Ingredient Spotlight: Hyaluronic Acid
Ingredients | 12.18.2018
Hyaluronic acid holds a special place in the upper echelons of skincare ingredients. Unlike many actives, it’s suitable for every skin type and its gentleness doesn’t compromise its effectiveness. One reason behind its universal appeal is its natural prevalence in skin. It can be found in (or between) virtually every cell of your body. Nearly half of this naturally occurring hyaluronic acid is found in your skin, where it plays a role in several vital processes. This can-do molecule aids in tissue repair and wound healing, while also scavenging free radicals to reduce oxidative damage from pollution and UV exposure. On top of all those benefits, it also offers impressive moisture retention capabilities—it can hold up to a thousand times its weight in water. When applied to skincare, these properties make it a fantastic humectant for lasting hydration.
With so many benefits, the decision to include hyaluronic acid in several of my products seems like a no-brainer. If forms the cornerstone of my Hydrate Facial Serum and complements the formula of my Hydrate Mist. The mist features a high molecular weight hyaluronic acid (often abbreviated as HMW HA). Due to its larger size, this hyaluronic acid form sits closer to the surface of the skin where it’s better able to prevent moisture loss. HMW excels at keeping skin hydrated and elastic. By contrast, low molecular weight hyaluronic acid (or LMW HA) has been bioengineered into smaller pieces. The compound is identical to HMW HA, just reduced in size. These tiny molecules penetrate deeper in the epidermal layers, giving LMW HA a kind of plumping effect that leaves skin looking full, bouncy, and youthful. LMW and HMW hyaluronic acids work exceptionally well in tandem. That way, you gain the benefits of both!
I use a third form of hyaluronic acid called sodium hyaluronate in my Performance Cream. Like hyaluronic acid, sodium hyaluronate can come in a wide variety of molecular weights. However, it is generally comprised of smaller fragments for enhanced absorption. This salt form of hyaluronic acid splits into hyaluronic acid and sodium in solutions (such as water-based skincare products). Once it’s on your skin, it bears no functional difference from hyaluronic acid.
Whether you’re using sodium hyaluronate, LMW HA, or HMW HA, any form of hyaluronic acid can enrich your skincare routine. Use it morning, night, or any time in between to replenish your skin’s moisture reserves and enhance your glow!