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15th Sep 2022

The multitasking molecule promises optimum skin health, intensive hydration and a plumper, dewier complexion. Here’s what you should know about Hyaluronic Acid.

What is Hyaluronic Acid?

Hyaluronic Acid is a naturally occurring compound in our bodies. It is one of the main components of the extracellular matrix: a three-dimensional network of extracellular macromolecules, like collagen, enzymes (proteins), and other important proteins, that provide structural and biochemical support of surrounding cells. It is therefore indispensable for cell skeletal structure. It also maintains moisture in our eyes, lubricates the joints, reduces inflammation, helps heal wounds, maintains our cellular moisture and keeps skin looking young and healthy. And it’s been proven in clinical trials to promote the skin’s natural barrier function. Like other substances, we produce less Hyaluronic Acid as we age; people from their late 40’s have half as much HA in their bodies as those in their 20’s.

How does topical HA work?

Topical Hyaluronic Acid has both immediate and long-term effects on the skin. Remarkably, it binds 1,000 times its weight in water, providing an immediate visible effect of lifting, glowing and plumping. Recent studies on the daily use of Hyaluronic Acid moisturizers during three months showed that the depth of perioral and periorbital wrinkles decreased significantly in all groups by about 10-20% and skin tightness increased significantly in all groups by about 13-30%. And in the longer term, applying an optimized formulation of HA strengthens our skin’s natural barrier function, making it more elastic and less prone to aging and wrinkling.


What is HA’s safety and tolerability?

Because Hyaluronic Acid is naturally occurring in our bodies, it’s not a dangerous or harmful product. It is not only suitable but essential for anyone who undertakes a skincare regime, and understands the importance of hydration and protection of their skin barrier function. Aging and irritated skin loses moisture and suppleness that Hyaluronic Acid helps restore.

Is there a difference between different HA formulations?

All Hyaluronic Acid serums are not created equally. There are three elements to a high performing Hyaluronic Acid-based serum. The first is that it is at its highest, optimal and absorbable dose or concentration so that it is able to pass the skin barrier to reach the dermis. High quality HA is a very expensive ingredient, and that is why most serums are low dose. If HA is not at its highest dose, it will be thin and watery, not viscous and might be called “Hyaluronic Acid Extract.” The second essential element of a great HA is that it be synthesized in the lab with the right balance of molecular weights (high and low weighted molecular chains) to work both at the surface AND deeper skin layers. And the third element is that the HA be blended with valuable ingredient science – because the deeper penetration of the small molecules not only replenishes moisture reservoirs, but also makes Hyaluronic Acid a penetrating agent for other active anti-aging ingredients blended into the serum, like Purslane.  


When do you apply HA?

It should be applied immediately after washing your face and before the application of lipid-based moisturizers, which would block the penetration of Hyaluronic Acid serum.

Are there any downsides to using Hyaluronic Acid?

One of the great things about my HYALURONIC SERUM is that it includes small molecular weight Hyaluronic Acid, which acts as a penetrating agent into deeper skin layers. This is amazing if you are using products containing pure ingredients - my proprietary formulation also contains Purslane - a hugely nutritious and potent anti-oxidative compound that pairs perfectly with Hyaluronic Acid and helps protect against and soothe irritation while boosting skin barrier function and overall skin health. However, if the Hyaluronic Acid serum you are using also contains small molecular weight, harmful ingredients, then it has the unintended consequence of bringing these into the deeper skin layers as well. Harmful ingredients can include fragrances, aggressive preservatives and petroleum-based compounds.  



Dr. Barbara Sturm


21 February 2021