Hyaluronic Acid is a very powerful ingredient. Don’t be fooled by the word „acid”, it cannot be as harmful as many other acids. This water-holding molecule can be found all over in our bodies and it can be used in many ways. As for cosmetic use, it helps to keep your skin plump and hydrated. In addition, this is something that our bodies naturally produce but it is strongly related to skin ageing as we get older.
What is Hyaluronic acid?
Hyaluronic acid is a type of carbohydrate, naturally occurring in living organisms. Its primary function in the human body is to bind water and to lubricate certain parts of the body, like the joints and the skin. Hyaluronic acid is one of the most water-loving molecules, perfect for skin care products because it can also be called as nature’s moisturizer. It can be used for regeneration or augmentation in the skin since it is already present in high concentration. More than 50 % of the body’s hyaluronic acid can be found in the skin although its level of production decreases as we age and as a result, the skin becomes less hydrated.
Hyaluronic acid can be used topically in your skincare regimen on a daily basis and you can expect immediate results. Look for the following ingredients in your products, these are different names of hyaluronic acid:
Sodium Hyaluronate, Hyaluronan, Hyaluran, Hyaluronate Sodium, Glycoaminoglycan, HA, Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic acid and skin aging
The most dramatic chemical change observed in ageing skin is the disappearance of hyaluronic acid in the epidermis (the surface of the skin), whereas it can still be found in the dermis (the deeper, thicker layer of the skin). Furthermore, another scientific observation regarding skin ageing is the progressive reduction of the size of the hyaluronic acid polymers in the skin. In other words, the size of hyaluronic acid units get smaller. As a result, the epidermis loses its key player molecule that binds and retains water in the skin surface, resulting in loss of skin moisture. These phenomena contribute to the appearance of dehydration and loss of elasticity that characterizes aged skin.
We cannot make the ageing clock stop ticking but we can prevent or slow down premature ageing. „Premature aging of skin is the result of repeated and extended exposure to UV radiation. Approximately 80% of facial skin aging is attributed to UV-exposure” (Papakonstantinou, et al., 2002). Scientists found that UV radiation damage results in the same effect in the skin as wounding it and our bodies respond by a mild form of a healing process. During this wound healing, the hyaluronic acid production increases in the skin and this is how it tries to protect and fix itself from the sun. Only 5 minutes of UV exposure can cause an increased level of hyaluronic acid in the skin, meaning that the skin is getting harmed and it should heal itself.
Hyaluronic acid in Korean cosmetics
Studies show that hyaluronic acid not only acts as a humectant but it also increases the production of collagen, maintains skin elasticity and fights against free radicals.
Benton Cosmetics has manufactured a highly moisturizing product line that keeps the skin’s oil-water balance, they are slightly acidic and safe for sensitive skin: the Moist & Mild toner, serum and cream. All three products contain a high level of cacao extracts that are great moisturizers and a type of hyaluronic acid. Sodium Hyaluronate is the sodium salt of hyaluronic acid and has a much smaller molecular size which is useful for getting absorbed in the skin. These products are perfect for dehydrated skin and recommended for all skin types, in general, to keep the skin plump and hydrated.
Dermalogica.com (2019) what is hyaluronic acid? Available at: https://www.dermalogica.com/what-is-hyaluronic-acid%3F/what-is-hyaluronic-acid,default,pg.html [Accessed 25 Sep. 2019]
Eleni Papakonstantinou, Michael Roth & George Karakiulakis (2012) Hyaluronic acid: A key molecule in skin aging, Dermato-Endocrinology, 4:3, 253-258 Available at: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.4161/derm.21923 [Accessed 25/09/2019]
J. Necas, L. Bartosikova, P. Brauner, J. Kolar (2008) Hyaluronic acid (hyaluronan): a review, Veterinarni Medicina, 53, 2008 (8): 397–411 Available at: http://www.kalipura.it/download/Hyaluronic_acid.pdf [Accessed: 25/09/2019]