Can Hyaluronic Acid Cause Acne? Here’s what we think

Skincare enthusiasts know that hyaluronic acid is a notable ingredient in their daily beauty routines. But what is it about this skincare agent that has many singing its praises? 

What is Hyaluronic Acid?

Hyaluronic acid is a synthesized version of the natural molecule found in your body. It is a hydrating agent capable of attracting and retaining moisture in your skin.

In your body, this active prevents friction by lubricating your joints and moisturizing your skin and eyes. It is a popular ingredient in various skin care products such as serums, creams, toners, etc., because of its powerful moisturizing and humectant abilities.

Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid.

Studies show the benefits of the natural moisturizer in increasing the moisture content of the skin. Personal reports from countless people who love the ingredient as their skincare mainstay also confirm these benefits.

It’s benefits are numerous, from skin hydration to its humectant properties.

Some of them are:

  • It is a humectant capable of attracting and holding up to 1000 times its weight in moisture in the skin, leaving your skin moisturized and radiant for an extended period.
  • The intense hydration of this component will smoothen out fine lines and wrinkles on your skin and increase firmness and elasticity. The result is plump softer skin that reduces aging.
  • Due to the increase in the skin’s moisture provided by Hyaluronic acid, there is a controlled production of oil on the skin. Oil production is your body’s way of naturally moisturizing your skin, but it can cause breakouts.
  • It is suitable for all skin types and does not interfere with other skincare ingredients.
  • It speeds up the healing of wounds and scars you may have on your skin.
  • It maintains the barrier of your skin, preventing damage from external and environmental forces.
  • It has antibacterial properties, which help in healing and preventing the formation of breakouts.

Will Hyaluronic acid clog pores?

Hyaluronic acid is a non-comedogenic ingredient, meaning it will likely not clog your skin’s pores. However, when Hyaluronic acid is one of many ingredients in your skincare product, it will clog pores; this is because the other ingredients might be comedogenic like shea butter, coconut oil, jojoba wax, etc.

Always check the ingredients list of every product you want to purchase to ensure there is no comedogenic ingredient.

Stick to specially formulated Hyaluronic serums because they contain similar non-comedogenic hydrating ingredients that will provide better results without the risk of clogged pores.

Excessive and improper use of this active can have the reverse effect by drying your skin and leading to an overproduction of oil which can clog pores.

Can hyaluronic acid cause acne?

Is Hyaluronic acid safe for acne-prone skin?

There is an untrue assumption that people with acne-prone skin should stay away from moisturizing skincare products because they can potentially trigger the formation of acne. This myth has led many to have dry and damaged skin.

All skin types need hydration and moisture to protect them from injury, damaged skin barriers, and acne.

Your body naturally produces this compound that diminishes with age, so the synthetic version – applied topically – should not cause problems for you if you have acne-prone skin.

As long as you ensure your chosen products don’t contain non-comedogenic ingredients, your acne-prone skin can enjoy the benefits of a this intense hydrator in a product

Does Hyaluronic acid clear breakouts?

It does not necessarily clear breakouts, but it can aid wound healing and eventually reduce the appearance of breakout scars by soothing and hydrating the skin.

Breakout treatments tend to cause dryness because of the intense removal of excess oil; scars form on the skin due to this treatment. It will hydrate your skin and retain moisture, which will help prevent scarring or remove the ones that may exist.

This ingredient can also speed up the healing process; use it along with other breakout-healing skincare ingredients or products to effectively remove the breakouts from your skin in a shorter period.

Can it cause redness?

This nourishing acid works by attracting moisture from the atmosphere into your skin. But what happens when there isn’t enough moisture in the atmosphere?

When the humidity is low, it searches for other moisture sources. Most times, it draws moisture from your body, which will lead to redness and inflammation over time.

Another reason for redness caused by this acid is improper use and skin sensitivity to the wrong type.

To some people, Hyaluronic acid is not a magical ingredient because it attracts moisture to their skin and quickly evaporates.

