Why Hyaluronic Acid Moisturiser Works

Written by
The Manual Team
Medically approved by
Dr Earim Chaudry
Last updated
22nd November 2021

In 30 seconds…

Hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in the body, trapping moisture in your skin in order to keep your hair, skin, and joints healthy, smooth, and supple. Since it’s natural, hyaluronic moisturiser benefits you because it’s only replacing what you’ve lost with age and natural wear and tear.

Introducing Mr Moisturiser

Skincare shouldn’t be a dirty word for men. Looking after ourselves should be top of the list of priorities. And that means our bodies, our minds, and, yep, our skin.

A hyaluronic acid moisturiser (like Manual’s Mr Moisturiser) makes skincare straightforward. Here’s what you need to know about how hyaluronic acid works to keep your skin hydrated and to tackle the fine lines we associate with ageing.

How Do Moisturisers Work?

Not every moisturiser works in the same way. In fact, there are three main ways that moisturisers work to keep your skin from excessive dryness.

Excessive is the key word. Your skin wants a degree of dryness, so it can shed damage and potential disease and encourage renewal. However, if too much moisture passes across your skin, it becomes hard, easily broken, and potentially unsightly.

Moisturising products come in three forms to tackle dehydrated skin:

  • Occlusives: A pretty old school option, occlusives coat your skin so that moisture can’t escape. They’re usually oily, so they may not be great for already oily skin.
  • Emollients: These soften the skin and, like occlusives, seal in moisture. They keep the skin hydrated rather than actively hydrating it. Allantoin is a particularly effective emollient, along with things like aloe vera. 
  • Humectants: These draw in moisture from the air and bind to it, meaning they actively hydrate the skin. Hyaluronic acid is one of the most potent humectants out there.

Watch out, though. There are lots of products on the market that aren’t always reliable. And with lots of different terms flying around, from peptides to collagen, ceramides to molecular weight, it can be tough to make sure you’re getting what you need. 

Follow the science whenever you use any skincare product. It’s your skin, after all, and it’s good to know what you’re putting on it. 

Here’s what hyaluronic acid moisturiser can do. 

Find out more: Hyaluronic Acid and Allantoin: Men’s Skincare Must-Haves

The Unique Power of Hyaluronic Acid Moisturiser

Hyaluronic acid – sometimes known as hyaluronan – is a substance found in various parts of your body, mainly in your joints, your skin, and your nervous system and eyes. Its primary role is as a goo (yep, that is a technical term) that helps lubrication between cells and tissues thanks to its ability to absorb water.

That’s where hyaluronic acid’s power as a moisturiser comes in. Hyaluronic acid is a humectant (a molecule that draws in and binds to water in the skin), and it’s a particularly powerful one. The acid can bind to over one thousand times its own weight in water, making it an ideal moisturiser.

What can it do in practice? Studies have shown that hyaluronic acid use boosts skin moisture and prevents dry skin:

  • One study found that taking a hyaluronic supplement every day increased skin moisture after a month.
  • Hyaluronic acid face cream was found to improve skin hydration, elasticity and firmness after four weeks of daily use.
  • A large study of hyaluronic acid in all its forms – hyaluronic acid serum, lotion, filler, injections, night creams, and cleansers – found these products showed plumping, anti-ageing and anti-wrinkle effects, including reducing the appearance of fine lines.

Thanks to its natural role in your skin – and the fact it doesn’t leave an oily occlusive layer – hyaluronic acid is great for all skin types, including sensitive skin, acne-prone skin, and naturally oily skin.

Hyaluronic acid is naturally oil-free. And, by adding it to your skincare routine, you are not applying some foreign substance that can irritate your skin. Instead, you’re replacing the hyaluronic acid molecules lost as a natural part of ageing.

What Else Can Hyaluronic Acid Do?

Besides moisturising, there are several other health benefits of hyaluronic acid. These include benefits for both your skin and the rest of your body, too:

Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid for Your Skin

  • Hyaluronic acid appears to work as an antioxidant. Antioxidants are substances that defend skin cells and other cells from molecules known as free radicals. Hyaluronic acid has been found to have antioxidant properties, which could help explain its anti-ageing powers.
  • It could tackle eczema. Dermatologists have recommended the use of hyaluronic acid products as a treatment against dermatitis and related skin conditions.
  • Topical hyaluronic acid may help wounds heal, reduce pain, and reduce the risk of infection associated with injuries.

