What’s Inside your Hyaluronic Acid Skin Care Product?

Don’t use your Hyaluronic Acid Serum before you read this. It can dry out your skin.

hyaluronic acid dehydration
Hyaluronic Acid Can Dehydrate Your Skin

Sodium Hyaluronate Versus Hyaluronic Acid

What is the difference between hyaluronic acid and sodium hyalorinate, and why should you care?

We’ll look at what these molecules are and how to tell whether they’re appropriate for your skin. Because hyaluronic acid can be quite dehydrating when used incorrectly.

Hyaluronic Acid VS Sodium Hyaluronate
Hyaluronic Acid VS Sodium Hyaluronate

A lot of skin care products claiming to contain hyaluronic acid actually contain sodium hyaluronate. The two molecules are quite similar, but there is a key difference: Hyaluronic acid is a molecule that is naturally produced by our body and Sodium hyaluronate is the salt form of hyaluronic acid.

When it comes to how our skin and body functions along with these products, you better know the truth.

And yes, hyaluronic acid products can be dehydrating. But in order to comprehend that, we need to know what hyaluronic acid is. What exactly is sodium hyaluronate? And, when it comes to your skin, how does this all work?

When you buy a hyaluronic acid product, it’s very likely to say “hyaluronic acid” on the front, but often what’s in the container is not pure hyaluronic acid. It’s a salt derivative of hyaluronic acid known as sodium hyaluronatee.

hyaluronic acid skin care product ingredients
What is Inside Hyaluronic Acid Skin Care Product

Hyaluronic acid serums are used to plump up the skin, increase moisture, and give it a dewy sheen. Is that always the case?

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is a substance that our body produces naturally.

Yes, our body is a natural source of Hyaluronic Acid.

It helps to keep us hydrated and it also helps to cushion our joints. This is important when we are jumping and moving, because if our joints were not cushioned, they would rub together and it would cause pain. Our skin would also not be as elastic if we did not have hyaluronic acid in our bodies.

hyaluronic acid vs collagen
Hyaluronic Acid is Naturally Produced in Your Body

Hyaluronic Acid VS Collagen

Collagen is the main protein and the “building block” in human connective tissue. Hyaluronic acid is a linear insoluble polymer – mucopolysaccharide. Collagen is exclusively found in animals whereas Hyaluronic acid is synthesized by all living organisms, with the exception of algae.

Collagen is the molecule that gives skin its firmness, tightness, ideal moisture level, elasticity, and continual replacement. It’s a key component of cartilage and joints, as well as teeth and bones. Hyaluronic acid is a compound that has moisturizing effects on the skin and helps with healing. It is an important structural component of articular cartilage, as well as the synovial fluid’s main building block.

Hyaluronic Acid in Cosmetics

All of the hyaluronic acid molecules have bound themselves to water and other components in your body so that it can function effectively. When we’re using it on skin, things don’t always work out that way.

If you tried to formulate a skincare product with 10% hyaluronic acid, it would turn into a rock. The maximum that a formulator can use is around 2%, so most of the product would be water. This is because hyaluronic acid holds up to 1,000 times its weight in water.

pure hyaluronic acid
Pure Hualuronic Acid is Used in Fillers

That is why hyaluronic acid is never used in skincare products. It’s typically utilized in fillers injections. Hyaluronic acid injections are used to plump and fill lines and wrinkles. That’s true.

Sodium Hyaluronate in Cosmetics

Sodium hyaluronate is the component that your products generally contain. And a lot of cosmetic companies will tell you that this product will hydrate your skin. That’s true provided your skin has enough moisture.

If you put a product on your skin that is supposed to soak up water, but there is no water to soak up, the product can go into your skin and start to dehydrate it. Your body is mostly water. All of your cells need water to survive. So if there is no water outside — for example, if you don’t live in a humid climate — this could actually dry you out because it wants to grab onto water in the environment.

What is the environment? Is it the skin or the outside world? Chemically, sodium hyaluronate is an acidic mucopolysaccharide. This just means that it is a molecule that works and interacts with other things inside of the body or inside of your skin. It is a negatively charged molecule, but it can still do positive things. It works a lot in intracellular communication.

How to Prevent Skin Dehydration Caused by Hyaluronic Acid

The questions are: What is your skin type? What kind of environment are you in, and what else are you using on top of your hyaluronic acid?

If you want to get the most out of your hyaluronic acid, put it on as a serum. This will help it to soak into your skin. After that, put on a water-based moisturizer. This will help to lock everything in and protect your skin from the outside world.

Because in this situation, the hyaluronic acid will bind to the water in that moisturizer instead of extracting moisture from your skin.

