Hyaluronic Acid is a vital component (key to cartilage, hyaluronan joint lubricating liquid and skin). It plays a key role in our epidermis, serving as an vital part of the extra-cellular matrix of the basal kertinocytes. It also assists in the passage of nutrients throughout the skin, plays an important role in skin healing particularly after UV damage, hydration and free-radical scavenging. It’s key skincare attribute is that it can hold over 1,000 times it’s weight in water, making it an excellent hydrator and able to plump out fine lines. Hyaluronic Acid found in cartilage increases in production as we age, but the molecular size reduces. Hyaluronic Acid found in our skin decreases in production as we age.
However, Hyaluronic Acid itself, when applied topically, is too large a molecule (3,000nm) to pass through the skin where intercellular space is only 15-50nm, and can not be absorbed by or penetrate the skin - it’s like trying to get a basket ball through the eye of a needle. This is where Sodium Hyaluronate comes in - a sodium salt of Hyaluronic Acid - with an array of smaller molecular weights enabling full and deep penetration into the sub dermal layers.
The smaller molecular weights deeply penetrate to fully hydrate the dermis, visually plumping out fine line and wrinkles as it does so. It also acts as a wonderful anti-oxidant and aids skin healing, so ideal for any skin suffering from inflammation, sunburn, grazes or any sensitivity. Medium sized molecules penetrate to a degree and will also give a degree of film forming effect. This will hold onto moisture below the Stratum Corneum in a similar way to the low molecular weight material but won’t be as deep into sub dermal layers. The larger size molecular weights sit on the surface of the skin cells providing an excellent barrier, attracting moisture from the atmosphere so keeping the skin’s surface hydrated. Ideally, the best products contain a variety of molecular weights.
At OSKIA, we use a combination of 4 different molecular weights, i.e. Renaissance BrightLight - a high purity HA serum teaming with actives to reduce pigmentation and brighten skin.