What is hyaluronic acid (HA)?
Hyaluronic acid, or Sodium Hyaluronate, is a gooey, gel-like, polysaccharide (sugary molecule) that helps to bind water molecules. Hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in every tissue of the human body. It is a glycosaminoglycan which is a vital component of the skin’s natural youth-supporting matrix. Therefore, hyaluronic acid serum proveds great benefits to skin.
Hyaluronic acid in the skin is basically a humectant and mimics a sponge that serves as a water reservoir. It helps to absorb water from the surroundings and binds with collagen to give more elasticity to the skin giving smooth and natural appearance. It helps the skin to regain its natural softness and hydration. Hyaluronic acid is water-soluble.
High molecular weight vs. low molecular weight hyaluronic acid
Hyaluronic acid for skincare application is available in various molecular weights, including high, low, super-low and ultra-low molecular weights. Each size has different characteristics.
Regular hyaluronic acid has a high molecular weight. It forms a clear viscous gel, making it an excellent lubricant agent that results in a visible and perceptible improvement of skin smoothness. High molecular weight hyaluronic acid (HMW-HA) solution forms a thin elastic film on the skin surface that helps improve skin elasticity and suppleness, resulting in youthful-looking and healthy skin. However, HMW-HA does not penetrate the skin.
On the other hand, super-low and ultra-low molecular weight hyaluronic acid (SLMW-HA, ULMW-HA) has the ability to penetrate the upper layers of the epidermis. The lower the molecular weight, the higher the ability of penetration of HA. However, the super-low and ultra-low molecular weight reduces the HA viscosity in water solution, which could not form a thin elastic film on the skin like regular high molecular weight HA.
Therefore, a hyaluronic acid serum formulated with a good mix of high and low molecules will provide more benefits than the one containing a single type of molecule weight.
What does a hyaluronic acid product do to your face?
Hyaluronic acid is the most powerful humectant that can hold up to 1000 times of the water than its own molecular weight. Due to its remarkable water-binding ability, HA has been recognized as one of the most imperative and popular ingredients for skincare products. Hyaluronic acid serum is water-based and it’s great for all skin types.
Hyaluronic acid benefits: 50% of the body’s hyaluronic acid is found in the skin. As we age, skin loses HA and the ability to hold sufficient water for the cells. As a result, skin tends to develop undesirable fine lines. Apply hyaluronic acid serum over the surface of your face skin can help plump dried surface cells, make skin looked smoother, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
How to choose Hyaluronic acid serum?
Choosing the best hyaluronic acid serum might take a little bit of time.
Tip #1: Choose a serum that is formulated with both high and low molecular weight hyaluronic acid.
High molecular weight hyaluronic acid can form a thin elastic film on the skin surface that makes skin feel smooth and plump. Super-low and ultra-low molecular weight hyaluronic acid has the ability to penetrate the upper layers of the skin to boost hydration. Ask the product manufacture or research the product yourself to see if the serum contains both high and low molecular weights and what the weights are.
Tip #2: choose a serum with an optimized pure hyaluronic acid formulation dosage.
You’ve learned about all the wonderful benefits of high molecular weight hyaluronic acid (HMW-HA) in the last section. HMW-HA forms a thick viscous gel, which is an excellent skin smoothing and lubricating agent. However, a serum made with thickeners and some petrochemical and silicone ingredients could give a similar “feel”. Therefore, go over the skincare ingredients to choose an optimized hyaluronic acid serum with a thick texture, and is made with no thickener, no petrochemical, and no silicone ingredients.
How to use Hyaluronic acid serum?
Add hyaluronic acid serum into your morning and evening skin care routine. In the morning it provides an extra layer of hydration to your skin to protect it from harsh environmental factors, and in the evening it helps replenish your skin.
Remember to apply hyaluronic serum along with a moisturizer. Apply an oil moisturizer first and then followed by the serum. Alternatively, you can mix the face oil with the serum on the palm and then apply the mixture over the face.
After you wash your face with a gentle cleanser, damp your skin a little bit before applying the oil moisturizer and hyaluronic acid serum. This will allow the serum to penetrate the skin in an effective manner and moisture will get locked inside.
Hyaluronic acid serum benefits on the skin
Many people call hyaluronic acid “gold” because of the benefits it provides to the skin. Below are some top benefits of hyaluronic acid serum you cannot resist.
