Hyaluronic acid is an anti-wrinkle moisturizing active, widely used in skincare products. In this guide we tell you all about this ingredient hero: what is it, what is it for, at what age to use it and what are the best products rich in this active ingredient!
HYALURONIC ACID WHAT IS IT USED FOR?
Hyaluronic acid is a substance naturally produced by our skin: a scaffolding that allows the tissue to maintain its tone and hydration. Chemically it is a glycosaminoglycan, a molecule formed by repeating long sequences of two simple sugars: glucuronic acid and N-acetylglucosamine. It is a highly soluble polysaccharide, present in connective tissue with collagen and elastin. It has two main functions: moisturizing and protecting the tissues. To do this, create a kind of subcutaneous reticular which traps water inside. As we age, however, hyaluronic acid tends to decrease, leading to dryness and dehydration. The superficial firmness of the skin is no longer the same, which leads to a loss of elasticity and the appearance of wrinkles. To remedy this, care products based on this active ingredient or hyaluronic acid in fillers are used, for example fillers for the face or lips, capable of increasing the quantity thereof.
PROPERTIES OF HYALURONIC ACID
Hyaluronic acid (often abbreviated as HA) is a molecule with many benefits, with very good tolerance for all skin types. It has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which make it useful in the treatment of acne and pimples. But it is best known and loved for its very high hydroscopic power, which allows it to attract and retain water from 20 to 1000 times its own weight! It comes in various forms, different molecular weights, and different textures and concentrations. It can be used pure or in combination with other active ingredients. At the cosmetic level, it is used for:
- rehydrate the tissues;
- act on wrinkles and fine lines;
- counteract the loss of tone;
- give elasticity and smoothness to the skin;
- help the healing process in the tissues.
It should also be kept in mind that hyaluronic acid can be of animal or plant originextracted by bacterial fermentation.
LOW AND HIGH MOLECULAR WEIGHT
Hyaluronic acid can be low, medium or high molecular weight. What does it mean? The molecular weight indicates the size of the molecules and, therefore, their ability to penetrate the layers of the skin.
- FOR low molecular weight it reaches the deepest layers.
- Since average molecular weight penetrates the intermediate layers.
- For high molecular weight remains and acts on the outer surface of the dermis.
If we apply hyaluronic acid on high molecular weight, large molecules cannot penetrate deeply. They exert their action on the surface: they bind to water molecules, forming a protective patina that provides the skin with hydration and protection.
If we apply hyaluronic acid on low molecular weight, fragmented molecules are able to penetrate deeply. They then nourish the cellular matrix, stimulate the action of fibroblasts and, by swelling, give volume and elasticity to the skin.
TYPES OF HYALURONIC ACID IN COSMETICS
There are more than 160 hyaluronic acid derivatives on the market, mainly distinguished by their molecular weight. What are the most common types of HA in our beauty products, at different concentration percentages? Looking at the INCI of the products, we can distinguish:
- hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid (hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid) is obtained by hydrolysis of high molecular weight hyaluronic acid, making it more soluble. It has a strongly moisturizing action.
- acetylated sodium hyaluronate (acetylated sodium hyaluronate) obtained by the acetylation process, by replacing a hydrogen atom with an acetyl atom. It has moisturizing and smoothing properties.
- sodium hyaluronate (sodium hyaluronate) is a sodium salt of hyaluronic acid, a natural glycosaminoglycan component of the dermis. High or low molecular weight, it preserves the skin’s hydration.
The percentage of HA in products on the market is generally around1.5% and in some cases it can go up to 2%. To have access to higher concentrations, the intervention of the dermatologist is necessary. Who can administer hyaluronic acid in bites, for example by creating dynamic fillers for the face and dark circles, cheekbones, eye contour and associated crow’s feet. Hyaluronic acid enriches the formulas of many cosmetics: from eye contour serums, face and body creams to hair products.
AT WHAT AGE TO USE IT
Anti-aging ingredient par excellence, the use of HA is mainly recommended 30 years and over. Those who are attentive to good skin care and prefer prevention to treatment can start using it from the 25th! The reason is simple: it is precisely the age when its natural decline begins in the body. It is precisely then that external help, for example in the form of hyaluronic acid cream, can start to prove useful. Helping us maintain a strong skin structure!
CONTRAINDICATIONS OF HYALURONIC ACID
Does hyaluronic acid have any contraindications? HA is an extremely tolerable substance, but it is good to be careful in the use and choice of products. Its hygroscopic properties cause it to absorb (and retain) water where it is. When products are not formulated with the good amount of water, it will absorb it directly from the skin. Causing undesirable and paradoxical side effects: dryness and dehydration! To remedy this problem, it suffices to check the INCI of the products: the water must be present in a prominent position. Or you can choose hyaluronic acid in serum or sprayproducts with liquid textures containing high percentages of water.
HYALURONIC ACID PRODUCTS
Here is a list of hyaluronic acid products to try and include in your beauty routine! We are inspired by 6 steps of care to achieve perfect skin with these suggestions:
- KenzoKi Hydration Flow Facial Cleanser, formulated with Low Molecular Weight HA and Sacred Lotus Flower Water Extract. With an intoxicating scent, it is one of the new face cleansers with the most natural formulations (price 29€ – buy here).
- Isntree Green Tea Facial Toning Lotionformulated with purifying and soothing green tea from Jeju Island, ginkgo extract, gotu kola and vitamin C. Contains sodium hyaluronate and is ideal for oily to combination skin (price €24.99 – buy here).
- face serum with hyaluronic acid The Ordinary, contains 2% pure concentrated hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5. The formula contains HA in 3 molecular masses, for a multi-layered action on the dermis (price €7.45 – buy here).
- The face serum is Miamo LH, designated best face serum with hyaluronic acid thanks to its essential INCI with only 4 ingredients. It has highly moisturizing, firming and fortifying properties. Suitable for all skin types (price €79 – buy here).
- Venus hyaluronic acid eye cream, formulated with HA microinfusions. Designed to give luminosity to the eye contour and reduce wrinkles and signs of fatigue. It can be used as a face primer (price €14.12 – buy here).
- Collistar anti-wrinkle face cream, which is part of the Collistar Rigenera anti-aging range, contains HA, rosehip stem cells and biomimetic peptides. It has a melting texture and is also suitable for the most sensitive skin (price €65.50 – buy here).
- Rilastil anti-wrinkle sunscreen, designed to combat photoaging. Among the Rilastil sunscreens is the one dedicated to normal to dry sensitive skin. The formula with SPF 50 contains HA (price 26.90€ – buy here).
WHERE TO BUY HYALURONIC ACID PRODUCTS
As for niacinamide products, Lookfantastic has dedicated a special page for those with hyaluronic acid. But there are many e-commerce sites where you can discover and buy products based on this ingredient.
With this guide, we hope to have clarified all the doubts you may have, providing useful information to learn more about this precious ingredient!
Treatments are more beautiful thanks to pure active ingredients!