Lately, you’ve probably been hearing the hype around skincare’s holy grail ingredient, hyaluronic acid. The moisturising powerhouse can be found in pretty much all of your beauty favourites, from sheet masks to serums and even makeup products like foundation, proving to improve skin’s hydration, leaving a plump and energised complexion in its wake. But, have you ever thought to add the transforming ingredient into your lip routine as well?

According to Desiree Stordahl, the Skincare Research & Education Manager at Paula’s Choice, adding hyaluronic acid has plenty of benefits worth looking into—especially as we head into the warmer months. Below, a breakdown of what exactly hyaluronic acid is, and why you should consider adding it to your beauty routine.

As Stordahl explains: “Hyaluronic acid is what’s called a glycosaminoglycan, which is a naturally occurring substance within skin’s extracellular matrix. As the chief glycosaminoglycan in skin, hyaluronic acid works to bolster and protect skin, while also facilitating water retention to keep skin hydrated, smooth and more youthful-looking.”

“Interestingly, hyaluronic acid is also a postbiotic, which is a key player in maintaining skin's microbiome,” the expert adds. “Researchers believe that this synergy with skin is another reason application of hyaluronic acid leads to healthier, younger-looking skin: it strengthens and helps rebuild the unique microbiome on your skin.”

“Hyaluronic acid is famous for its ability to boost hydration and plumpness within skin—and it’s not a gimmick, there are decades of research backing hyaluronic acid’s humectant power,” Stordahl explains. “It essentially draws and helps retain moisture from its surroundings to enhance hydration in the areas used. This can instantly make skin feel softer, fuller, and look less lined.”

Stordahl adds, “Bonus! Hyaluronic acid provides some antioxidant benefits as well. Combined with other products in your routine, it can help boost the skin’s natural environmental defences.”

For those that are familiar with the skincare favourite, you’ll know the stat that often follows it—that hyaluronic acid can attract and hold 1000x its weight in moisture.

“So, what does that really mean? If you break it down by the math, one gram (or 0.03 oz.) of hyaluronic acid has the ability to hold up to six litres of water. Think of it like a sponge that swells with water,” says Stordahl.

But, as the expert explains, as we age the natural levels of hyaluronic acid in our skin slowly depletes, leading to dullness and skin that is less plump—something which also occurs to the lips.

“As we age, lips tend to lose their fullness, making them appear thinner, drier and more lined over time,” says Stordahl.

This is why Paula’s Choice has recently come out with their latest innovation, The Lip Booster, which is a “targeted lip treatment that provides plumping moisture from within.”

“The hyaluronic acid (in the form of sodium hyaluronate) absorbs water from the lower layers of lips (where it would normally evaporate), expands, and then transfers that hydration to the upper layers of the lips, smoothing out lines and restoring natural fullness from underneath,” explains Stordahl. “It's not doing this alone—we combined it with glucomannan from the konjac plant, which acts like a sponge-like sphere to help trap the water. By holding this water in lip’s upper layers, lips appear fuller and less lined.”

The product is also formulated peptides, which “help repair lip’s underlying support structures, and it contains squalene to prevent moisture loss and restore suppleness.”

“The Lip Booster is also formulated with peptides that help repair lip’s underlying support structures, and it contains squalene to prevent moisture loss and restore suppleness. Altogether, these ingredients work via different pathways to address age-related changes on the lips including dryness and fine lines, thinning lips, loss of natural fullness, and loss of moisture—providing both short and long-term benefits.”

Incorporating hyaluronic acid into your daily lip routine will help get the best results, with “instant hydration and a smoother, fuller appearance to your lips.”

“With continued use, this product also helps to prevent further breakdown of lip's supportive elements, helping to retain lip’s natural shape and plushness, discouraging the breakdown of elastin and collagen.”

The Lip Booster can be applied throughout the day as needed, or right before bedtime for an overnight treatment. If you’re a regular lipstick wearer, the product can be applied over the top for a colourful gloss look.

Below, some of our other favourite lip treatments packed to the brim with hyaluronic acid.

Image Credits: @YaraShahidi, @HungVanngo