Great skincare can only be chosen when knowing exactly which ingredients will have fantastic benefits for skin. Hyaluronic acid is an extremely popular skincare ingredient – but what should it be used for and which skin conditions can hyaluronic acid help to heal? Can hyaluronic acid be used for acne? Is hyaluronic acid good for scars? What does hyaluronic acid do to skin?
What Is Hyaluronic Acid?
It is important to know hyaluronic acid is an ingredient skin makes naturally and is therefore easily recognised and responded to by skin. Levels of hyaluronic acid in addition to the size of hyaluronic acid polymers present trigger very different responses within the skin.
Scientifically, hyaluronic acid is known as a polysaccharide i.e. a type of sugar. Innately many hyaluronic acid molecules bind together to create chains of hyaluronic acid i.e. hyaluronic acid polymers. As hyaluronic acid polymers are made up from many repeating units of hyaluronic acid, their ability to attract water molecules becomes exponentially increased. The reason why hyaluronic acid is claimed to be able to hold up to 1000x its own weight in water. Dermatologists describe skincare ingredients like these as humectants.
Takeaway: Hyaluronic acid is a skin-identical ingredient able to attract, lock and hold several times its own weight in water.
Is Hyaluronic Acid and Hyaluronan the Same Thing?
Skincare ingredients can be known by many different names for example shea butter will be described as butyrospermum parkii on an ingredients label. Known as INCI naming, these 2 different names do not refer to different materials but instead are different names for the same material. Scientifically and in the purposes of skincare hyaluronic acid and hyaluronan are the exact same ingredient.
Are Hyaluronic acid and Sodium Hyaluronate the Same Thing?
Many skincare companies choose to use sodium hyaluronate instead of hyaluronic acid as in general sodium hyaluronate is smaller in size than hyaluronic acid therefore allowing deeper skin penetration for better results. Sodium hyaluronate is the sodium salt of hyaluronic acid – a salt ion is able to effectively block the position on a hyaluronic acid molecule where another hyaluronic acid molecule would naturally come to bind. This interruption can ensure sodium hyaluronate is lower in molecular weight and size.
Is it safe to use hyaluronic acid?
Hyaluronic acid is a skin identical skincare ingredient meaning skin already creates hyaluronic acid naturally. The form of hyaluronic acid found in skincare is identical to the hyaluronic acid your skin creates.
Many people worry about using hyaluronic acid serums because of the word acid. Acid is used to describe a chemical functionality on any given molecule and does not necessarily infer acidity. When formulated into a hyaluronic acid serum, the pH is naturally extremely close to neutral. Hyaluronic acid can also be formulated into creams and serums which are directly matched to the pH of skin which is normally slightly acidic.
Takeaway: hyaluronic acid is safe to use on skin and is a skincare ingredient even sensitive, easily irritated skin types can benefit from.
What are the benefits of hyaluronic acid?
Hyaluronic acid (HA) is naturally found in many areas of the human body, however skin has the absolute highest concentration topping out at 50% of total body HA1234567891011