1. It hydrates and raises the skin’s moisture level.
HA is a powerhouse of hydration. It draws moisture to the skin from the surroundings and aids in binding it to the skin cells. Humectants are often found in water-based skin care products because of their ability to help boost hydration for all skin types, which is especially beneficial for dry, dehydrated skin.
HA is the most powerful humectant and can hold up to 1000 times of the water than its own molecular weight, providing a perfect amount of hydration for fresh and youthful-looking skin. As we age, skin cells tend to lose water and moisture making skin looked saggy and dry. Hyaluronic acid serum boosts hydration in the skin to support skin cell rejuvenation.
2. It makes skin feel smooth.
HA forms a think elastic film on the hydrated skin that helps smooth and tighten up skin texture. Hyaluronic acid serum revitalizes the outer layers of skin giving soft and silky appearance. In other words, it’s what keeps our skin’s wheels turning.
3. It helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and signs of aging.
Each one of us desires to look younger than our actual age. When applied topically, the hyaluronic acid serum helps to remove the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on the skin by plumping it up with intensive hydration.
4. It helps promote skin elasticity.
Skin elasticity is the ability to snap back after you press the skin. Loss of elasticity could be caused by sun exposure, environmental pollution, and smoking. Massaging the face with hyaluronic acid serum can help improve elasticity and plumpness in the skin. The result is a visible improvement of firmness, softness, and suppleness. Simply put, hyaluronic acid has powerful anti-aging properties.
5. It promotes a firmer-looking skin.
Saggy skin could be a nightmare for many of us. With age, skin tends to lose the elastin and it does not bounce back quickly. Hyaluronic acid cannot replace that elastin but it surely helps to make skin appear tighter and firmer. Hyaluronic acid boosts your skin’s moisture retention. You’ll want to keep your skin hydrated because youthful-looking skin maintains its glowing, dewy appearance by holding moisture. In other words, skin aging has a lot to do with the loss of skin moisture, and remember that oily skin needs good moisture, too.
6. It helps improve the protective skin barrier.
When skin is dry, its surface is more vulnerable to damage. By providing your skin’s outer layers with rich hydration, the hyaluronic acid serum helps strengthen the skin’s protective lipid barrier to give stronger, healthier skin. It’s like strengthening your skin’s armor.
7. It is fortified with antioxidant powers to fight off wrinkles.
Hyaluronic acid has antioxidant properties that may help fight free radical damage caused by environmental pollution, the leading factor of premature aging. Reinforcing the skin’s natural barrier helps fight off wrinkles, fine lines, and other unwanted features.
Is hyaluronic acid good for acne-prone skin?
Hyaluronic acid is incredibly gentle and phenomenally beneficial for all skin types, including sensitive skin. It is a non-comedogenic hydrating agent that will not clog pores. Therefore, it is also perfect for acne-prone skin.
Hyaluronic acid side effects
Although hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring component of our skin it may cause adverse allergic reactions in some rare cases. A user should always do a test patch prior to using a new skin product.
Can you use hyaluronic acid and vitamin C serum together?
Vitamin C is known for improving skin elasticity, brightening up the skin and giving the skin an equal tone. While hyaluronic acid for skin helps to reduce the visibility of aging signs. Both serums complement each other well and are safe to be used together to double up the effect. The only key while using two serums of equal importance is to know the order in which these are going to be applied. Serum with thin consistency should be applied before the thick one. Always remember to allow each serum to get absorbed by the skin before applying the next one.
Do I need both serum and moisturizer?
Moisturizers aim at moisturizing the skin and preventing water loss. Serums being light and thin cannot replace your moisturizer, but can be used to boost the moisturizer’s hydrating effects. Therefore, use both serum and moisturizer for skin care results.
The hyaluronic acid serum is well known for its skin benefits, especially helping with the dry skin condition, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and promotes skin firmness. Follow the tips given in this article to choose an optimized hyaluronic acid serum to give you the best performance for your skincare routine.
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2. Hyaluronan in skin: aspects of aging and its pharmacologic modulation. Stern R, Maibach HI Clin Dermatol. 2008 Mar-Apr; 26(2):106-22.
3. Antioxidant activity of low molecular weight hyaluronic acid. Ke C1, Sun L, Qiao D, Wang D, Zeng X. Epub 2011 Jul 20.