Understanding Hyaluronic Acid

Understanding Hyaluronic Acid – Today, we’re talking about hyaluronic acid, a skincare ingredient with amazing hydration properties—fun fact: it can hold 6,000 times its weight in water.

Hyaluronic acid is a compound found naturally in our skin, and is responsible for keeping the skin hydrated and flexible. However its levels decrease with age, which leads to dehydration, loss of elasticity and signs of aging as highlighted by the study below.

Understanding Hyaluronic Acid

“…in the skin, the major age-related change is the increased tendency of HA to be lost along with the ability of tissue structures to extract HA. This is due to the progressive cross-linking of collagen and the steady loss of collagen extraction with age. All of the above age-related events contribute to the apparent dehydration, atrophy, and loss of elasticity that characterize aging skin.[1]

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Fortunately, hyaluronic acid is gentle and safe for all skin types, even sensitive skin. However, to fully experience these benefits, it is important to understand the different types of hyaluronic acid used in skin care.

Not all hyaluronic acid is created equal – depending on the molecular weight, the ability to penetrate the skin will vary.

This form has a large molecular size that limits its ability to penetrate the skin. It is ideal for surface hydration and creates a protective barrier on the surface of the skin.

This form has a small molecular size, which allows it to penetrate deeper into the skin than hyaluronic acid with a higher molecular weight. It provides deep hydration and helps improve skin elasticity and firmness.

Hyaluronic Acid Is The Anti Aging Ingredient You Need For Glowing Skin

Using both high and low molecular weight hyaluronic acid can provide maximum benefits to the skin as each type has its own unique strengths and weaknesses that work to complement each other.

If only high molecular weight hyaluronic acid is used, it is difficult to deeply moisturize the skin. On the other hand, if only low molecular weight hyaluronic acid is used, the function of forming a moisture barrier on the surface of the skin is weak, and the risk of moisture loss due to external factors is high.

Thus, skin care products on the market usually offer a combination of hyaluronic acid with low and high molecular weight to help keep the skin more hydrated, moist and glowing.

It is important to note that the moisturizing effect of hyaluronic acid is maximized when there is moisture in the skin, not when applied to dry skin.

What Is Hyaluronic Acid And Why Is It In So Many Skin Care Products?

Therefore, when choosing a product that contains hyaluronic acid, we recommend making sure that it does not contain alcohol, sulfates, fragrances, and other elements that can destroy the skin’s natural moisture.

Once you choose your hyaluronic acid product, you can rest assured because hyaluronic acid works well with highly effective ingredients. Hyaluronic acid also has soothing properties that help reduce irritation from strong, but potentially irritating ingredients.

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can brighten skin and protect it from environmental damage. When used with hyaluronic acid, vitamin C can promote collagen production and even help with skin tone. Learn more about vitamin C here.

When used together, hyaluronic acid and retinol/retinoids can provide a one-two punch of hydration and anti-aging benefits. Hyaluronic acid helps plump the skin, while retinol and retinoids help improve the overall texture and appearance of the skin.

Hyaluronic Acid Benefits, Side Effects, And 13 Best Products Of 2022

By using hyaluronic acid along with AHAs and BHAs, you can help combat the potential drying effects of exfoliants. Hyaluronic acid helps hydrate the skin and improve the moisture barrier, preventing dryness and flaking. Additionally, AHAs and BHAs can increase the absorption of other skin care ingredients, including hyaluronic acid. This combination of ingredients maximizes their individual benefits to help achieve a more balanced and healthy looking complexion. By clicking “Accept all cookies”, you agree to store cookies on your device to improve site navigation, analyze site usage, and help. Our marketing efforts.

Bawar Zev has worked in digital beauty for over 10 years and is currently the Executive Beauty Director of Bustle Digital Group. He was managing editor for seven years.

Julia Siegel, MD is a board-certified dermatologist based in Boston, Massachusetts. She is a member of the American Academy of Dermatology and has authored several peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard of hyaluronic acid. This molecule is one of the most popular skin care ingredients on the market and is known for its incredible hydrating properties and benefits. With that being said, we all know that just because an ingredient or product is promoted doesn’t necessarily mean it is. In most cases, conditions are required.