A suitable way to avoid this problem is by applying a moisturizer on top of the Hyaluronic layer in your skincare routine. Also, limit the use of this ingredient or search for products with better HA blends.

Can hyaluronic acid cause acne?

Although Hyaluronic acid does not remove acne, it helps the problem by eliminating the conditions that lead to their appearance.

Usually, the primary cause of acne is the overproduction of oil in the skin, leading to the skin’s pores clogging and forming comedones. Dry skin is one factor that triggers this oil production because the body is compensating for the lack of moisture.

Hyaluronic acid helps to retain moisture in your skin to prevent drying. It also maintains and preserves the health of your skin’s barrier, preventing further infection from external sources.

Types of Hyaluronic acid

The molecular weight of this active affects its permeability into the skin; some can penetrate the skin while others cannot.

The types of Hyaluronic acid based on their different molecular weights are:

High Molecular Weight.

This form provides short-term results because it doesn’t penetrate the skin but creates a moisturizing layer. It has anti-inflammatory benefits for the skin.

Medium Molecular Weight.

The medium-sized form of the moisturizing agent produces long-term results because it penetrates the skin’s connective tissue. It can also cause excessive dryness and inflammation when improperly used.

Low Molecular Weight (Sodium Hyaluronate)

Many skincare companies prefer this size when making products because it is a more stable version, barely presenting the evaporation issues that are sometimes associated with improper use of the ingredient.

Extra Low Molecular Weight.

This type penetrates deep layers of the skin for better long-term results.

Super Low Molecular Weight.

This form is so tiny. It easily penetrates the skin to bring about skin regenerative properties.

Best Hyaluronic acid for acne

If you have acne-prone skin, you will ensure the Hyaluronic acid serum you purchase will moisturize your skin without causing breakouts.

These are ten products that can fit that category:

COSRX Snail Mucin 96% Power Repairing Essence

Snail Mucin, also known as Snail Secretion Filtrate, is a popular ingredient in Korean skincare that is fast becoming mainstream because it moisturizes the skin and produces collagen at an increased rate.

COSRX Snail Mucin 96% is a lightweight serum that will nourish, moisturize, and vitalize your skin giving you long-lasting hydration and a healthy glow.

This formulation is especially suitable for dry and damaged skin because it repairs the skin and softens wrinkles and lines.

The best part is there is no cruelty done to the snails; the manufacturers collect and formulate the substance the snails naturally produce without disturbing them.

Cosmedica Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum

Suitable for morning or evening application, the Cosmedica Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum is intensely hydrating and will improve your skin’s brightness and texture after consistent application over an extended period.

This vegan serum has Hyaluronic acid as its sole ingredient with water. There are no dyes, oils, or other comedogenic ingredients; it is also fragrance and paraben-free. As a result, it is safe for people with sensitive or acne-prone skin.

It also has anti-aging properties that will leave your skin softer and plumper after it smoothes and fills fine lines and wrinkles – no matter how deep.

InstaSkincare Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum.

The InstaSkincare Pure Hyaluronic acid will penetrate deep into your skin to nourish and hydrate it, leaving your face smoother. It also maintains your skin’s barrier and protects from external forces, leaving your skin healthy and vitalized.

The serum assists in cell regeneration and gives the skin a vibrant complexion.

Similar to the Cosmedica Pure Hyaluronic acid serum, this serum doesn’t contain any extra ingredients, although it has glycerol – another humectant – which will aid the moisturizing properties.

The InstaSkincare serum has a gentle concentration and is fragrance and paraben-free, so it will not affect or irritate even the most sensitive skins.

Joyal Beauty Hyaluronic Acid Serum

Unlike the other brands on this list, Joyal Beauty Hyaluronic Acid Serum contains a 4% concentration of HA, making the serum thicker –without adding chemical thickeners – and enriching the skin with the highest quality treatment.

This serum uses a stable low molecular weight Hyaluronic acid for better absorption into your skin. It has no extra ingredients, its preservative system is natural and organic, and its pH is 4.5 to 5.5. These qualities make this serum suitable for sensitive skin.

