Understanding the function and benefits of ingredients is essential when choosing the right products for your skin. Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is more than just a hero ingredient – it’s something that’s been scientifically proven to help improve the look and feel of your skin.
That said, what really is “Hyaluronic Acid” anyway? Before trying our daily moisturizer, which contains an ample amount of this compound, let us gush about this awesome skincare ingredient and why you should use products that contain it.
What exactly is hyaluronic acid?
Found naturally in the body, our own skin cells produce Hyaluronic Acid in a bid to maintain moisture levels. Just a single gram of Hyaluronic Acid has the impressive ability to hold up to six (yep, six) litres of water. Take note of HA’s super smart ability to regulate moisture within the cells, so as not to drown them, and you've got one genius ingredient.
While Hyaluronic Acid has also been shown to improve joint functions, when applied topically in skincare, HA binds moisture to your skin, producing a temporary plumping and hydrating effect, stimulating collagen production (thus retaining the skin’s youthful elasticity).
What does hyaluronic acid do to your skin?
The obvious benefits of using Hyaluronic Acid are its moisturizing and plumping effects. If skin is sufficiently hydrated, it feels soft, plump and pillowy – and just looks healthier. Lines and wrinkles (even deeper ones) also appear diminished when skin is hydrated, so HA is a great ingredient for those with ageing skin. So long, Instagram filter.
Hyaluronic Acid also works wonders for all skin types – even sensitive, oily or acne-prone skin. Recent research suggests that Hyaluronic Acid has some antioxidant properties, which means it can help protect skin against environmental aggressors like pollution and free radicals.
Can you use hyaluronic acid every day?
Yes! Don't be put off by the name, because, unlike some acids, Hyaluronic Acid doesn't strip the skin or cause downtime when applied topically.
In order to maintain healthy-looking skin, having a daily skincare routine that includes a gentle hydrator like Hyaluronic Acid is absolutely recommended. More than that, it keeps your skin looking and feeling good longer.
What’s the Science Behind HA?
What determines the efficacy (or simply, how well it works) of HA is its molecular weight (aka it’s mass), concentration and diameter. So what does this mean for you? Hyaluronic acid is most beneficial for the skin when measured between 50 to 1,000 kDa (kDa also known as daltons, are the unified atomic mass units). The hyaluronic acid sweet spot is 130 kDa according to the most recent studies.
This is because the diameter of the molecule determines its skin-penetration power. How agile the molecule is, or how easily it can pass through the skin barrier is determined by its size. The latest research suggests looking for hyaluronic acid molecules under 500 kDas.
What Hyaluronic Acid Ingredients Should You Look For?
Not all HA is made equal. When you look at the ingredient list on the back of your product’s packaging, you may find one of the following: sodium hyaluronate, sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer, hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid or sodium acetylated hyaluronate. So what’s the difference between them?
Sodium Hyaluronate is the salt of hyaluronic acid and the most common form of hyaluronic acid. The molecule structure is water soluble and can easily penetrate the skin barrier. Sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer is similar except that the crosspolymer is a made up of many sodium hyaluronates bounded together. Due to its more complex structure, it takes longer for our skin to break down the polymer, meaning your skin stays moisturized longer.
Hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid is HA that’s been broken down into smaller molecules. This allows it to penetrate the skin’s upper layers for instant hydration and plumping.
Sodium acetylated hyaluronate is derived from sodium hyaluronate, binding it partially with acetyl, increasing the amount of water the molecule can hold. This helps repair and replenish damaged, rough skin.
What does all of this mean? A good formulation of hyaluronic acid will have more than one form of the molecule. Why? Because one form like hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid will show immediate effects, while another like sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer will keep your skin hydrated for an extended period.
Why use Hyaluronic Acid in a Daily Moisturizer?
The easiest way to enjoy the benefits of Hyaluronic Acid is to keep it simple, and use it in collaboration with another product in your daily routine. Our lightweight daily moisturizer is low maintenance, extremely effective, and applies to skin without any oily sensation. Perfect for nourishing sad, dehydrated skin.