The Science of Hyaluronic Acid
What Is Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic Acid is a big sugar molecule that is naturally present in our body. It is found all over our body including, the skin, eyes, and the fluid present between our joints.
Regardless of the word ‘acid’ in the name, Hyaluronic Acid is not an exfoliator but a humectant, a healer, a protector, and plumper. It controls the water content of the skin – where half the water in our body resides making the skin appear youthful and firm, and protecting the cells from premature aging.
You can compare it with a sponge. Hyaluronic Acid found naturally in our body can hold nearly 1000 times its weight in water, but that comes from the water your drink or water-rich foods.
Myths About Hyaluronic Acid
The hydration, the healing, the plumping, all sound phenomenal. Who wouldn’t want more of all the good things? Well, sadly, it does not work like that.
Let us explain: lost collagen cannot be replenished by putting collagen into your face, just like weak bones cannot be made strong by putting calcium cream on them. The same philosophy works for Hyaluronic Acid.
The thing is, in its natural state, it is a big molecule with high molecular weight, making it too large for the skin to be able to absorb. Therefore in skincare products, a ‘smaller molecular weight’ molecule was lab-developed. Even those cannot make it past the epidermis – the top layer of skin.
The other thing is, the Hyaluronic Acid found in our body is not the same as the HA utilized in skincare. Yet, our research on HA – the skincare ingredient is based on Hyaluronic Acid found in our cells.
What is wrong with that? As we discussed, the one found in our cells is big and the skincare one is comparatively smaller. Also, most of the Hyaluronic Acid is concentrated in the dermis – the lower layer of the skin. The application of Hyaluronic Acid from skincare products is topical and rarely penetrates deeper than the epidermis.
Moving on to the biggest myth: for Hyaluronic Acid to retain water, it has to get it from somewhere. The Hyaluronic Acid in our body gets its water from our diet and from what we drink. Topical Hyaluronic Acid grabs moisture from the atmosphere then draws it to our skin. The fact is, there isn’t a lot of water present in the atmosphere, so what it does is, get its moisture from the nearest source present – our skin. This creates a temporary plumping effect, making it appear smooth and hydrated.
But when that water evaporates, dehydration occurs, meaning it makes the skin look hydrated by pulling the moisture to the surface but internally leading to dehydration.
Though we have to understand that Hyaluronic Acid is not a bad ingredient. The problem arises when there is an overuse and its advertisement as the holy grail of hydration.
Right Way To Use Hyaluronic Acid
Instead of using Hyaluronic Acid in multiple steps of your skincare routine, pick a step and a product that will yield the most benefit and then stick with it. Don’t use a product that is too concentrated with Hyaluronic Acid.
The best way is to use it in a moisturizer, when you apply a moisturizer with Hyaluronic Acid, it will absorb water from the cream and not the skin. Or you are choosing to use Hyaluronic Acid in serum, pick a serum that has another active ingredient, like retinol for the night and vitamin C in the day. These ingredients will look after your skin in other ways and then follow it with a moisturizer.
With Sakhiya Skin Clinic’s Serums, our formulations are tailored with this in mind. Our goal is to provide you the skincare that suits your skin’s needs without any drawbacks, to give you the maximum benefits that an ingredient can offer.