Lately one of the most talked about skin care ingredients is hyaluronic acid, which everyone knows can bind 1000X it’s weight in water and hydrates the skin (because every beauty article uses that exact same phrase). But what else do we know about this popular skin care ingredient? Well first off it’s one of my favorite skin care ingredients. My two favorite hyaluronic acid containing products are Mizon’s Hyaluronic Acid 100 and Neutrogena’s Hydro-Boost Gel. Both products provide a crazy amount of hydration with relatively light textures – perfect for all year round. But let’s get into the science!
Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is a humectant, which is an ingredient that helps bind water to the skin and lock it in. HA is also naturally found in our body (a natural lubricant for our joints and found in the extracellular matrix of our skin) but is derived for use in many personal care and cosmetic products. Structurally HA is very similar to its salt form Sodium Hyaluronate. Sodium hyaluronate is a smaller molecule and thus can absorb into the skin much easier, so it is used more often than HA.
Here are some quick facts to throw in your friends face when you tell them how superior hyaluronic acid:
- High molecular weight hyaluronic acid exists but so does small molecular weight hyaluronic acid and it will penetrate the skin better
- Sodium hyaluronate is even smaller than small molecular weight hyaluronic acid and thus can penetrate the skin even better
- HA is also an NMF a.k.a. natural moisturizing factor which is uber important for keeping the stratum corneum hydrated
- HA is derived from bio-fermentation and rooster combs (the rubber chicken neck area) so look at the sourcing of this ingredient if you only use vegan cosmetics
- HA and sodium hyaluronate are effective for all skin types and work wonders for aging skin
- HA and similar derivates are often used in cosmetic injections to help fill and plump the skin
So have you used HA/sodium hyaluronate products before? What are your favorites? I’d love to hear below!