23 Feb Hyaluronic Acid: the right and wrong way to use it
Hyaluronic Acid is everywhere. So what is it? Well firstly, it isn’t an acid. It’s a polysaccharide, a type of carbohydrate that naturally occurs in our tissues found most abundantly in our eyes. As we age its production begins to decline. Yes, well of course it does.
I cannot confirm the claim that Hyaluronic Acid (HA) absorbs 1000 times its own weight in water but I can tell you that when I mix a very small amount of the powder with water it turns into a jelly like substance which is the way it should behave in our skin – it acts as a water reservoir holding onto water helping to plump up the skin. It is, it should be noted perhaps, far more effective when used as an injectable filler than when applied topically and the main reason for that is that HA is a large molecule and is unable to penetrate the skins dermis to get into the deeper tissues where it would have more of a longer lasting effect. The effects can last from 3 months to a year when injected. So for someone like me who personally wouldn’t go down that road why should we use a HA containing skincare product?
HA does a very good job of absorbing water as I said before so what we hope to achieve from applying the HA topically is a reduction, albeit shorter lasting than an injectable, in the appearance of fine lines and a general improvement in hydration levels. But a word of warning here to those of you with dry skin (like me). This is fine and works well when humidity levels are high, when there is plenty of water in the air around us. That water in the air is the water that the HA will attract and hold onto. However, if it is cold and you have the heating on in your car/home then there is little water there externally for the HA to absorb. This can result in a drying effect in your skin, the exact opposite of what we are after. Very often people don’t realise that the dry, red, sensitive patches may be because of the combination of over use of their HA product and excessive heat/lack of water in the environment.
This is why I would advise (1) those with dry skin to reduce their usage of Hyaluronic Acid during the winter months. It works better for those with oily skin during the winter months. If you have oily prone skin then a HA serum doesn’t need to be followed with a moisturiser in the summer months when conditions may exacerbate the oiliness. And (2) if you use a HA serum follow it with a moisturiser to help seal in the serum and also provide a source of water for the HA serum to absorb. This applys to those with dry skin and combination but those with oily skin can do without the moisturiser. One tip: if your skin feels tight after applying the serum then it is a sign that your skin is dry, reduce the use of the serum and/or follow with a moisturiser. (3) Once the warmer months return you can bring back the serum into your routine twice a day if you have dry skin. It really does work at its best then, giving a lovely glow and smoothing effect to your skin.
Our Element 8 Hyaluronic Serum is made with HA derived from biotechnology: from the bacterial fermentation of plant matter. It is considered vegan and non-GMO. I combined Hyaluronic Acid with a Pumpkin Seed Extract to stimulate collagen and elastin fibres; to provide a longer term effect in terms of the strength and elasticity of the facial skin (as well as the shorter term effect of lifting and enhancing the skin elasticity). HA comes in many sizes measured in Daltons and the one chosen by us was one of the largest as it would have less chance of causing any sensitivities in the skin and also can pull more water externally from either the atmosphere or the moisturiser you have applied on top.
The Element 8 Moisturising Cream also encorporates Hyaluronic Acid to complement and enhance the effect of the HA Serum if you have applied that first. We buy purified water and use that in the manufacture all of our products (some companies use tap water) as it was important to me that the water was as pure and free of pollutants and toxins as possible when it acts as our main delivery system for our beneficial active ingredients into your skin.
I hope you found this article interesting and helpful. If you have any comments or questions do let us know. You can find me on Instagram at @element8ie