Hyaluronic Acid is a real skincare buzzword, but did you know there are different types of hyaluronic acid that exist in various types and molecular weights? So, let’s hold a microscope over this ultra-hydrating ingredient by answering the top 5 questions on Hyaluronic Acid (HA).
1. What is Hyaluronic Acid and what does Hyaluronic Acid do?
Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is a powerful humectant (i.e. a moisture magnet) able to hold over 1,000 times its weight in water. It is produced naturally in the body, but our natural Hyaluronic Acid levels begin to decline from the age of 20. By 40, we have lost over 25% of it!
Although HA is produced naturally in the dermal layer of the skin, clinical evidence on topical HA ingredients suggests that it can't penetrate to the deep dermis although it can work effectively in the epidermis. But don't worry, this magical molecule is still able to provide a mega-surge of skin hydration as well as its additional great side benefits. The overall result is dewier, firmer, and more resilient skin.
Hyaluronic acid for skin
Applied topically, Hyaluronic Acid:
- Boosts skin hydration
- Repairs skin damage and helps the skin heal
- Reduces inflammation
- Neutralises free radicals with antioxidant support
- Improves the immunity of the skin
2. What is the difference between hyaluronic acid (HA) and sodium hyaluronate?
The term ‘sodium hyaluronate’ is often used interchangeably with ‘hyaluronic acid’ in skin care products. Often, a close look at your ingredient label will reveal that the active ingredient is in fact sodium hyaluronate. They are essentially molecular counterparts of each other but are in fact different molecules. Hyaluronic acid is the naturally occurring form in our body whilst sodium hyaluronate is the most common HA derivative used in most skin care products. Like HA, sodium hyaluronate is also able to hold 1000x its weight in water and exhibits the same skin benefits as hyaluronic acid.
3. How many types of Hyaluronic Acid are there?
Not all hyaluronic acids are created equal. There are different types of Hyaluronic Acid found in skincare products, each with varying molecular weights (MW). The lower the MW, the more the molecule is hydrolysed (i.e. fragmenting into smaller pieces) and can penetrate further into the epidermis of the skin.
Types of Hyaluronic Acid
HIGH MOLECULAR WEIGHT (MW) SODIUM HYALURONATE
- Works on the uppermost epidermal skin layer – the stratum corneum - protecting the vital barrier
- Temporarily smooths fine lines
- Delivers immediate hydration to the surface and prevents Trans Epidermal Water Loss (TEWL)
- Leaves skin feeling fresh and springy to the touch
LOW-MEDIUM MW SODIUM HYALURONATE
- Penetrates deeper through the epidermis, below the stratum corneum
- Locks in moisture for increased slow-release hydration that lasts longer
- Provided longer lasting reduction in the appearance of fine lines
- Reduces inflammation for a calming effect on the skin
ULTRA LOW / MICRO MW (HYDROLYSED SODIUM HYALURONATE )
- Travels to the deepest level of the epidermis
- Intensely hydrates
- Accelerates healing
- Addresses fine lines with a more prolonged effect
- Stimulates epidermal immune function
Interested in learning more on the difference between Hydrolysed Hyaluronic Acid and Hyaluronic Acid? Read our blog: Hydrolysed Hyaluronic Acid vs Hyaluronic Acid
4. Are there negative effects of Hyaluronic Acid?
Be careful of a “Hy in Dry” situation! As a humectant, Hyaluronic Acid will naturally draw moisture from where it is most abundant. In very dry environments (i.e. aeroplanes or low humidity climates), HA will actually draw the moisture from the skin that it cannot obtain from the air.
TERRI TIP: in dry environments, apply your Hyaluronic Acid serum onto damp skin. Follow with a moisturiser to prevent further epidermal water loss.
5. What’s the best type of Hyaluronic Acid for me?
All forms of Hyaluronic Acid are effective and appropriate for every skin type.
But for specific benefits, here is our basic breakdown. Ideally, look for skincare that mixes different forms/weights of Hyaluronic Acid such as HyalaVive, a triple hyaluronic acid serum to treat skin hydration on multiple levels with each application. HyalaVive is formulated with:
- Three Hyaluronic Acids for multitasking, and multilayer epidermal hydration
- TriCeramide Complex to protect the barrier, reduce fine lines, and firm the skin
- Vitamin B12 to regenerate and soothe sensitive skin
HyalaVive goes beyond surface-level hydration to provide unprecedented hydration, long-term barrier protection, and deep cellular regeneration.
As you can see, in the realm of skincare Hyaluronic Acid stands as a dynamic force, offering a spectrum of hydration – from the surface to the depths of our skin, its transformative potential is a promise of lasting radiance. As you navigate the skincare landscape and all the different products containing Hyaluronic Acid, I remind you to embrace the synergy of diverse hydrating elements, ensuring each drop contributes to a story of revitalisation and renewed confidence.
[Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and does not substitute professional medical advice. Consult a dermatologist or skincare professional for specific concerns.]