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How Hyaluronic Acid Benefits Skin
How Hyaluronic Acid Benefits Skin
Hyaluronic acid is a natural substance in skin that has the stunning capacity to attract and hold vast amounts of moisture. It works overtime by replenishing skin to enhance a healthy look and feel.
Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid
As we age, our skin loses the ability to preserve moisture, resulting in the visible loss of firmness, pliability, and plumpness. Hyaluronic acid swoops in with the ability to replenish moisture that is crucial to having younger-looking, supple skin.
At the same time, it revitalizes skin’s outer layers so they look and feel softer, smoother, and, glowingly hydrated to instantly improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
What About Sodium Hyaluronate?
Sodium hyaluronate is derived from hyaluronic acid and has all the same benefits, but is more easily absorbed than hyaluronic acid. That doesn’t make one better than the other—in fact, it’s great if a product contains both so your skin can reap the benefits on multiple levels.
Several Paula’s Choice Skincare toners, moisturizers, masks and serums already include hyaluronic acid and sodium hyaluronate so you don't even have to think about it!
In the world of skincare, trendy ingredients come and go, and many of them should never have shown up in the first place! Hyaluronic acid is NOT one of those ingredients. Quite the contrary, it’s one of the most extraordinarily beneficial ingredients. Its calming, hydrating, and antioxidant properties are great for all skin types, even for rosacea-prone and eczema-prone skin.
Simply put, hyaluronic acid has powerful anti-aging properties and is also one of the premier hydrating ingredients for skin, even for oily, sensitive, or breakout-prone skin.
So, just how does this superstar ingredient work to deliver supple, healthy-looking, and less-lined skin? The answer is based on the science of skin, and is truly remarkable.
How Does Hyaluronic Acid Benefit Skin?
Hyaluronic acid is a glycosaminoglycan, a fancy name for a vital natural substance that’s a youth-supporting part of skin. As the chief glycosaminoglycan in skin, hyaluronic acid works to keep every aspect of skin stable, safeguarded, and constantly renewed. It also has the stunning capacity to attract and hold vast amounts of moisture.
This science-based magic lies in hyaluronic acid’s ability to replenish moisture, a lot of moisture! One gram (0.03 ounce) of hyaluronic acid can hold up to six liters of water. Now that really is mind-blowing! But what’s even more impressive is that hyaluronic acid can do this for skin without tipping the scales and giving skin too much water. Surprisingly, too much water is a problem for skin because it causes key substances holding skin’s surface intact to break down.
Hyaluronic acid’s moisture-binding characteristic is exceptionally important when it comes to skin aging. One of the qualities of youthful skin is its ability to hold water and retain a balanced amount of moisture. As we age, our skin loses the ability to maintain this vital, plumping moisture as well as it once did. The result is visible loss of firmness, pliability, and diminished appearance of plumpness and suppleness.
Hyaluronic acid can enhance moisture content beyond comparison with anything else, and at the same time revitalize skin’s outer layers so they look and feel softer, smoother, and, especially, radiantly hydrated! That’s how it instantly improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Those benefits would be plenty, but there are even more—hyaluronic acid goes beyond offering a more resilient, hydrated appearance, as we explain below.
More Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid
Our skin suffers from unprotected sun exposure (daily SPF is a must!), harsh skincare ingredients, and environmental assault—they all weaken the surface of skin. Hyaluronic acid’s skin-replenishing properties go a long way toward mitigating those issues, especially when used as part of a complete anti-aging routine that also includes other proven ingredients.
In our search, we also discovered another fascinating aspect of hyaluronic acid—it even surprised us! It turns out that hyaluronic acid also provides an antioxidant defense against environmental assault. Now that’s what we call a multitasking anti-aging ingredient!
As you can see, hyaluronic acid is phenomenally helpful for all skin types. If you have oily or combination skin, hyaluronic acid in a pure fluid solution is ideal. These fluid formulas have an exceptionally lightweight texture that feels weightless on skin, even though you’re getting concentrated moisture-restoring benefits.
Hyaluronic acid is also incredibly gentle, for even the most sensitive, redness-prone skin. In fact, its positive influence on skin’s surface is due in part to its natural calming benefit, which means it can help sensitive skin as well as blemish-prone skin.
Hyaluronic Acid and Sodium Hyaluronate
In addition to hyaluronic acid, you may have seen the similarly named sodium hyaluronate on a skincare ingredient list. There indeed is a connection: Sodium hyaluronate is a salt derived from hyaluronic acid. It has all the benefits of hyaluronic acid, but with one extra advantage—it’s more easily absorbed than hyaluronic acid.
That feature does not make one better than the other—in fact, we think it’s great if a product contains both so your skin can reap the benefits on multiple levels. There are products that include both, but because hyaluronic acid is more expensive, sodium hyaluronate shows up more often in skincare products.
Note: Some companies use what’s called “low molecular weight” hyaluronic acid, which has a smaller molecule than regular hyaluronic acid. Molecules of “regular” hyaluronic acid are larger, which explains why they remain on skin’s outer surface. Making hyaluronic acid smaller means it can reach a bit farther into skin’s uppermost layers for visibly enhanced results.
Adding Hyaluronic Acid to Your Routine
Now you know how hyaluronic acid and sodium hyaluronate can benefit skin, and you’re wondering how we’ve incorporated these special ingredients into our products. As you might guess, Paula’s Choice Skincare often includes both ingredients in our toner, moisturizer, booster, and serum formulations.
For all skin types, our RESIST Hyaluronic Acid Booster is indispensable for its line-smoothing, hydrating properties, without a heavy feel. This special formula layers beautifully with other products in your routine, and can even be used around the eyes. (Watch out, crow’s-feet and dehydrated skin, here we come!)
For dry skin, you’ll find our RESIST Intensive Repair Cream’s rich, retinol-spiked formula ideal for a dose of wrinkle-softening moisture from sodium hyaluronate, ceramides, and peptides.
Interested in some serious beauty sleep? Our RADIANCE Renewal Mask combines plumping sodium hyaluronate with niacinamide, vitamin C, and top-tier hydrating ingredients. Its innovative formula and lush texture revive skin’s smooth glow overnight! Pair this mask with RESIST Brightening Essence to banish dull skin and an uneven skin tone while supplying skin with hyaluronic acid and its many benefits!
Because each formula contains calming, hydrating, and antioxidant ingredients that make skin feel smooth, soft, and soothed, they are gentle enough for those with eczema-prone and rosacea-prone skin.
References for This Information
Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, October 2012, pages 20–23; and March 2009, pages 38–43
Dermato-endocrinology, July 2012, pages 253–258
Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, September 2011, pages 990–1000
International Journal of Toxicology, July–August 2009, pages 5–67
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About the Experts
Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books about skincare and makeup. She is known worldwide as The Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula’s Choice Skincare. Paula’s expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international radio, print, and television including:
The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to busting beauty myths and providing expert advice that solves your skincare frustrations so you can have the best skin of your life!