The 13 Best Hyaluronic Acid Serums, Reviewed & Tested

For example, the type of formula is important. Do you get hyaluronic acid through a serum or moisturizer? Does it do anything if it is in the laundry detergent? And believe it or not, hyaluronic acid isn’t an umbrella term for all the different molecule sizes—different sizes actually have more or less ability to penetrate the deeper layers of the skin.

To cut through all the information and confusion, we tapped four skin care experts. Below, compare the benefits, possible side effects, properties, how to use for best results, and sodium hyaluronate. Keep reading to find out if hyaluronic acid really deserves a permanent spot in your skin care rotation.

Hyaluronic acid is a molecule found naturally in your skin and in the connective tissue in your body. “Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring polysaccharide found in the human body,” explains Kerry Benjamin, esthetician and founder of Stacked Skincare. “It acts as a cushioning and lubricating agent for our joints, nerves, hair, skin and eyes.”

According to board-certified dermatologist Eva Shamban, MD, founder of SKIN FIVE by AVA MD and full-service dermatology centers at AVA MD, the main uses and benefits of hyaluronic acid are to retain moisture and oil in the skin. “It’s a superstar at relieving dry skin,” she says. “Hyaluronic acid is a humectant, which means it will attach itself to the water in the cells, ‘plumping’ them.”

Hyaluronic Acid: What It Is And How To Use It

Who should use it: In general, hyaluronic acid is safe for all skin types, but it is especially beneficial for dry skin. However, those with rosacea or eczema may want to test patch HA to make sure it doesn’t irritate the skin.

When you can use it: Hyaluronic acid can be used topically twice a day, in the morning and at night in your skin care routine, but injectable hyaluronic acid and ingestible hyaluronic acid must be administered by a doctor.

Cosmetic chemist and owner of product development firm Grace Kingdom Beauty Ginger King agrees, adding that the ingredient is very potent and works as an incredible moisturizer. “Hyaluronic acid can draw moisture from the air and keep your skin hydrated, holding almost 1,000 times its weight in water,” she says. “So, not only is [it] a moisturizer—it [also] has the ability to retain additional moisture.”

You can even take hyaluronic acid as a supplement, but we recommend that you consult a doctor before doing so. Normally, it’s most popularly used as a general treatment as a gel lotion or serum, like L’Oréal Paris Revitalift 1.5% Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum ($17), but it’s also used for filler injections.

Ingredient Spotlight: Hyaluronic Acid

The reason the beauty industry loves HA so much is in its seemingly magical ability to retain moisture. Studies have proven that hyaluronic acid is very good at bonding with water molecules. Lack of moisture is one of the main culprits of aging skin, which is why these ingredients are essential when it comes to repairing your skin’s moisture barrier.

Hyaluronic acid has a counterpart called sodium hyaluronate. “Sodium hyaluronate is the salt form of HA and is a water-soluble salt that holds 1,000 times its weight in water,” says Benjamin. “Compounds are in salt form because they are more stable and less likely to oxidize.”

Both hyaluronic acid and sodium hyaluronate are used in beauty products, and marketers refer to both as “hyaluronic acid”—but there are some key differences. For example, sodium hyaluronate has a very small molecular size, which allows it to penetrate the skin better: “In skin care, there is a formula that determines how much products penetrate the skin using molecular weight ” says Benjamin. “The lower the weight, the more it can penetrate.”

You know those serums that claim they’re made with 75 percent or even 99 percent hyaluronic acid? Simply put, they are not. “Sodium hyaluronate doesn’t come in pure form—it comes as a solution,” Benjamin explains. “It comes from 1 to 2 percent of the solution, made up mainly of water.”

Benefits Of Hyaluronic Acid Fillers

With 4 percent sodium hyaluronate, it can dry out your skin. He illustrates this with an analogy: If you put too much salt on a sponge, the salt will draw water out of the sponge and dry it out. Likewise, since sodium hyaluronate is a salt rock, too much of it can draw moisture from the skin, claims Benjamin. He says that 2 percent is the highest concentration of hyaluronic acid you can put in a solution without any drying effect.

As for those misleading percentages, Benjamin says there’s no way for anyone to know exactly how much hyaluronic acid or sodium hyaluronate really is.

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