It's famed for its hydrating, skin-plumping abilities, and you'll find it in just about every skincare product. But what is it, why do you need it, and how do you use it? Here's the lowdown on hyaluronic acid.
What is hyaluronic acid? Here's the science bit
Despite the name, hyaluronic acid (HA) is not a harsh ingredient or an exfoliation treatment. Instead, this fine powdery substance is known to offer a wide range of skin-strengthening and protecting benefits.
In its naturally occurring form called hyaluronan, this sugar is abundant in the lower layers of skin called the dermis, and it works to control the water content within. It can hold between 1,000 and 6,000 times its weight in water, and it even aids in wound recovery thanks to its ability to signal immune cells and provide an anti-inflammatory response.
While hyaluronic acid is found naturally within the skin, the types used in skincare formulations are lab-derived. These range from synthesised gels used in injectable dermal fillers, to sodium hyaluronate commonly found in serums and creams.
Sodium hyaluronate is an ultra-fine powder extracted from microbial fermentation (don't worry, it's vegan). It's highly stable, not susceptible to oxidation, and delivers high-performance results.
It comes in different molecular weights. The high molecular weight sits on the surface of the skin - it provides immediate hydration and an instant plumping effect. The lower molecular weight penetrates below the surface and rehydrates skill cells over time, providing longer-lasting benefits (more on that below).
Krī Skincare serums contain two molecular weights of sodium hyaluronate - low and medium. This combination results in immediate and longer-lasting intensive hydration.
How does it benefit your skin?
Hyaluronic acid, alongside glycerin, is a brilliant humectant for your skin.
- Delivers hydration: it attracts and binds water which helps replenish moisture levels in the skin. Studies show improvements in hydration up to 96%, which is essential for dry, dehydrated skin. The replenishing action is beneficial for all skin types and can assist with oil production and breakouts.
- Youthful glow, healthy complexion: The immediate increase in hydration leads to a plump, smooth and glowy complexion. As lower weight sodium hyaluronate penetrates deeply into the skin's layers, it works well for reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and signs of premature ageing. Also, this ingredient can reduce the depth of wrinkles and even boost elasticity.
- Boosts barrier: Sodium hyaluronate has antioxidant properties, strengthens the skin barrier, and can help fight free radicals. By boosting the skin's natural defence against environmental damage and stress, it proves itself as a star ingredient.
Where does it fit in your routine?
All three of our water-based serums contain a cocktail of hyaluronic acid and glycerin - essentially a trio of super humectants. Because humectants draw moisture from the deeper levels of your skin, it's important to always seal them in with moisturisers and oils, which provide a barrier against moisture loss.
p.s. Unless your environment has very low humidity, you don't need to spritz before and after if the formula is well-balanced (ours is!).
Layer up! Use a serum as your first step after cleansing before sealing it in (read more on layering here).
Where it fits in your routine