This is up there in my top three favourite skin ingredients. What is Hyaluronic Acid? Hyaluronic Acid is a molecule that naturally occurs in the body and is known for its incredible water-retention properties. One single molecule can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water. When applied as part of a skincare routine, Hyaluronic Acid provides instant hydration to plump and nourish the skin.
Hyaluronic acid is found in almost every cell of our body with the highest concentrations located in our skin. It is a member of our GAG family and resides in the extracellular space of our skin. Think of it as the water in an aquarium, it keeps the other living species (cells) hydrated and in a liveable environment to grow. Our body naturally produces HA however, environment, stress and age deplete our stores and we therefore need to topically supplement the skin. HA is responsible for giving our skin that turgid and hydrated bounce. It’s super light weight so it doesn’t feel heavy on the skin. It’s great in Winter to further boost hydration levels under your moisturiser. In Summer it’s equally amazing as our skin suffers more from trans epidermal water loss from more time out in the sun, surf and outdoors. Because HA is so light weight it won’t feel greasy on those balmy days and nights. Always remember that a dehydrated skin is an ageing skin.
Hyaluronic acid also plays a key role in wound healing.
It’s naturally present in the skin, but its concentrations increase when there is damage in need of repair.
Hyaluronic acid helps wounds heal faster by regulating inflammation levels and signaling the body to build more blood vessels in the damaged area.
Applying it to skin wounds has been shown to reduce the size of wounds and decrease pain faster than a placebo or no treatment at all.
HA’s are not all created equal which is why you get such varying degrees in prices. It is worth to note that there are both high and low molecular weight HA’s. The role of the higher molecular weight are to sit more superficially on the surface of our skin and provide that instant plumping and hydrating effect. The lower molecular weight penetrate further down into the skin and assist with providing an aqueous internal environment. I prefer to use a HA that has both high and low molecular weight so my skin has the benefits of both.
Other names hyaluronic Acid comes under are Sodium PCA, Sodium Hyalaronodate Acide Hyaluronique, Ácido Hialurónico, Glycoaminoglycan, Glycoaminoglycane, Hyaluran, Hyaluronan, Hyaluronate de Sodium, Hyaluronate Sodium and Hylan.