If you are interested or dabbled in skincare, the term “hyaluronic acid” is not something new for you. To some, hyaluronic acid, more commonly referred to as HA, sounds like something you do not want to put anywhere near your skin. However, it is the complete opposite. It is something you want to apply to your skin regularly; in fact, it is naturally found in the skin. HA is beneficial to your skin’s moisture, helping you achieve that dewy and glowy effect. There are a ton of skincare products in the market that contain hyaluronic acid, from serums, sheet masks, moisturizers, and there are even injectable options.
With that said, there’s more to hyaluronic acid than just a standard moisturizing component in skincare. There is a reason why it is very popular among skincare enthusiasts. Some people even refer to it as a golden ticket to long-lasting youthful-looking skin. That’s why you need to add it to your everyday regimen.
What is hyaluronic acid? How does it work? We will give you the lowdown on this skincare wonder and how it can benefit your complexion.
What is Hyaluronic Acid (HA)?
Hyaluronic acid is a clear, gooey sugar molecule naturally found in the body. It has various functions, such as lubricating the joints, keeping them strong and flexible, and carrying toxins out of cells. Although, it is most prominent in helping retain water and keep moisture in the skin. It works similarly to a magnet, where it attaches itself to water in the cells, making the skin feel and look hydrated, plump, and healthy.
Again, hyaluronic acid is naturally produced by the skin, and roughly 50% of it is found in the skin. Other areas of the body like your connective tissues, joints, and eyes also contain certain amounts of HA. It is known to work like a sponge as it can attract and retain 1000 times its weight in water. A single gram of HA can hold up to six litres of water, keeping the skin hydrated and plump.
However, much like collagen and elastin, ageing affects the natural production process of hyaluronic acid in the body. As you grow older, the natural production of HA slows down and its concentration and molecular weight substantially decreases. Although it is a byproduct of the natural ageing process, decreasing HA may also happen prematurely due to several factors such as exposure to UV radiation, tobacco smoke, and pollution. The slower production leads to wrinkle formation and dry skin.
That’s why hyaluronic acid is popular among skincare enthusiasts in the form of serums, moisturizers, and even injectable skincare. Moreover, hyaluronic acid doesn’t have the stripping quality that is commonly associated with exfoliating acids. It does not wipe off dead skin cells or go deep into pores to push out dirt. Instead, HA, as established, is more known as a water-attracting molecule, helping the skin stay soft and hydrated. When skin cells are full of water, it results in more supple skin, reducing the formation of fine lines and wrinkles.
Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid (HA)
We have mentioned the functions of hyaluronic acid in retaining the youthful and healthy complexion of our skin. However, as established, there is more to the molecule that does wonders for the quality of your skin. Here are some of the benefits of adding HA to your skincare regimen:
• Retains Hydration
As the name suggests, hyaluronic does wonders in keeping your skin hydrated. As mentioned, HA can hold up to 1,000 times its molecular weight in water. It penetrates the skin and binds water to skin cells, rejuvenating all layers of skin with additional hydration.
With that said, HA mainly functions to add hydration to the skin, not moisture. Although many people lump them as the same thing, hydration and moisturization are completely different. To simply put it, hydration means water, while moisture means oil. When the skin is dehydrated, it lacks water. If the skin is dry, it lacks moisture. HA helps rejuvenate dehydrated skin.
Moreover, hyaluronic acid does not need additional ingredients to be effective. That’s why experts make HA a case point on how limited ingredient skincare can deliver great results.
• Stimulates Skin Cell Regeneration
As established, the quality of our skin deteriorates as we age. It is because the production of hyaluronic acid and skin cells slows down as we grow older. HA addresses that problem from the inside out.
Hyaluronic acid targets deep layers of the skin by promoting skin cell regeneration. Although, it does not speed up the cell renewal process, which slows down because of natural skin ageing. By targeting the skin’s inner workings, HA offers extra hydration and barrier protection to the skin. The natural process leads to healthier skin cells and a more vibrant complexion.
