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My Thoughts and Facts on Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acrid has been around for a very long time, used now most commonly as an ingredient injected into your skin to enhance volume, filled to replace naturally ageing voids and for skin boosting hydration.

Here are the facts:

Hyaluronic Acid is a naturally found source of lubrication in our bodies - found commonly in our joints and also part of eye lubrication. It was recreated as a medical product to help for those who require joint surgery and for dry eye concerns. As always, the advancements into the aesthetic industry means we now see it now in homecare solutions and in products such as skin injectables.

As an aesthetic ingredient it was created to be used to help support a dysfunctional skin, where the cells flake due to damage. This rapid cell turnover is caused from things like irritation - eg. your nose after a head cold (constant abrasions to the skins surface). Things like deep and extreme sunburn can also destroy the skins surface barrier.

We can also experience consistent and ongoing barrier dysfunction from incorrect skincare or cleansing (this was my first ah-hah moment for why its so important we get this step right).

Let's get a bit sciency:

Our skin cells hold water content that is referred to as "Ground Substance" aka Hyaluronic Acid, amongst other things such as proteoglycans, and glycoproteins. 

Majority of the skins HA (Hyaluronic Acid) is found in the dermal layers helping to bind proteins together, keeping them supple and moistened for a youthful appearance.

Some layers in our epidermis have HA - however they are base layers not seen on the surface. The HA found in these layers is responsible for helping (alongside cell junctions and desmosomes) to hold the cells together and for the production of strong epithelial cells.

When this isn't functioning correctly or something/or someone has caused damage to the area, your skin will flake creating rapid cell turnover. This needs to be repaired!

Cue: the introduction of HA topically to help mimic the fluid found below.

Years ago, HA was considered a specialty product to be used on those who required it - however now it's been given the big thumbs up for all to use, because it hydrates the topical layers of skin, creating a dewy glowing skin result. 

So is it necessary? 

In one big loud word NO...unless you are looking for an expensive short term gain product.

My explanation at work when discussing HA with clients is,  "It's like a clear version of makeup." Applied daily it makes your skin lovely.

  • Glowy - it's beaming with water content which expands the skin cells
  • Silky smooth - as it's a barrier protector
  • An amazing skin primer

But that is it - it's literally a clear makeup with a few extra bonuses but its almost unnecessary if your skin is functioning perfectly fine.

THE TYPES OF HA:

  • Low molecular - meaning a small molecule that travels deeper into the skin layers helping to provide a deeper penetration of hydration. This is the one you want for barrier damage when flaking exists. Also handy as it can hold anti inflammatory properties - think redness, couperose and rosacea and again PH unbalanced skins
  • Large or High Molecular - remains on the surface - to large to be absorbed deep down. (beneficial for a dewy make up as previously mentioned) It's the cheap one used in primers and some moisturisers. Don't get me wrong, it has it's benefits but the question is do you really need it?

I don't know about you but if I'm going to spend anywhere between $100-$150 on a serum I want something that is clinically beneficial, over a product I might not really need.

We've all been told to use it because marketing geniuses have provided us with the juicy facts. And look, they are true, no one can say otherwise (I am certainly not) however, don't fall trap to believing that because it's everywhere, and everyone seems to be using it, that you need it too. Here is a simple statement I always use:

'If your skin cells are already full of functioning water cellular membrane, (meaning they are perfectly hydrated, juicy and doing all they should be deep down) any surface based excess water you apply e.g. Hyaluronic Acid, will only fall out, making it a pretty pointless purchase.' 

Consider some lipid based ingredients that will combine with water content or a active ingredient that stimulates DNA repair rather than a "clear makeup."

If you do have barrier dysfunction, HA is a must and as listed above some other skin conditions also require it - but please seek professional and educated advice about any or all your skincare products. Don't trust the packaging label or the latest TikTok, or even some professional skincare therapists. Do your own research! 

Love M xxx

My Thoughts and Facts on Hyaluronic Acid

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