Hyaluronic acid - small molecule, big impact
Hyaluronic acid is a classic in anti-aging. The small hyaluronan molecule helps reduce wrinkles, improves firmness and binds moisture for increased elasticity. But there are vast differences in hyaluronic acid. We have prepared the most important questions and answers on hyaluronic acid, so you can find the right skin care for your needs.
Why hyaluronic acid? These features make the ingredient so popular in cosmetics.
Hyaluronic acid is a polysaccharide, a chain of sugar molecules, that can bind water. Hyaluronic acid occurs in the human body – in the skin, the joint fluid or the vitreous body of the eye.
Bound to water, it has a gel-like consistency and helps us keep our musculoskeletal system intact.
It also plays a major role in firmer, smoother skin. From about the 25th year of our lives onwards, the body’s own production in hyaluronic acid decreases. The results are fine lines and wrinkles.
Applying hyaluronic acid, the appearance of both can be diminished. As our body produces this active on its own, plant-based hyaluronic acid has very little counter indications and is optimally compatible with our skin. On top of that, hyaluronic acid can bind large amounts of water – up to 6,000 times its own weight. Hydration is important for healthy, comfortable feeling skin and a natural glow.
How does hyaluronic acid work in cosmetics? This is why you should pay attention to the type of hyaluronic acid used.
In skin care, hyaluronic acid is mostly distinguished by its molecular weight. Some manufacturers advertise it in kilo Dalton, others talk about low and high molecular acid, others yet use the description long or short chained hyaluronan.
For clarity, we distinguish low molecular and high molecular hyaluronic acid. Both variants have the some INCI name: Sodium Hyaluronate.
High molecular hyaluronic acid binds water on the skin's surface
High molecular hyaluronic acid consists of larger molecules that cannot penetrate into the skin. They form a moisture binding film on the skin’s surface, where they have conditioning and anti-inflammatory effects. Additionally, they leave skin looking plumper and suppler and can have a slight visual improvement of the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Low molecular hyaluronic acid refills the skin's moisture depots.
The small molecules of low molecular hyaluronic acid can be retained in the skin’s connective tissue and counteract wrinkles in the long term, since they bind moisture and therefore naturally plump skin from within. Instantly upon application , the skin feels hydrated and comfortably fresh.
Hyaluronic acid also supports collagen and elastin fibres.
- collagen promotes strength and flexibility in the connective tissue
- elastin is like the “elastic” of our skin: through the help of elastin, our skin bounces back into its original shape after being stretched.
What is hyaluronic acid made of?
Hyaluronic acid can by synthesized from various materials. We use vegetable glucose, so it doesn’t contain any animal protein and therefore has almost no allergic potential.
Hyaluronic acid is the right skin care choice for these needs of yours
Hyaluronic acid addresses skin care needs mostly related to anti-aging:
- reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
- improved hydration
- strengthened connective tissues
- elasticity / suppleness
Serum, ampule or cream - this is how you find the right product for your daily anti-aging skin care
- As mentioned above, there are difference in hyaluronic acids – even if the INCI lists Sodium Hyaluronate, the ingredient varies in
- molecular size (high or low molecular / long or short chained)
- concentration (the further towards the beginning of the INCI list, the more hyaluronic acid is in the formulation)
- effectiveness (superficially moisture binding or long-term plumping)
- and in the kind of product (serum or creme)
We therefore recommend you take your time to reflect upon what you expect from your new skin care*:
- you’d like to see quick results, e.g. a plumper, suppler appearing skin and a more even tone? Then a Serum with high molecular hyaluronic acid could be right for you.
- you have a little more time, would like instant hydration but also longer term anti-aging effects, e.g. firmer skin, a reduced appearance of fine lines and a more radiant tone? Then a serum with low molecular hyaluronic acid could be the perfect solution for you.
- you wish for more flexibility to combine instant effects with long-term improvements? In that case an ampule with the combined effects of high and low molecular hyaluronic acid might just be what you’re looking for. As you can use ampules for special occasions only as well as consecutively as a ‘treatment’.
- Serums are the “active wonders” in skin care – they are used when you want to be sure that your skin obtains highly concentrated actives (often only 1-3 different ones) to address a specific skin care desire. Serums can contain high or low molecular hyaluronic acid. Click here to learn more about hyaluronic acid serums.
- Creams are important for a healthy skin carrier, which is crucial for closing the actives in. Creams often times contain high molecular hyaluronic acid as this is a more reasonable solution in combination with lipids and other conditioning agents.