The salt form of hyaluronic acid (HA) , a humectant naturally found in skin and connective tissues that helps to hydrate skin by attracting and binding moisture. Today, you can source hyaluronic acid from biotech fermentation. Biotech fermentation is considered by many to be the future of sustainability when it comes to ingredient sourcing for cosmetics. Using biotech fermentation allows HA to not only be vegan, but it’s also one of the most eco-friendly ways to create large quantities of this ingredient. Technically, HA is a postbiotic, since it’s being synthesized by microorganisms in a controlled lab setting using biotechnology.
Hyaluronic acid is a gel that’s found naturally inside your body— in fact, it’s the cushion that keeps your bones from rubbing against each other, and it’s also naturally found in the skin. This natural humectant works by holding up to 1000 times its weight in water, like an invisible sponge, to keep skin hydrated and looking plump. Even though HA has the word “acid” in it, it’s NOT an exfoliating acid like glycolic acid or salicylic acid.
“I personally love the immediate plumping effects of HA, but there are a few things to keep in mind when using this ingredient. Since it's a humectant, it pulls moisture into the skin. It can pull that moisture from your own body, so it’s critical to stay hydrated to reap the full benefits of HA, and deliver that water it needs to do its job.
It’s also important to keep in mind that if you live in a climate with low humidity, and you use a pure hyaluronic acid serum as the last step in your skincare routine, it can paradoxically dry your skin out! As a humectant, it pulls moisture into the skin, but it is not designed to trap that moisture there. That’s why you want to seal that moisture with an effective moisturizer.
If you want that extra boost of hydration that HA offers, you have two choices:
Look for a comprehensive moisturizer that combines HA with additional ingredients designed to complement hyaluronic acid, and seal that moisture. I personally love combining HA with ingredients like squalane and ceramides.
Add an HA serum right before applying your HA-containing moisturizer, but don’t just apply the HA serum and walk away."
- Dr. Whitney Bowe Beauty, Board-Certified Dermatologist, Scientist, Founder