The Skin Identical Club: meet the real Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a “skin identical ingredient”, meaning it’s found as a structural component of the skin and connective tissue throughout the human body.
Why does it make me look so young?
One of the hallmarks of youthful skin is its moisture content. HA has an ability to bind water and regulate the hydration of tissues. HA can hold hundreds of times its weight of water, which is important with regard to aging because well-hydrated skin equals youthful looking skin.
As we age HA degrades which causes our skin to lose moisture resulting in a loss of firmness and pliability causing the appearance of sagging or wrinkled skin. So it makes sense to add it back through a cream.
All creams are not created equal: would the real HA please stand up?
Although commonly used in many commercial creams and moisturizing formulas standard HA (1.5 million Daltons) cannot efficiently penetrate the barrier of the epidermis so these creams are not as effective as generally perceived.
Studies show the molecular weight should be between 50,000 to 120,000 Daltons to be able to penetrate the outer layers of the skin and thus be effective but regular hyaluronic acid on the market is approximately 1.5 million Daltons, which is 30 times bigger than required to be absorbed
The real HA is light weight . . . but no light weight when it comes to moisturising your skin.
The HA we use in our products is a low molecular weight version with an average molecular weight of 75,000 Daltons to ensure it absorbs and is effective. This is the “sweet spot” because if lower molecular weight HA is used it has been shown to cause inflammation in the skin which is not desirable as this accelerates the skin aging process.
Why isn’t every cream made with this more absorbable version?
Low molecular weight HA is twice the cost of regular hyaluronic acid. Putting the cheap version in a cream, while not very effective on your face, can be very effective in boosting profit margins.
Our formulator, Dr Michael Serafin, being a pharmaceutical chemist understands the importance of all the parameters of an ingredient and its effectiveness in the final product. We only like to use the best and most effective ingredients. We don’t want ‘tick a box’ style ingredients in our products just for the sake of saying they are in there, we want the type that actually work.
In addition skin identical ingredients like HA can also support collagen production and strengthen and aid the skin’s barrier function. Along with its high water-holding capacity this makes HA extremely attractive for use in moisturisers and cosmeceutical creams.