What is HA?
HA, also known as hyaluronan or hyaluronate, is a carbohydrate, more specifically a mucopolysaccharide occurring naturally throughout the human body. It can be several thousands of sugars (carbohydrates) long. When not bound to other molecules, it binds to water giving it a stiff viscous quality similar to “Jello”. Because HA is one of the most hydrophilic (water-loving) molecules in nature with numerous benefits for the human body it can be described as “nature’s moisturizer. Although HA can be found naturally in most every cell in the body, it is found in the greatest concentrations in the skin tissue. Almost 50% of the bodies HA is found here. It is found in both the deep underlying dermal areas as well as the visible epidermal top layers. Young skin is smooth and elastic and contains large amounts of HA that helps keep the skin stay young and healthy. The HA provides continuous moisture to the skin by binding up to 1000 times its weight in water. With age, the ability of the skin to produce HA decreases.
What does HA do in skin care?
In skincare, HA is mostly used for its incredible ability to hold onto moisture: it’s included in moisturisers and serums as a humectant ingredient. Humectants hydrate the skin, and since one of the effects of dehydrated skin is fine lines and wrinkles, this can make your skin look dramatically younger and less tired. Another popular and cheaper humectant moisturiser is glycerin, but glycerin can feel sticky and heavy. HA is frequently combined with glycerin to make it feel lighter on the skin.
The HA used in skincare isn’t all the same. It’s usually divided into different sizes: there’s high molecular weight HA, which has a larger molecular size, and low molecular weight HA, which is formed by chopping it into smaller fragments. “Sodium hyaluronate” usually indicates smaller fragments than “HA”, but even within those names there are a range of molecular sizes. The main significance of the different sizes is that smaller molecules are able to penetrate the skin better than larger molecules, which means that low molecular weight hyaluronic acid can hydrate deeper than high molecular weight HA, which holds onto water at the surface of the skin.
HA has good moisturizing function and is the best natural moisturizing ingredient in high-grade cosmetics. Because it is a natural factor and good compatibility in human skin tissue, it can be added to almost any beauty and cosmetics, from the original cream, emulsion, make-up water to the current bath, powder, lipstick and so on. Its superior performance has aroused wide attention of the international cosmetics Festival. When the cosmetics containing HA are coated on the skin surface, HA can form a layer of viscoelastic hydration film on the skin surface. The hydrated film can make the skin smooth and moist, and prevent the invasion of external bacteria, dust and ultraviolet rays to protect the skin from the invasion; at the same time, hyaluronic acid can penetrate the skin layer, slight Expand capillaries, increase blood circulation, improve intermediate metabolism, promote skin nutrition absorption and waste discharge. In addition, hyaluronic acid also has a strong wrinkle function, increase skin elasticity, delay skin aging. This is the double effect of HA on moisturizing and nourishing the skin.
The moisturizers commonly used in cosmetics include glycerol, propanediol, sorbitol, PEG, sodium lactate, and so on. The moisture absorption of HA is the highest at relatively low humidity, and the moisture absorption is 1.5~6 times of the other substances. As a moisturizer, HA is seldom used alone, and is often used in conjunction with other moisturizers.
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