Other Benefits

But it’s not just good for your skin. There is evidence that hyaluronic acid supplements or injections can help the following:

  • Relieving joint pain. As hyaluronic acid is present as a lubricant in your joints, taking supplements can help them move more smoothly. Studies have found the acid reduces knee pain in patients with osteoarthritis.
  • Improving dry eyes. Dry eye is a common cause of eye discomfort in older adults. Eye drops containing hyaluronic acid have been found to help.
  • Soothing acid reflux. There is some evidence that hyaluronic acid could relieve symptoms associated with acid reflux, which is when stomach acid returns up your throat.

While more research is needed to confirm its effectiveness, hyaluronic acid shows signs of being an incredibly powerful substance with a wide array of health benefits. 

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Key Takeaways

A hyaluronic acid moisturiser works as a humectant, binding to and retaining water in your skin. This way it helps to make your skin feel smoother and look brighter and more youthful. 

As hyaluronic acid plays such a crucial role in your body, its benefits go beyond just moisturising. Evidence suggests it may help eczema and other forms of skin ageing – and potentially a whole lot more, too.

Try Manual’s Mr Moisturiser, which combines hyaluronic acid with allantoin, the emollient that helps keep your skin soft and hydrated for longer.


Why do I need to moisturise?

Healthy skin requires balance between dryness and moisture; using a moisturiser can help to maintain this balance, keeping your skin looking soft, smooth, and healthy.

How does moisturiser work?

There are different kinds of moisturiser, but generally speaking, moisturiser works by either stopping moisture from leaving your skin, or actively drawing in moisture from the air around you. Hyaluronic acid moisturiser is a humectant, meaning it draws moisture from the air and binds it to your skin.

What skin types does hyaluronic acid moisturiser work for?

Because the active ingredient in hyaluronic acid moisturiser is natural and oil free, hyaluronic acid moisturiser is suited to all skin types, including people with sensitive skin, acne-prone skin, and naturally oily skin.

Can hyaluronic acid moisturiser help reduce signs of ageing?

Yes, hyaluronic acid moisturiser has been proven to actively reduce signs of ageing by smoothing wrinkles, plumping and firming the skin, and keeping it soft and smooth.


  1. Bryan P. Toole (2000). Hyaluronan is not just a goo! – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC314333/

  2. Chinatsu KawadaTakushi YoshidaHideto YoshidaRyosuke MatsuokaWakako SakamotoWataru OdanakaToshihide SatoTakeshi YamasakiTomoyuki KanemitsuYasunobu MasudaOsamu Urushibata (2014). Ingested hyaluronan moisturizes dry skin – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25014997/

  3. Rachel Lubart, PhD, Inbar Yariv, MSc, Dror Fixler, PhD, and Anat Lipovsky, PhD (2019). Topical Hyaluronic Acid Facial Cream with New Micronized Molecule Technology Effectively Penetrates and Improves Facial Skin Quality: Results from In-vitro, Ex-vivo, and In-vivo (Open-label) Studies – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6937149/

  4. Syed Nasir Abbas BukhariNur Liyana RoswandiMuhammad WaqasHaroon HabibFahad HussainShahzeb KhanMuhammad SohailNor Amlizan RamliHnin Ei ThuZahid Hussain (2018). Hyaluronic acid, a promising skin rejuvenating biomedicine: A review of recent updates and pre-clinical and clinical investigations on cosmetic and nutricosmetic effects – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30287361/

  5. Chunlin KeLanping SunDeliang QiaoDi WangXiaoxiong Zeng (2011). Antioxidant acitivity of low molecular weight hyaluronic acid – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21787831/

  6. Zoe Diana Draelos (2011). A clinical evaluation of the comparable efficacy of hyaluronic acid-based foam and ceramide-containing emulsion cream in the treatment of mild-to-moderate atopic dermatitis – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21896129/

  7. C.L. Romanò, E. De Vecchi, M. Bortolin, I. Morelli, and L. Drago (2017). Hyaluronic Acid and Its Composites as a Local Antimicrobial/Antiadhesive Barrier – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5423572/

  8. Mariko Oe, Toshiyuki Tashiro, Hideto Yoshida, Hiroshi Nishiyama, Yasunobu Masuda, Koh Maruyama, Takashi Koikeda, Reiko Maruya, and Naoshi Fukui (2016). Oral hyaluronan relieves knee pain: a review – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4729158/

  9. José Pinto-FragaAlberto López-de la RosaFrancisco Blázquez ArauzoRubén Urbano RodríguezMaría J González-García (2017). Efficacy and Safety of 0.2% Hyaluronic Acid in the Management of Dry Eye Disease – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26783978/

While we've ensured that everything you read on the Health Centre is medically reviewed and approved, information presented here is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.

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