Additionally, the truth is that if you live in a climate with low humidity, you’re not going to have a very good time with hyaluronic acid.

A humidity level lower than 10% means there is no moisture in the air. The hyaluronic acid will dry out your skin if you use it in this environment. If you live in a humid or tropical climate, like in Thailand, Burma, Hawaii or in jungles, the air has a lot of moisture that helps your skin. The hyaluronic acid can hold onto this moisture to keep your skin healthy.

“Good” Molecules Hyaluronic Acid Serum

Humectant Properties of HA

Another important thing about HA is that it can have different abilities to retain moisture depending on the molecule size. That’s why you also hear something called Multi-molecular weight HA or Multi-molecular weight hyaluronic acid.

Think of these different molecule sizes as like animals. They all have different sizes and they can move around and do different things. The smaller the animal, the more nimble it is. It can move faster and it doesn’t need as much food.

The larger the animal, the slower it is, but it can eat more and travel further. Multi-molecular weight HA molecules are like a diverse ecosystem. They have different abilities to retain moisture and they can work together to bind more water.

This is important because it means that a formulator can use a product with a lower concentration of HA and it will still work well because the different sizes of molecules will be able to bind more water.

This is why you see a lot of products with different weights or concentrations of HA. The formulator is trying to match the product to the environment that you are in and your skin type.

Again, there are various molecules and compounds that, when combined by cosmetic chemists, can function properly. And when you hear something that says multiweight hylauronic acid, or full spectrum hyaluronan (FS HA), imagine that like a diverse ecosytem or zoo.

Sodium Hyaluronate Is Used for Cosmetics

Pure hyaluronic acid, comes in a powder, and on the other hand, can’t be used in skincare effectively because it exists as a powder.

This stuff is really hard to formulate with, and it doesn’t work optimally for skincare in a topical application.

That’s why the cosmetic chemists use sodium hyaluronate and that’s why these HA skin care products have so much water in them.


I’ll give you a quick rundown, if you’re trying to use hyaluronic acid in your skincare regimen and it’s drying out, check the weather.

You may use these sodium hyaluronate products both during the day and at night. Furthermore, when utilized correctly, they are really effective in plumping up the skin and rejuvenating it while also adding moisture and giving it a fresh appearance. However, there’s a lot of skincare science that isn’t disclosed to us because often times companies just want to sell more.

Humidity Level

You can buy one of those barometers, or humidity meters, on Amazon or Wallmart for about $10 price to see how humid your environment is.

skin nutritions hyaluronic acid
Proper Use of Hyaluronic Acid Skin Care Products

If you’re truly into it and want to conduct your own little experiment, you may actually measure the humidity around you to see whether your surroundings are suitable for hyaluronic acid usage.

To be on safe side, you can use HA skincare products that contain sodium hyaluronate if the humidity level in your environment is not below 40%.


If you don’t want to go to the trouble of getting a scientific instrument or if you don’t want to do all that work, you can also just make sure that you use a really good water-based moisturizer or hydrating moisturizer. This will help lock everything in.

Lastly, consult a dermatologist if you have any questions about what type of HA product will work best for you!

Bonus: Retinol Before or After Moisturizer

We get a lot of questions about retinol products. When do I use retinol? How do I use retinol? What is it?

And can I use retinol with a moisturizer? Let’s answer a couple of those questions here. Retinol is a fancy word for vitamin A. It’s a very effective skincare ingredient. It’s really great for women over 40.

retinol before or after moisturizer
Retinol Before Or After Moisturizer

It’s very effective because it helps with collagen plumping. It not only helps plump the collagen but also helps with fine lines and wrinkles. And it’s very effective in skin care.

How often should you use retinol?

Use Hyaluronic Acid Before Using Retinol If Your Skin Too Dry

It depends on your skin type. Some women experience some flaking and dryness with using retinol. And in that case, try taking a break from it, try using more of a moisturizing product, like hyaluronic acid for a little bit.

Then come back to the retinol. Your skin will get more used to the retinol over time. But in the beginning, sometimes it can cause some drying and flaking. So it’s best to use the retinol serums underneath moisturizers. So use the serum first.

Put a little in your palm of your hand and then apply to your skin. For example, it’s great around the lip area.

It’s great for underneath the neck. After the retinol application follow up with the moisturizer. Put your moisturizer on over the serum.

The serum is underneath and the moisturizer is over. Use only at nighttime, because it makes your skin very sun sensitive. And that’s because the product is rejuvenating the skin. So it becomes a little bit sensitive to the skin.

In summary, retinol is vitamin A’s other name. It’s great for plumping and for collagen growth. You better use retinol serum underneath your moisturizer and be sure to stay out of the sun.

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