Hyaluronic Acid & Your Skin

Hyaluronic acid


Both sodium hyaluronate and hyaluronic acid are popular in skin care products. They work by binding to water molecules and drawing water into the cells, leaving your skin looking plump and hydrated. 

Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is found naturally in the body acting as a lubricant and a hydrator. It is part of the extracellular matrix - the space between skin cells. It helps make the skin soft, smooth and elastic but decreases as we age which leads to dry and thinning skin.  As an ingredient in skin care products it is capable of binding up to 1800 times it's weight in water. This ability to retain water gives a quick but temporary smoothness to skin and can improve the skins appearance. 

Sodium hyaluronate is literally the salt counterpart to HA and  is more stable when used in beauty preparations. It has smaller molecules which some think may be able to penetrate to deeper layers of skin. Is penetration key?

The products efficacy or "the ability to produce a desired or intended result" is often thought to be a function of its penetration. Not true- in fact it's efficacy is determined by a number of factors such as 

-active ingredients

-quantity of those ingredients

- ability to reach targeted sites and how many actually reach those targeted sites

- the active ingredients ability to remain there long enough to function and bring about that desired result

-minimizing the concentration of the active ingredient where it is not productive or may be harmful.

The most  important issue for cosmetic formulators is to ensure that the ingredients will NOT penetrate in to the dermis - this will allow the ingredients to be carried from there into the bloodstream through the bodies capillary system. Product absorption through the skin and into the circulatory system would classify those products as pharmaceuticals. 

 Hyaluronic Acid  serum and cream preparations will give you a quick, yet temporary  plumping effect that will aid smoothing the skin surface appearance.  Injectable HA is used to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, facial folds, and to create structure, framework, and volume to the face and lips. These popular fillers are temporary and  the longevity of the filler depends on the composition of the brand,  location of the injection, and the patient. 

When applied to skin HA forms a sort of film that makes an ideal moisturizer base. It also allows manufacturers to use much lower levels of emollients and lubricants in their products which can reduce a greasy consistency. 

HA added to skin care products also requires hydrous formations - those with water bases. This means they also require a preservative system, which are often the cause of irritations and sensitizations. Also be aware that both hyaluronic acid and sodium hyaluronate are so powerful in attracting water that if there’s too much in a product, it can have the opposite effect and dry out the skin so applying a moisturizer may be required. 

Your HA based serum may improve the look of your skin but it may not provide the nutrition your skin needs. The Serum from County Apothecary is an anhydrous formulation that does not require a preservative. It contains powerful antioxidants to protect against environmental pollution and UV exposure ( two of the main external causes of skin aging) and plant extracts like Vitamin A to help stimulate collagen production and key essential fatty acids necessary for optimal skin health. A perfect first step in your daily routine.


For  improvement and maintenance of your  overall skin health make sure to supplement your routines with supporting products that address the underlying causes of skin aging. Nourishment and skin protection is key. 

And don't forget your sunscreen :)

One study concluded that "Approximately 80% of facial skin aging is attributed to UV-exposure. 

112. Uitto J. Understanding premature skin aging. N Engl J Med. 1997;337:1463–5. doi: 10.1056/NEJM199711133372011. [PubMed] [CrossRef[]"





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