• Reduces Appearance of Wrinkles
Hyaluronic acid helps decrease the formation of fine lines and wrinkles by retaining moisture in the skin, creating a plumping effect. When your skin is protected and hydrated, more skin cells are produced because your skin isn’t busy fighting dehydration. As a result, you have smoother and plumper skin cells.
The eye area is one of the prominent areas with HA. That’s also why it’s common for fine lines and wrinkles to first show in the area when you age. Much like your goals with skincare, you can start with HA as early as you’re twenty to benefit your skin in the long run.
• Tightens Sagging Skin
Saggy skin is caused by the lack of elastin in our skin. As we age, elastin breaks down, making the skin lose its tightness and bounce, causing it to sag. A quick trick to diagnose if you are lacking in elastin is to pinch the skin on top of your hand. If it snaps quickly back into place, then your skin still has a lot of elastin. Older people may notice that the skin does not bounce back as quickly.
Hyaluronic acid does not replace the lost elastin in your skin. Rather, it fills the skin with moisture, helping with the appearance of tightness in the skin by creating a more firm facial contour. Regular HA application may result in an overall tighter complexion and a more youthful appearance.
• Creates Smoother Texture
In relation to a tighter skin tone, hyaluronic acid also aids in creating a smoother skin texture. Consistent HA application can lead to a silky, smooth finish on your skin that you can see and feel.
For people who have visible scars caused by acne, hyaluronic acid cannot fill in those scars. With that said, if you combine hyaluronic acid with using a derma roller, it can make skin look smoother over time.
• Serves as Humectant
If you are deep into learning about skincare, it may not come as a surprise if you heard of the term “humectant”, as it is tossed around a lot when talking about skincare.
A humectant is a substance used to reduce the loss of moisture. To put it simply, it acts similar to a sponge, where it draws in and holds onto moisture after it is collected. Humectants allow hydrogen bonding, attracting water to skin cells. Popular examples of humectants in skincare products include glycerin, sorbitol (sugar alcohol), hexylene and butylene glycol, and of course, hyaluronic acid.
As mentioned, hyaluronic acid infuses the top layer of the skin with moisture. HA acts as a humectant, continuing to draw moisture from the surrounding environment. As a result, it provides long-lasting hydration for the skin.
• Enhances the Lipid Barrier
The skin is the largest organ in our body. Its main function is to protect our internal organs, muscles, bones, from various environmental factors. In the process, our skin is exposed to harmful toxins daily. Specifically, the outermost layer of the skin is the most vulnerable target of these harmful external agents. Factors such as UV rays, environmental pollution, negative lifestyle choices, and smoking can cause great damage to the skin. Excessive exposure to such damage causes signs of skin ageing such as fine lines and wrinkles, dark spots, and drier skin.
As we grow older, the lipid barrier in the top layer of the skin slows down. Lipid barrier refers to the fatty acids that trap in water and prevent external irritants from entering the skin. Hyaluronic acid fortifies your skin’s natural barrier by helping it lock moisture in, creating an even more prominent hydrating effect. It also helps your skin in the long run as it slows down the deterioration of the lipid barrier, protecting and fortifying it.
• Gives Protection to Skin
Again, hyaluronic acid helps your skin become more resilient. When the skin’s lipid barrier is further enhanced and protected by HA, it is given additional protection to fight off environmental pollutants and even natural age factors. It is because the skin is not distracted from fighting toxins. As a result, your complexion becomes brighter, bouncier, and wrinkle-free for a long time.
Remember that not all skincare products give protection to your skin. Some preservatives used in many products can break down the lipid barrier by killing off the good bacteria that defends the skin surface against toxins. Furthermore, some products even make you lose moisture and cause irritation and infection. When looking for products to add to your regimen, choose one that has limited ingredients (including HA) and not a lot of preservatives.
