Hyaluronic Acid: All You Need to Know About This Ingredient
Our series of “All You Need to Know” about skincare ingredients continues with Hyaluronic Acid. This “Holy Grail of Hydration” should be a part of everyone’s skincare collection in one form or another. Why? We’re happy to explain below:
First of all, what is Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic Acid, or Hyaluron, (we’ll call it “HA” from time to time) occurs naturally in your body, especially in your skin, neural tissues, and joints. Think of it as the substance that lubricates your joints and allows them to move, a way for your neural tissue to allow transmission of synapses, and a water reservoir that moisturizes your skin. Amazing, right? But wait, there’s more: naturally, Hyaluronic Acid binds together with collagen in order to keep your skin plump as well. This little molecule is a multitasker in all the best of ways.
Is it an actual Acid?
It's not like a chemical peel acid like AHA or PHA but a molecule composed mostly of sugars. It is a clear, lightweight, sometimes described as “gooey” substance and no, it won’t burn or exfoliate your face.
Related: Your Guide To Chemical Exfoliation: AHAs, BHAs, PHAs
Why is Hyaluronic Acid so popular?
Because at some point we will all need its help. Let us explain: as we get older, our body’s ability to produce both HA and collagen slows down, and this is where we start seeing fine lines and wrinkles, and crepe-y skin. Once there is less HA in your body, this can lead to a breakdown of the skin barrier, which allows water to escape even further and creates dryness. Unfortunately, we are all getting older with no way to stop the clock. This is where skincare with a high concentration of Hyaluronic Acid can come in to save the day. Because HA, as a molecule, binds to collagen on one side, and water on the other, it is the perfect ingredient to hydrate and fill in those pesky little lines.
Need more proof? Hyaluronic Acid can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water, so if we took just one gram of HA, it would be able to hold up to six liters of water. Wow.
Is there a difference between natural Hyaluronic Acid and skincare-formulated Hyaluronic Acid?
Not really! If you read our previous post on lab-produced Ceramides, you’ll recall that it is quite easy to recreate these sorts of molecules in a laboratory environment in a sustainable manner. Because HA naturally occurs in our bodies, it is highly effective when used topically in skincare. It is also the most common ingredient found in facial fillers, because it occurs naturally in our bodies and can dissolve over time. You can read more about injectable Hyaluronic Acid here.
Related: I Tried A Hyaluronic Acid Injection Called Profhilo in Singapore (Part 1)
Looking at skincare but not seeing HA as an ingredient? Laboratory-created HA in skincare products can also be called hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid or sodium hyaluronate (salt derived from hyaluronic acid). You might also see it referred to as hyaluronan, so don’t forget to pay attention to that list of ingredients.
Should You Try It?
As usual, Team Eunogo recommends that you do a patch test on your skin with any new skincare product or ingredient. Because hyaluronic acid is already found in your skin and the HA in skincare is virtually bioidentical, it is highly unlikely that you may have an adverse reaction, but better safe than sorry. If your face happens to be dry, you will experience an immediate boost of hydration. If your skin is oily type you will also find much benefit from HA-rich products because oily skin must have a moisture balance to keep sebum production to a minimum. Best of all? Hyaluronic Acid has a super light-weight feel and can be layered with other products quite successfully.
Eunogo’s Top HA Picks
1. OxygenCeuticals Moisture Aqua Serum
3. AOSA Black Power All In One Cleanser
5. Dr. Seolreim SkinUp Collagen Jelly (Combines hyaluronic acid and collagen!)