Hyaluronic acid is not an active ingredient, but rather a humectant which hydrates the skin. It cannot make wrinkles go away, but rather temporarily improve the skin’s appearance through surface hydration. Learn more about the science of this ingredient.
Hyaluronic acid (HA) is not a new discovery. In fact, it is something that our bodies naturally produce. But how does adding it to beauty products help improve our skin?
Hyaluronic Acid 101:
Hyaluronic acid in the body is mainly found in fluids in the joints and eyes. However, the HA used in cosmetic products and medicines is derived from bacteria fermented in the laboratory and rooster combs. The hyaluronic acid used in these products is typically called sodium hyaluronate.
HA has many
vital roles in our body, including skin repair, tissue regeneration, wound
healing and diagnosis of cancer, as well as having anti-inflammatory
properties. As a result of its potential in tissue regeneration, it has become
an essential ingredient in many cosmetic and nutricosmetic products.
Products using an HA formulation display notable properties including skin hydration which can be seen as improvement in wrinkles and space filling. HA is also anti-inflammatory and soothing to the skin.
This happens because HA has a unique ability to retain water, making it the main molecule involved in moisturizing the skin. In fact, within skin cells, it can retain up to a thousand times its weight in water.
Loss of cellular HA occurs with age, and the amount of HA that the body produces declines leading to skin more susceptible to signs of aging such as wrinkles and sagging.
HA creams and serums will not replace volume lost deep within your cells & skin:
We will explain later – even the smallest sized HA particle will not penetrate into your skin cells. To get true volume replacement, your physician will need to actually inject a special form of hyaluronic acid dermal filler deep into your skin’s dermis.
Molecular Weight Matters:
Hyaluronic acid molecules have molecular weights in the 4,000 to 8,000,000 Dalton range. The molecular weight of an HA molecule determines how deep it penetrates into the skin. HA molecules with lower molecular weight can enter the deeper layers of the skin.
HA molecules are generally divided into two categories – high molecular weight and low molecular weight. HA molecules with high molecular weight do not penetrate the skin, so can be used as temporary surface skin moisturizers. On the other hand, low molecular weight HA molecules have better penetration ability making them better for products that are regenerative and anti-irritant. Let’s further compare the two:
HIGH MOLECULAR WEIGHT HA
LOW MOLECULAR WEIGHT HA
■ Thicker consistency
■ Thinner consistency
■ Stays on skin’s surface
■ Can penetrate into the upper layers of the skin
■ Draws moisture from skin & can dehydrate the skin
■ Draws moisture into the skin & can re-hydrate the skin
■ Shorter lasting effects
■ Longer lasting effects
■ Cheaper & easy to manufacture
■ Expensive & difficult to manufacture
High molecular weight of greater than 1,800,000 Dalton – due to its size, cannot penetrate the deeper layers of the skin. Once it evaporates, it can draw moisture away from your skin, and in fact dehydrate your skin.
Low molecular weight in the range of 4000 to 1,000,000 Dalton – this has a longer-lasting anti-wrinkle effect since it can penetrate deeper into the skin. A study found that applying products using low molecular weight HA in their formulations resulted in wrinkle depth being significantly reduced.
Even low molecular weight HA can penetrate no deeper in the skin than the lower epidermis. This means that these products can only act as a supplement and will not replenish your body’s natural supply of hyaluronic acid.
Melanopeel’s HA serums are different for 4 reasons:
We use nan0-molecular weight HA which can actually penetrate & hydrate cells in your epidermis. This advanced technology yields a better quality hyaluronic acid. Our cosmetic scientists explain more – conventional HAs (even low molecular weight HA) have molecules 3,000 nm in diameter, while the space between cells are only 15 to 50 nm . Therefore it is impossible for traditional HA to penetrate into deeper layers of the skin. Our HA serums include nano-particle molecules of 5 nm nano sizes which can truly say that they get between your cells for superior hydration.
Proprietary formulations combine molecular weights of HA to produce the right balance of external and internal skin hydration.