Hyaluronic acid. An ingredient that has become ubiquitous in the skincare world, from lotions, to body wash to serums, whether you’ve noticed it or not. Let’s dive a bit deeper to discover what this ingredient is, where it comes from, and how you can benefit from it.
Hyaluronic acid, or sometimes sodium hyaluronate is a polysaccharide molecule that is a key component of connective tissue, as well as skin, which forms a protective gelatinous matrix around cells. It is only slightly more acidic than the skin’s normal pH of 4.3-4.5, ranging between 3 and 4, meaning it does not have exfoliating properties. However, it has a wide range of other beneficial properties, due to it being able to hold up to 1000x its weight in water.
Hyaluronic acid is a humectant, meaning it draws water in and holds it, which allows for hydration of the skin. Due to the large size of the molecule, it will not absorb into the skin, but rather provide a hydrating layer that sits on top of the skin. Hyaluronic acid is a non-naturally derived ingredient that can be produced by the fermentation of glucose and yeast extract. Making Cosmetics, a raw material cosmetics supplier, supplies a hyaluronic acid made from glucose, soy peptone, and yeast extract.
Hyaluronic acid has a molecular weight of 4000 to 8,000,000 daltons. The ingredient can be found in six different sizes ranging from High Molecular Weight - Hyaluronic Acid (HMW-HA), Middle Molecular Weight - Hyaluronic Acid (MMW-HA), Low Molecular Weight - Hyaluronic Acid/Sodium Hyaluronate (LMW-HA), and down to weights that have been split into even smaller molecules that can actually penetrate the skin. If you’re looking for hydration, smaller molecules will deliver that. If you’re looking for plumping and a longer result, larger molecules will deliver that result.
To summarize, hyaluronic acid gives skin soft and plumper texture, and more even skin tone. It can improve fine lines and wrinkles by plumping the skin, and helping to regenerate dehydrated cells. On top of that, hyaluronic acid is gentle on the skin barrier, making it a good choice no matter what skin type you have.