Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a polysaccharide that occurs naturally in body tissues including the skin and joints providing hydration, stability and lubrication. It is also known as hyaluronan and hyaluronate and the commonly used salt form listed as sodium hyaluronate or sodium hyaluronic acid.
Along with collagen and elastin, our bodies natural levels of hyaluronic acid decrease with age especially in the skin. This reduction of hyaluronic acid reduces the moisture content leaving skin dry and flaky and more prone to wrinkle formation. HA provides hydration to the skin and also decreases moisture loss.
It is increasingly being used in the skin care industry as an intense moisturizer, especially in anti-aging or hydrating treatments as it has the remarkable ability to hold up to 500-1000 times its weight in water depending on the variety used. This provides an incredible moisturizing effect while helping to diminish the appearance of fine lines, especially in the lip area.
Within the cosmetic industry , Hyaluronic acid is usually produced via biotechnology from glucose, soy peptone and yeast extract. A smaller molecular weight form exists usually as a sodium salt form and is enzymatically cleaved from the larger high-molecular weight hyaluronic acid into smaller fragments. These smaller fragments allow for enhanced penetration into the skin, thereby rendering it better absorbed with greater efficacy to promote moisturization and plumping of fine lines and wrinkles.
Being naturally produced within our own bodies and large enough not to get into the bloodstream, hyaluronic acid or sodium hyaluronate have very good safety profiles. Many skin care creams, serums and more contain some form of HA nowadays to help moisturize and reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles.
Products that contain sodium hyaluronate: