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All About Hyaluronic Acid

The word has most definitely gotten out about Hyaluronic Acid (HA), making it one of the most sought after skincare ingredients around. HA draws moisture into the skin to keep it well hydrated. You may have heard that HA has the ability to hold up to1000x's its weight in water. That's pretty impressive and probably why you'll find it in so many products (including cleansers, toners, masks, serums and moisturizers). You'll usually see it listed as sodium hyaluronate on the package.

Hyaluronic Acid is a great hydrator for your skin


Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring sugar that is found in the body. It's found in our lips, in our connective tissue, in our joints and most notably in our skin. About half of our hyaluronic acid is found in our skin. The main purpose of HA is as a humectant. Like collagen and elastin, the hyaluronic acid found naturally in our skin decreases as we age, resulting in dryness (dehydration), fine lines, and a crepey texture. When hyaluronic acid is abundant, however, skin appears soft plump and comfortable. 

Eating certain foods (such as leafy greens and starchy vegetables) help stimulate you to make hyaluronic acid in your body. Studies suggest you can also take HA supplements. Of course, it is most effective to incorporate this super hydrating ingredient into your skincare routine. Our Hydraessence is a great serum if you’re looking for a lightweight, oil free, non-clogging product to help you hydrate the surface of your skin if it feels or looks dehydrated. It's been a popular choice of our clients for years.

When you look at your label you will most often see HA listed as sodium hyaluronate. Although the names are often used interchangeably, sodium hyaluronate is basically a chopped up version of hyaluronic acid to make it a smaller molecule. Since hyaluronic acid itself is a very large molecule it cannot penetrate past the surface of the skin. Like hyaluronic acid, sodium hyaluronate is incredibly hydrating, but this form can penetrate deeper and is more stable (meaning your product will stay fresh longer) in cosmetic formulations. As a humectant, sodium hyaluronate works by pulling in moisture from the environment as well as from the underlying layers in your skin into the upper epidermis. Sodium hyaluronate serves as a water reservoir for your skin, great for regulating your skin's moisture content.


You need to know how to properly use hyaluronic acid if you want it to work. Hyaluronic acid molecules are tiny little threads that lie across the top of your skin attracting all that water to itself. Generally, the HA molecule is way too large to get into the skin. Hyaluronic acid will pull water from where ever it is most abundant. That means in summer, when the air is humid HA will pull water from the air around you to hydrate the surface of your skin. In winter, when the air is dry HA will pull water from the lower layers of your skin. This can lead to TEWL (Transepidermal Water Loss), actually increasing dehydration. Unless... you do three things.

  • First, you need to create a moist environment so that there is water for the HA to draw upon. Washing your face before you apply an HA serum is helpful as your skin imbibes a certain amount of water when wet. Then you should spritz your skin with a hydrating toner after washing your face. This hydrating toner should include natural moisturizing factors to do its best job.

  • Second, you need other humectants in the formula. Two of the most common and effective humectants are glycerin and panthenol. Panthenol and glycerin are smaller molecules that help HA because they get absorbed deeper in the skin and work with the HA to effectively hydrate the skin. Since they go deeper into the skin they playing a sort of tug-of-war with hyaluronic acid's water holding capabilities. The result is more hydration held in the skin, making your skin feel super comfortable, less tight and ultimately more hydrated.

  • Thirdly, you need an emollient moisturizer or occlusive serum. These contain ingredients that create a nice cushion of moisture attached to the HA threads. In arid environments this type of moisturizer will keep the water you seek trapped in your skin. Hyaluronic acid is drawing from the lower layers, most deeply from moisture released from your circulation. It gets drawn near the surface but can't escape because you're using a good emollient moisturize or lipid based serum over it.


As we age, the hyaluronic acid content in our skin decreases. This is one of the reasons so many topical anti-aging products feature hyaluronic acid as a performance ingredient. Take note that HA works best at an optimal dose. That is at about 1%. If you find HA as the first ingredient be wary. First of all HA by itself is a solid not a liquid. Plus, too much of it in a product will actually draw moisture out of the skin (that TEWL I mentioned). Like hyaluronic acid produced naturally in our bodies when we are young, lab-made HA effectively attracts and holds onto water on our skin's surface. This can help restore lost hydration and smooth fine lines and wrinkles.

We've discovered that nearly 50% of the total quantity of HA is found in the dermis (the deeper layer of the skin). It makes up the extracellular matrix that serves as a support system for collagen and elastin fibers. It also ensures the hydration of the skin because it acts like a molecular sponge, meaning it captures water molecules and retains them. As the years go by, the body's production of hyaluronic acid tends to decrease (a drop of about 6% per decade), this leads to skin slackening, the appearance of our first wrinkles and a decrease in cellular activity. From the age of 50, it has been proven that the stock of hyaluronic acid becomes divided by two. Faced with this observation it is particularly important to provide the skin with hyaluronic acid via creams and especially serum for the longevity of our skin.

Hyaluronic acid is so vital to the dermis (where all those collagen and elastin fibers are found) as well as the lower layer of the epidermis (the basal cell layer) where new keratinocytes are born before they go through their month long journey to reach the skin's surface and exfoliate away. Smart little chemists have found a way to get HA deeper into the skin. They cut these molecules up into smaller parts, creating molecules that go into various layers of the skin.

  1. High molecular weight Hyaluronic Acid are those tiny threads that hydrate the surface of the skin and help with barrier repair as well as being super hydrating and soothing for your skin.

  2. Mid molecular weight Hyaluronic Acid penetrates the stratum corneum (surface layer) protecting the skin’s NMF (natural moisturizing factors). This helps reduce inflammation and irritation as well as restoring moisture for dry, sensitive skin.

  3. Low molecular weight Hyaluronic Acid penetrates even deeper into the epidermis and upper layer of the dermis. This induces the production of natural Hyaluronic Acid in the skin to promote healthier, firmer, radiant skin. 

We know that HA attracts water and moisture into the skin and reduces dehydration and flaking. Its lubricating and film-forming properties soothe and nourish the skin for long-lasting moisturization.

However Hyaluronic Acid does so much more than boost skin's moisture levels:

HA benefits

  • anti-aging

  • moisturizing

  • wound healing

  • soothing and calming

  • anti-wrinkle effects

  • increases skin elasticity

  • can help treat eczema

  • can help treat facial redness

Whether it's surface hydration or longevity promotion you should consider trying an HA serum. Serums give maximum benefit for the performance ingredients they contain by including a delivery system that insures these ingredients are directed to the precise areas in the skin where they are needed to be to be the most effective.

Elizabeth of Longevity SkinCare

Elizabeth believes in "Longevity Skincare", the idea that beautiful skin can endure throughout one's lifetime when utilizing the best that science and nature has to offer. LONGEVITY is a science - based skincare line that appreciates skin of all ages. LONGEVITY by Elizabeth Renee provides hydration, nutrition and protection from environmental aging. Your skin will receive high performance ingredients to help energize and repair its cells, resulting in a healthy skin with an enduring, vital glow.

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