acid reflux, and bladder discomfort. More so, it speeds up wound healing.

Can Hyaluronic Acid Cause Skin Purging?

On its own, hyaluronic acid will not cause a skin purge.

Products that cause skin purge contain ingredients that trigger cell turnover and treat acne. Most times, the purge happens when your skin is trying to adjust to that ingredient.

Hyaluronic acid is not a strong acne treatment ingredient. On the off chance that you experience a skin purge after using a hyaluronic acid-based product, you should take a quick look at the ingredients list to see what other ingredients are in the product.

A product that contains retinol and hyaluronic acid may produce a skin purge. Skin purge looks like acne breakouts and they appear on almost any area of your skin. It should not be a cause for worry, the purge usually goes away after a few weeks.

However, if it persists beyond four weeks, you should discontinue the use of the product and see a doctor.

Can Hyaluronic Acid Cause Skin Irritations?

Hyaluronic acid is a skincare do-gooder. It rarely ever shows any sign of skin irritations after application. But, this cannot be said for every skin type. While it is the balm one skin needs, it could be the trigger of skin irritations on another skin.

According to molecular weight, there are two major types of hyaluronic acid. They include high molecular weight hyaluronic acid (HMWHA) and low molecular weight hyaluronic acid (LMWHA).

HMWHA is anti-inflammatory; therefore, it will most certainly not cause any adverse reactions. Because of its molecular weight, it doesn’t penetrate deep into the skin and causes irritations.

LMWHA, on the other hand, penetrates deep into the skin and is highly inflammatory. In essence, if you get irritations after using a hyaluronic acid-based product alone, it could be because it contains LMWHA.

Can Hyaluronic Acid Cause Skin Redness?

It is very unlikely to experience skin redness with hyaluronic acid. But this happens to be one of the rare side effects some people experience with this acid. When used as a dermal filler, skin redness may occur at first.

Additionally, topical hyaluronic acid may also trigger skin redness. This acid hydrates your skin and increases the rate of penetration of other products into your skin.

If these products contain ingredients that can cause skin flares, the trigger becomes easier with the acid.

A patch test is necessary before you begin to fully use any product on your skin. Apply a little of the product on a small area of your skin like your inner arm, wrist, or jaw. Observe the area for about 24 hours for any adverse reactions.

If you feel a tingling sensation, you shouldn’t be in a rush to wash off the product. This feeling may subside after a few hours. However, if it lingers and you notice any other reaction, wash the area and discontinue the use of the product.

Does Hyaluronic Acid Worsen Acne?

Hyaluronic acid is non-comedogenic, it doesn’t cause the skin to dry out, and the right formula is anti-inflammatory. Therefore, it has little to no potential for worsening acne. It rather soothes your skin, calms redness, and improves the visibility of acne.

But the incorrect use and mixing it with ingredients that aggravate acne can result in worsened acne. You should always apply hyaluronic acid to damp skin and afterward, seal in moisture with a moisturizer. Also, hyaluronic acid fares well in a humid environment.

In a dry climate, using hyaluronic acid on dry skin without a moisturizer can leave your skin drier. Consequently, your skin overproduces oil to replenish moisture, which can worsen existing acne.


Can hyaluronic acid help clear acne scars?

Hyaluronic acid is not an acne treatment option but it can help other acne treatments to improve the appearance of acne scars.

As it hydrates your skin, it increases collagen production, which, in turn, aids wound healing and the fading away of scars.

Is hyaluronic acid a comedogenic ingredient?

No, it is not. Hyaluronic acid is non-comedogenic, it doesn’t clog pores. It is a lightweight, water-based acid that quickly absorbs into the skin. If your hyaluronic acid-based product seems to be comedogenic, it certainly contains a comedogenic ingredient.

Does hyaluronic acid help oily skin?

Yes, it does. As a hydrator, hyaluronic acid makes up for insufficient moisture that makes the skin overcompensate by producing more oil than is necessary. If you have oily skin, you should have at least one hyaluronic acid-based product in your routine.


Other skincare acids like salicylic acid can trigger acne breakouts because they are exfoliating and consequently drying on the skin. This is why hyaluronic acid defies the term “acid”. Unlike other acids, it is hydrating and helps to increase skin moisture retention capacity.

Naturally, hyaluronic acid will increase skin moisture levels and make your skin radiant. However, any hyaluronic acid product that contains comedogenic ingredients may cause acne breakouts.

Therefore, it is advised that you take a good look at the ingredients list of your products.

Generally, hyaluronic acid is one of the mildest and most tolerable active ingredients. It is not an ideal acne treatment but it is neither a bad option for acne. How and with what you use the acid determines what happens after use.

Thanks for reading.

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