What is hyaluronic acid?
Despite its name, hyaluronic acid is not an acid and is completely different from acids like Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA) and Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHA), commonly used for chemical peels. In fact, it is a type of sugar (polysaccharide) called Glycosaminoglycan (GAG) that helps retain water and is abundant in the human body, with more than 50% of HA to be found in the skin dermis and epidermis and about 35% in muscles and skeleton. What is exceptional about hyaluronic acid is that its molecules have the same structure, no matter where they come from - the human body, animals, or bacteria. These two aspects — natural presence in the human body and lack of species differentiation make hyaluronic acid one of the most hypoallergenic and tolerated substances for the skin and body. When applied or injected into the body in the form of hyaluronic acid injection, the immune system recognises it as its own.
What is the hyaluronic acid function?
HA is a key molecule with a wide variety of medical, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic applications, which continues to be extensively researched. Hyaluronic acid plays an important role in hydration, lubrication of joints, and wound healing. It regulates several aspects of tissue repair, activating inflammatory cells to improve immune response. (3) Its restorative abilities have been applied in cancer treatment, ophthalmology, pneumology, aesthetic medicine, and cosmetics. (4)
What is the hyaluronic acid role in the skin?
Hyaluronic acid is used to repair the skin and keep it smooth, supple and well hydrated. It prevents moisture loss (Transepidermal Water Loss – TEWL), and can offer an effective solution for improving skin hydration, rejuvenation, and healing. (5) HA is as important for skin function as collagen, as both are fundamental building blocks of the skin. It is vital in maintaining healthy collagen and elastin, keeping collagen evenly distributed while binding the water at the same time.
Is hyaluronic acid made the same?
Like with Vitamin C, not all hyaluronic acid is the same. The differentiating characteristic is molecular weight and purity, critical to its quality and effectiveness. Recently there has been a lot of innovation regarding hyaluronic acid, which decades ago was predominantly derived from rooster combs and is now increasingly produced through microbial fermentation using specific strains of bacteria.
Why the hyaluronic acid size matters so much?
In-vivo studies clearly demonstrate the effects of lower molecular weight HA on skin roughness after 4 and 8 weeks of topical application, showing the strong skin roughness and wrinkle-reducing properties of small molecular weight 50 kDa HA. (2) On the other hand, topically applied high molecular weight hyaluronic acid creates a natural barrier against excessive water evaporation. Therefore, there is a clear benefit in combining the different molecular weights of hyaluronic acid molecules to optimise skin rejuvenation. Using different molecular weight HA, we target the different layers of the skin, from the epidermis to the dermis, replenishing water from the outside and holding water from the inside. Maintaining skin hydrated improves the way the skin feels and looks.
What type of hyaluronic acid is used in our brand-new Dream Hydrating Booster Serum?
- Sodium Hyaluronate - holds water on the skin surface nourishing the most outer layer of the skin
- Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer - forms a protective dense film on the skin surface reducing the water loss from inside
- Sodium Acetylated Hyaluronate, firmly adheres to the stratum corneum, providing superb hydration and repairing the damaged corneum.
- Hydrolyzed Sodium Hyaluronate, rapidly penetrates the epidermis and dermis, hydrating and restoring the skin from inside.
KEY FACTS ABOUT HYALURONIC ACID TO REMEMBER
- Hyaluronic acid is a type of sugar, not an acid.
- Hyaluronic acid is found in the human body, e.g. skin, joints, eyes and brain.
- Hyaluronic acid is one of the most hypoallergenic and tolerated substances for the skin and body.
- Hyaluronic Acid is non-toxic, non-immunogenic, non-irritating and non-sensitizing.
- Hyaluronic acid is differentiated by its molecular weight and purity.
- Hyaluronic acid has optimal hydration properties and is suitable for all skin types.
- Hyaluronic acid can be found under the names of hyaluronan, sodium hyaluronate, sodium acetylated hyaluronate, hydrolyzed sodium hyaluronate, sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer, and abbreviated – HA.
Find out more about our brand new Dream Hydrating Booster Serum.
Cover photo by Daniele Levis Pelus.
- Hyaluronic Acid, Potassium Hyaluronate, and Sodium Hyaluronate, International Journal of Toxicology Vol 28 Number 4s July/August 2009 p.5–67
- Low Molecular Weight Hyaluronic Acid and Its Effects on Epidermal Gene Expression and Skin Ageing, M. Farwick, P. Lersch, G. Strutz, Published 2008
- Hyaluronic acid: A key molecule in skin aging, Eleni Papakonstantinou, Michael Roth, and George Karakiulakis, Dermatoendocrinol. 2012 Jul 1; 4(3): 253–258.
- Hyaluronic Acid in the Third Millennium, Arianna Fallacara, Erika Baldini, Stefano Manfredini, and Silvia Vertuani, Polymers (Basel). 2018 Jul; 10(7): 701.
- Benefits of topical hyaluronic acid for skin quality and signs of skin aging: From literature review to clinical evidence, Bruna Bravo, Priscila Correia, José Euzébio Gonçalves Junior, Beatriz Sant'Anna, Delphine Kerob, 06 October 2022