The Joyal Beauty serum also helps eliminate the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, giving your skin a youthful glow.

SenAllis Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum

The SenAllis Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum is ultra-hydrating, containing glycerin that will boost its moisturizing properties. It also helps to reduce and fill in the appearance of wrinkles and lines with citric acid that adds extra anti-aging abilities.

It has a thick but spreadable texture to facilitate better functional application while not compromising its capacities.

A unique feature of this product is the two bottles it comes in; a 2oz bottle and a larger 8oz one, giving you more value for a long-lasting period.

This serum does not contain irritating or pore-clogging ingredients like parabens, phthalates, and fragrance.

Glow Recipe Plum Plump Hyaluronic Acid Serum

This serum is a powerful blend of five Hyaluronic acid weights formulated to make your skin feel plump, smooth, and refreshed by hydrating layers of the skin and infusing each layer with moisturizing and water retention properties.

It contains three types of plums that are rich in antioxidants like the Kakadu plum, known to have the highest concentration of Vitamin C, aiding the Hyaluronic acid blend to

increase hydration

protect the skin barrier from external infection

reduce lines and wrinkles

The serum also contains collagen, silk protein, and Vitamin B5 to give your skin extra hydration, protection, and rejuvenation without clogging pores.

Skinceuticals Hyaluronic Acid Intensifier Multi-Functional Serum

Skinceuticals uses advanced science-backed technology for their products, making them the go-to for dermatologists’ recommendations.

The Skinceuticals Hyaluronic Acid Intensifier Multi-Functional serum works by amplifying your skin’s natural Hyaluronic acid levels – up to 30 percent – which will improve the texture.

It is mainly corrective, targeting and repairing crow’s feet, folds, and lines. It is also suitable for post dermal filler regimen.

With a high concentration of Hyaluronic acid and botanical extracts, this serum will provide intense hydration, protect your skin’s barrier, and make your skin smooth and plump.

It is ideal for all skin types because it is free of skin-clogging ingredients, dyes, and parabens.

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5

This product uses a combination of low-medium, high molecular weight Hyaluronic acid, and a cross polymer to give more intense hydration to various layers of your skin. This unique formula ensures the Hyaluronic acid penetrates your skin instead of sitting on top.

Ingredients like Vitamin B5, Glycerin, botanical extracts, and others combine to boost your skin’s hydration without clogging the pores because they are not comedogenic.

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid reports massive success in people of all ages and skin types, even those with acne-prone skin.

Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum

This serum is a specially-formulated cocktail of several high-performing hydrating ingredients, including Hyaluronic acid, pineapple ceramides, pro-vitamin B5, botanical extracts, and others.

The Hyaluronic acid used has a low molecular weight for better penetration into your skin; it works with the other ingredients to maintain hydration throughout the day and protect your skin’s barrier.

The B-Hydra Intensive Hydration serum follows the same philosophy of eliminating the “Suspicious 6” that this company heavily subscribes to, which means there are no comedogenic ingredients in the serum, making it suitable for people with acne-prone skin.

Peter Thomas Roth | Water Drench Hyaluronic Serum

Covering all skin types and age ranges is a highly moisturizing serum made up of three main ingredients:

Sodium PCA is the hydrating ingredient responsible for its lightweight texture.

Silk protein gives your skin its silky matte end feeling.

Hyaluronic acid, however, is the primary ingredient making up 75 % of the entire product.

For all its ingredients, this serum is lightweight and it will leave your skin plump and moisturized with a silky matte finish due to its carefully chosen blend of hydration.

Other ingredients contained in the serum are citric acid, five types of glycols, glycerin, and botanical extracts.


The many benefits of Hyaluronic acid are endless, and it interacts well with similar skin care ingredients to give the skin an extra boost.

Don’t fear Hyaluronic acid if you have acne-prone skin because it does not clog pores or cause breakouts. However, you should be careful and read the ingredients list before purchasing to ensure there is no comedogenic ingredient in the product.

Seek professional expertise before using Hyaluronic acid or if you notice any discomfort from frequent use.