Produced naturally in young skin, hyaluronic acid plays a key role in skin hydration and is a popular skincare ingredient. This article looks at what it is, how it works and how Eucerin uses it effectively as an active ingredient in cleansing, care and sun protection products to boost hydration and delay signs of skin aging.
What is hyaluronic acid?
Hyaluronic acid is a polysaccharide molecule (a big and complex carbohydrate) also known as hyaluronan. It’s formed by our cells and occurs naturally in our bodies. Along with collagen and elastin, it’s one of the main components of the connective tissue that surrounds our skin cells where it provides moisture and firmness to skin.
Young, healthy skin contains lots of hyaluronic acid but, as we age, our skin produces less, and existing reserves deplete.
Why is hyaluronic acid good for my skin?
Hyaluronic acid is a powerful humectant which means that it acts like a magnet, attracting water to skin. It can bind between 1,000 and 10,000 times its own weight in water (i.e. one gram binds between one and ten liters). Hyaluronic acid also prevents skin from losing too much moisture and so is vital to skin hydration. Maintaining optimal hydration is key to healthy skin: without the right amount of water skin dries out and is less effective as a protective barrier. Visually, it loses radiance and firmness.
As skin ages, our cells produce less hyaluronic acid and existing hyaluronic acid starts to degrade. This can lead to age-induced dryness and is also one of the factors responsible for the visible signs of skin aging such as fine lines and wrinkles, a loss of volume and a loss of elasticity.
Research has demonstrated the value of certain forms of Hyaluronic Acid as an ingredient in topical skincare where it helps boost skin moisturization and plump skin thereby reducing the appearance of wrinkles. It is also tried and trusted by dermatologists as an ingredient in dermal filler injections used to reduce the visible signs of skin aging.
All skin types benefit from skincare products that contain an effective Hyaluronic Acid formula, but they are especially effective on skin that is naturally dry and from the mid-20s when skin starts to show the first signs of aging.
What are the different types of Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic Acid comes in different molecular weights and some formulations are more effective than others. It’s not enough to be told that a product contains Hyaluronic Acid: always be sure to buy products from a brand you trust with research results that prove effectiveness and skin compatibility.
There are three main types of Hyaluronic Acid used in topical skincare:
- High molecular Hyaluronic Acid (also known as long-chained). This remains on skin’s surface and works to improve hydration in the outermost layer of the epidermis – where fine lines and wrinkles originate.
- Medium molecular Hyaluronic Acid (also known as medium-chained) works in a similar way to high molecular Hyaluronic Acid.
- Low molecular Hyaluronic Acid (also known as short-chained). With molecules that are 40 times smaller1 than those of high molecular Hyaluronic Acid, low molecular Hyaluronic Acid penetrates further into the epidermal layers where it stimulates skin’s own production of Hyaluronic Acid, replenishing moisture where deeper wrinkles originate.
Eucerin uses both high and low molecular Hyaluronic Acid in the Hyaluron-Filler2, Hyaluron-Filler + Elasticity, Anti-Pigment Dual Serum and Sun Photoaging Control formulas to effectively target and plump wrinkles from the inside out. The Eucerin DermatoCLEAN [HYALURON] range of cleansers and Eucerin Hyaluron-Filler + Volume-Lift include low molecular Hyaluronic Acid.
All Eucerin formulas are the result of innovative research and development and 130 years of skincare expertise. They are clinically and dermatologically proven to be both highly effective and well tolerated by skin.
1 The standard unit for measuring the mass of an atom is a kilo Dalton (kDa). High molecular Hyaluronic Acid has a kDa of 2000 and low molecular Hyaluronic Acid has a kDa of 52.
2 With the exception of Eucerin Hyaluron-Filler Moisture Booster which combines medium molecular (rather than high molecular) Hyaluronic Acid with low molecular Hyaluronic Acid
How can I incorporate Hyaluronic Acid in my daily skincare routine?
Cleansing with Hyaluronic Acid
Eucerin DermatoCLEAN [HYALURON] is a range of hydrating cleansers (gel, milk, micellar foam and micellar water) plus a toner and an eye make-up remover.
Clinically and dermatologically proven to cleanse gently and effectively, they combine an extra mild cleansing complex with Hyaluronic Acid and other moisturizing ingredients that protect skin’s natural moisture and don’t dry it out. Suitable for all skin types, they leave skin feeling clean, soft and hydrated.
You can find out more about the importance of cleansing, as well as how to choose the ideal cleanser for your skin, in cleansing and toning.
Care products with Hyaluronic Acid
Eucerin offers an extensive selection of care products which maximize the hydrating benefits of hyaluronic acid for your skin. Our three ranges are tailored to every major stage of the skin aging process and their effectiveness is clinically and dermatologically proven:
- Eucerin Hyaluron-Filler tackles the first signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles. It plumps up even the deepest wrinkles for a rejuvenated look.
- Eucerin Hyaluron-Filler + Volume-Lift addresses the deepening wrinkles and loss of volume, contours and firmness that develop as skin ages. It plumps up deep wrinkles and redefines facial contours for a lifting effect.
- Eucerin Hyaluron-Filler + Elasticity nourishes fragile and mature skin. It plumps up deep wrinkles and improves elasticity.
Sun protection with Hyaluronic Acid
One of the negative effects of too much sun is that it dries out skin and leads to photoaging (premature aging caused by the sun).
What else can I do to keep my skin hydrated?
Healthy lifestyle choices will help you to keep your skin looking soft, smooth and firmer for longer. Try to get plenty of exercise, eat a balanced diet, drink lots of water, limit your alcohol consumption, give up smoking and get a good night’s sleep.