Why Hyaluronic Acid Should Be A Mainstay of Your Client's Skincare Routine
Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a molecule that naturally occurs in the human body. It helps keep the connective tissues in your body and keeps hair, skin, joints, nerves, and eyes well lubricated. It holds a thousand times its weight in water, which is why it’s so important to help keep our skin moist and dewy. But as we age, our bodies naturally produce less HA. That means skin will becomes drier so we need to replenish what’s lost in our skincare routine. When people go to med spas for procedures like Restylane and Juvederm, they are injected with a gel form of hyaluronic acid.
HA works well alongside most other skincare active ingredients (AHAs and BHAs), so it's easily incorporated into your client's skincare routines.
Hyaluronic acid works best at what might sound like very low concentrations. Industry standard is between one to two percent, as estheticians confirm that higher amounts can be drying to the skin. According to Stephen Alain Ko, the cosmetic chemist behind skincare blog KindofStephen, “Hyaluronic acid is a viscous polymer, meaning that it swells in water and turns it into a gel,” There are limitations to how much you can put in a product and still have it be usable and elegant. 1-2% or 75% hyaluronic acid often refers to a solution of hyaluronic acid, so 75% of a 1% hyaluronic acid solution would give you 0.75% hyaluronic acid overall. Most products contain about 0.2-0.5% hyaluronic acid by dry weight.”
“Hyaluronic acid has been shown to penetrate to different layers of the skin based on its molecular weight,” says Ko. “Lower molecular weight hyaluronic acid penetrates the deepest, while higher molecular weight hyaluronic acid forms a film on the surface which slows down the loss of water from the skin due to evaporation.”
The best way to choose a good HA product is to check out the ingredient list. Skincare ingredients are listed in order of concentration, so the major ingredients in the product will be listed first. Note: HA may also be listed as sodium hyaluronate, its salt form.
Remember that no matter what HA product used, it's important your client finishes with a good moisturizer to seal moisture in.