While we all rave about active ingredients such as Retinoids and VC, there's a star gets underrated - Hyaluronic Acid.

Hyaluronic Acid (HA) doesn't own a fancy name and probably sounds acidity, it turns out not the acids that remove dead skin or strip the skin barrier, it's the savior for wounds, dry, dull, sensitive, acne-prone skin.


What Is Hyaluronic Acid?

HA is a naturally occurring polysaccharide in our body.  It pairs with collagen as the key components for plump, hydrated skin, and youthful appearance by regulating cell renewal lubricates connective tissue as well as maintain the moisture in the skin.   50% of the body's HA is found in the skin, however, it has extremely dynamic turnover rates which lasts as short as one day.  It also gets a breakdown as we age, especially combined with long exposure under UV radiation, air-conditioning, smoking, vitamin deficiencies, intake of chlorinated water, high-impact exercise, etc.

What Is Sodium Hyaluronate?

Sodium Hyaluronate is a salt that’s derived from HA.  It's one of the most seen ingredients on skincare or body care labels.  Its molecule weight is lower than HA which means it's easier to penetrate in the skin. 

How Do They Work?

HA's ability is to support and promote collagen. Collagen firms the skin while HA nourishes and hydrates the collagen.  Yes, they're like dance partners under your skin. It retains and able to hold up to 1000x its own weight in water, in order to produce amazing benefits for dehydrated skin.  In other words, collagen without HA, there's a potential slower collagen production or collagen stimulation isn't as effective.

What Are They Use For?

As HA works as plumper, the larger HA molecules are usually used as fillers for filling wrinkles and fine lines.  It is a safer alternative to synthetic ingredients and is less likely to be rejected as a foreign substance by the body, however, it might not last as long. 

Topical Application
That comes in different skin care products such as toners, serums, moisturizers, creams, lotions, masks, sunscreens, etc.  Since lower molecule weight penetrates better and gets absorbed in the skin better, sodium hyaluronate is often used in products.  The heavier weight / larger size of HA is also used as well, it acts as a defense and sits on the skin barrier to protect it from external stressors such as pollution, sun damage, dry climates.  It's for all ages and all skin types, especially vital for ultra sensitive and acne-prone skin as it helps to heal and bringing down inflammation.

Oral Supplements
In order to make collagen, it needs HA, vitamin C, lysine and proline. Some collagen supplements are formulated with Hydrolyzed collagen, Vitamin C, HA, Proline, Egg Shell Membrane. With these nutrients allows the body replenish damaged or old collagen.
You can also find collagen and these nutrients from a food source such as egg whites (good source of proline), lean meats, fish, and nuts (good sources of lysine). 

Medical Use
HA isn't rare in the clinical world.  It's used to treat patients with partial-thickness facial burns hospitalized at Burn Center.  Studies have shown HA helps shorten healing time and its anti-inflammatory properties prevent the formation of hypertrophic scars or keloids.

So Where Does HA Come From?

HA comes from different sources, comes in different qualities and costs as well.  It is derived from chicken or rooster combs while the plant-based versions are usually derived from sugarcane molasses, mushrooms, plants, and wheat fermentation.  The plants and wheat are fermented with specific bacteria, then purified and precipitated.  

The Myth

Myth : If collagen needs hyaluronic acid, that means I should only focus on HA to stimulate collagen.
Fact : There's a quote,if you want to go fast, go alone; If you want to go far, go together.'  It sounds cliche but it applies to skin and health care.  Our body is a dynamic system, and it's all about Ying & Yang, one feeds or supports one another.  Collagen and hyaluronic acid are the key components of healthy, youthful skin, as well as better joints. They are a powerful duo that supports one another, tho they have very different benefits individually. Taking both (along with vitamin C, lysine and proline) is ideal if you are looking for the best anti-aging result.

Myth : Sodium hyaluronate is better than hyaluronic acid. 
Fact : No. In fact, most HA serums, moisturizers, and creams contain both forms of the ingredient, so your skin receives the benefits on multiple levels. While sodium hyaluronate goes deeper in the skin, hyaluronic acid protect the outer layer of skin.  You need both of them in order to promote healthier skin.

Myth : 100% pure HA serum is better than 2% 
Fact :  Let's say sodium hyaluronate nor HA come in pure form.  They come in solution form.  As each gram of HA holds up to 6 liters of water or more.  It has to be diluted otherwise your skin gets as dry as sandpaper.  

It usually comes to be 1% to 2% of the solution, which is primarily composed of purified water, aloe vera, or other base ingredients. If a solution contains more than 3 - 4 % of sodium hyaluronate, it can actually pull out or soak up most of the water on the skin.   2% solution is the highest hyaluronic acid that we see on the market.  When we see 100% on the label, that could probably mean other ingredients in the bottle are pure or purified, as a clean beauty product.


Further more resource
Outcomes of the Use of Hyaluronic Acid-Based Wound Dressings for the Treatment of Partial-Thickness Facial Burns
Hyaluronic Acid Covers in Burn Treatment: A Systematic Review


Photos : Unsplash | Pinterest 



Leave a comment