• Improves Skin Pigmentation
One of the additional benefits of using hyaluronic acid is that it prevents skin discoloration and dark spots. The discoloration is caused by the difference in melanin levels, mainly due to sun damage. As HA adds protection to the skin, it helps reduce and prevent age spots and pigmentation issues. Pair it with a vitamin C serum and vitamin C booster product, it can give you your desired results.
• Results in Clear Skin
For people with oily or acne-prone skin, they might find harsher chemicals to “strip” the skin of oil. Most acne-prone skin does not have a strong lipid barrier, which usually leads to inflammation and irritation. That’s why there’s a big misconception that oily skin types do not need hydration, and rather focus on exfoliation. However, when the skin is stripped of hydration, it overcompensates to hydrate the skin with more oil. Adding hyaluronic acid to your regimen adds hydration and helps protect the skin barrier, especially for those with sensitive or acne-prone skin. Adding proper hydration and moisture to the skin through HA prevents the over-production of oil that may clog the pores and cause breakouts.
Hyaluronic Acid in Sunekos
Due to the benefits stated above, many skincare products in the market are adding hyaluronic acid to their formulation. We have also touched on how not necessarily all applications of HA produce the intended results. One way to secure the penetration of the molecule into your skin is through injectable fillers. One brand that is gaining popularity in Asia market due to its innovative use of HA in its formulation is Sunekos.
Sunekos is an Amino Acid-based injectable treatment that reduces signs of skin ageing. Unlike other dermal fillers, it combines amino acid’s biological diversity and synergy with Hyaluronic Acid (HA + HY6AA) to restore your natural youthful-looking skin even after months from the last treatment!
HY6AA is the combination of six specific types of Amino Acids: Glycine, L-Valine, L-Proline, L-Alanine, L-Leucine, L-Lysine. The said amino acids compose the building blocks of collagen and elastin, which are proteins preventing wrinkle formation. The combination of these specific amino acids helps bring back the loss of volume in your skin during the regeneration process.
Sunekos makes use of the HY6AA formula in their fillers and combines it with Hyaluronic Acid. Here, HA acts as the carrier of these amino acids to the deeper layers of the skin, penetrating the skin structure with the molecule. It makes a more holistic skin rejuvenation process. The patented HA + HY6AA formulation is unique to Sunekos, meaning that a slight change in the formula produces varied results.
Furthermore, the formulation stimulates the fibroblast activities inside the Extracellular Matrix (ECM) in the dermis, which may have slowed due to ageing. Extracellular Matrix (ECM) (Here for in-depth reading) is a three-dimensional network consisting of minerals like collagen, which is key in a healthy skin complexion. HA helps stimulate the production of elastin and collagen, specifically Type 4 Collagen, which is the hardest to produce.
Sunekos comes in two variants: Sunekos 200 and Sunekos 1200.
Sunekos 200 contains 0.2 Mio-Dalton of Hyaluronic Acid + HY6AA. It specifically utilizes Low-Molecular Weight Hyaluronic Acid. Smaller weight HA helps the essential amino acids to seep into the deepest layers of the skin in a shorter period, delivering instant results.
On the other hand, Sunekos 1200 is a booster, used alongside Sunekos 200. It is known for its antioxidant properties for severe wrinkles and damaged skin. It consists of 1.2 Mio-Dalton of Hyaluronic Acid + HY6AA. Furthermore, Sunekos 1200 incorporates Medium High-Molecular Weight Hyaluronic Acid. Larger weight HA tends to work its way into the skin a bit longer, though it has anti-inflammatory properties that have lasting benefits to the skin.
Facial fillers may have a polarizing reputation, but hyaluronic acid filler like Sunekos is a safe way to boost your skin complexion. It is a great way to gain immediate natural-looking results. However, do not expect to have long-lasting healthy skin by relying on hyaluronic fillers alone. A consistent skincare regimen with positive lifestyle is still vital in keeping your skin looking and feeling healthy. With that said, do not be afraid to incorporate more HA into your skin and enjoy its benefits.