The benefits of hyaluronic acid for the skin

Written by: Kernel



Time to read 5 min

Hyaluronic acid! It is one of the cosmetic active ingredients that we hear the most about but it is not always easy to understand what its real properties are and why it is essential for the skin and in facial care. Contrary to what its name might suggest, it is in no case an acid dangerous for the skin. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

Used in cosmetics as an active ingredient or in cosmetic surgery for injections, hyaluronic acid accompanies us in everyday life since it is naturally present in the tissues of the human body including the skin. It turns out to be an essential ally to keep the skin hydrated and supple , and preserve its appearance , as well as to counter the effects of aging and the appearance of wrinkles .

1. What exactly is hyaluronic acid?

Hyaluronic acid was discovered in 1934 by the two American ophthalmology researchers Karl Meyer and John Palmer . The word “hyaluronic” comes from the Greek “hyalos” which means “vitreous” because it was discovered in the vitreous humor of bovine eyes and from the suffix “uronic” because of its high level of uronic acid . .

It is a molecule present naturally in the human body, notably in nervous tissues, skin tissues and connective tissues such as the eyes, skin , cartilage, bones and blood vessels. Concerning the skin, hyaluronic acid is present in the dermis , the middle layer of the skin located between the epidermis, the superficial layer, and the hypodermis, the deeper layer.

For the skin, hyaluronic acid has a function of hydration and tissue cohesion and also of filling the intercellular spaces . It allows, with collagen, to maintain a sufficient water level in the skin. It also controls angiogenesis, the process of growing new blood vessels from existing ones.

Hyaluronic acid is an essential biomolecule for having supple, hydrated and wrinkle-free skin thanks to its exceptional hygroscopic properties allowing it to retain up to 1000 times its weight in water. It also has great rheological capabilities. These properties can be modulated depending on its molecular weight .

However, despite the natural presence of hyaluronic acid in the body, its production decreases from the age of 25 and our body then produces less than it uses. It is estimated that the stock naturally present in the body then decreases on average by 6% every 10 years.

In cosmetic surgery, hyaluronic acid is used as an injection to fill wrinkles and correct facial volume . Its injection has gradually replaced the collagen injection because it causes fewer allergies.

2. What are the benefits of hyaluronic acid for the skin?

Hyaluronic acid is a cosmetic active ingredient that has many benefits for the skin:

  • Hydration: hyaluronic acid is an exceptional active ingredient for hydrating the skin since it can retain up to 1000 times its weight in water . It will fill the intercellular spaces and combine with water to retain it in the tissues like a real molecular sponge . It will thus help retain water in the skin and contribute to its good hydration .

  • Elasticity and firmness: hyaluronic acid forms the support structure of the skin with collagen and elastin and will thus contribute to its firmness and elasticity .

  • Reduction of wrinkles and fine lines: linked to its moisturizing , elasticity and firmness properties, hyaluronic acid will help reduce wrinkles and fine lines by restoring good hydration and structure of the skin.

  • Protection against external aggressions: hyaluronic acid will help protect the skin against external aggressions by helping to restore the hydrolipidic film which protects the skin.

  • Healing: the presence of hyaluronic acid helps accelerate the healing process of the skin by acting on inflammation during the first stages of healing then by acting on the adhesion and migration of molecules and cells necessary for healing during the final stages.

  • Fight against acne and hyperseborrhea: hyaluronic acid will help fight acne and hyperseborrhea by helping, thanks to hydration, to preserve the hydrolipidic film which is the protective barrier of the skin. It will also allow better healing of acne marks .

3. What are the two main types of hyaluronic acid?

Hyaluronic acid has hygroscopic and rheological properties which can be modulated depending on its molecular weight , that is to say the size of its molecules . The size of the hyaluronic acid molecules will influence the penetration of hyaluronic acid into the skin. The smaller the molecules, the more easily and deeply the hyaluronic acid will penetrate.

There are then two main types of hyaluronic acid which do not have the same properties and benefits for the skin: high molecular weight hyaluronic acid and low molecular weight hyaluronic acid.

High molecular weight hyaluronic acid: this type of hyaluronic acid will not be able to penetrate the deeper layers of the skin and will act on the surface to hydrate it . It will help protect the skin from external aggressions .

Low molecular weight hyaluronic acid: this type of hyaluronic acid will be able to penetrate the deeper layers of the skin to deeply hydrate it . It will help fight against wrinkles and strengthen the structure of the skin in depth by acting on fibroblasts , the cells supporting connective tissue.

4. What do you need to know about using hyaluronic acid in a facial treatment?

What does the skin need for hyaluronic acid over time?

The presence and natural production of hyaluronic acid in the body decreases over time . Its stock decreases on average by 6% every 10 years . Its reduction, whether due to genetic factors or because of environmental factors such as pollution, sunlight or cigarette smoke, is the cause of skin aging .

The skin's needs for hyaluronic acid are therefore not the same depending on its age and lifestyle . The older we get, the more our skin will need a hyaluronic acid supplement to help it maintain good hydration , maintain its suppleness and elasticity and fight against wrinkles and sagging skin .

What skin type is hyaluronic acid suitable for?

Hyaluronic acid is naturally present in the skin and is suitable for all skin types, even sensitive skin. It is also suitable for combination , oily and acne-prone skin that needs hydration.

Why use a facial treatment containing hyaluronic acid?

Using a facial treatment containing hyaluronic acid will allow you to benefit from its many benefits for the skin : hydration, maintenance of its elasticity, reduction of wrinkles and fine lines, protection against external aggressions, healing, fight against acne and hyperseborrhea.

Hyaluronic acid is undoubtedly one of the best allies for the skin, it will ultimately help fight against sagging and skin aging . The good hyaluronic acid content of our skin will help keep our skin young and smooth as we age.

What concentration should a hyaluronic acid facial treatment have?

Hyaluronic acid has a moisturizing effect even at low doses , 1% of hyaluronic acid in a cream is enough to provide the skin with its moisturizing effect .

The presence of hyaluronic acid in a cosmetic does not mean that there will be an action deep in the skin, it will depend on the size of the hyaluronic acid molecules , if it is of high molecular weight or of low molecular weight .

What is the difference between a facial with collagen or hyaluronic acid?

Hyaluronic acid and collagen are both complementary molecules with a function in supporting the structure of the skin . Their difference is that hyaluronic acid is a molecule which will become engorged with water like a sponge , whereas collagen is a fiber having a structural function and being made to resist traction .