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Is Low or High Molecular Hyaluronic Acid Better?

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The difference of the regular, high-molecular hyaluronic acid (HA) and low-molecular-weight HA is that the low-molecular weight HA has been split into smaller fragments. Thereby, these smaller fragments can no longer form a gel with water like the large molecules, but they can penetrate the skin much easier and have actually a better anti-irritant and regenerating effect once absorbed by skin.

Low molecular weight hyaluronic acid makes it possible to enter the skin. It consists of molecules of 50 kD and smaller and ensures that water is stored in the connective tissue of the skin. The additional moisture not only makes the skin more firm and firmer, but also visibly reduces wrinkles.

Hyaluronic Acid is a sugar molecule also known as a glycosaminoglycan found in the dermis. It’s a major structural component of our skin. This jelly-like lubricant cushions our joints and plays a pivotal role in repair after an injury has occurred in the body. I’m pretty sure you’ve already heard that HA can hold up to hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water – and is responsible for giving skin its plumpness and volume.

As we age, this sugar molecule gets depleted, like collagen and elastin, so our skin needs extra support to retain moisture and stay supple. This is where hyaluronic acid-based dermal fillers such as Restylane® and Juvéderm® come in, or topical forms of HA you most commonly see as serums. But not all HA’s are created equal – they vary by molecular weight, origin, and how they were manufactured – all of which impacts performance in the skin.

Skin aging and hyaluronic acid

Over time and due to things like sun exposure and gravity, your skin gradually goes through an aging process; the skin, soft tissue and skeletal support in the face changes, first resulting in wrinkles. Over time, aging skin causes things like flattening of the epidermal-dermal interphase, a deterioration of the dermis, loss of elasticity, less blood flow from a loss of blood vessels, poorer collagen content, poorer hydration and melanocyte activity, and so on. Visually, on top of wrinkles, this can be seen as skin thinning, hyperpigmentation, and sagging.

One of the reasons youthful skin seems so hydrated is because it contains lots of hyaluronic acid in the dermis. As we age, this content decreases and by the time of adulthood, the content is as low as 5% of this baseline.To add to all of this, as we lose the hyaluronic acid in our skin, this also affects tissue volume and elasticity, also linked with hydration. It’s no wonder why hyaluronic acid is so popular as a dermal filler and in ‘anti-aging’ cosmetic products. Applied topically, hyaluronic acid has been shown to act as a potent humectant, can reduce the appearance of wrinkles, and helps to provide smoothness and softening to the skin.

hyaluronic acid plays an important role in wound healing and scar formation. In its natural form, hyaluronic acid exists at a very high molecular weight. Upon environmental changes, for example pH changes in response to something like injury, enzymes are stimulated to start to break down hyaluronic acid to lower molecular weight fragments. Different weights of hyaluronic acid have been shown to influence macrophages of the immune system, important actors in wound healing, in different ways. As hyaluronic acid is broken down to lower molecular weight molecules, they seem to stimulate macrophages to have a pro-inflammatory response, one of the first steps to wound healing.

In contrast, high molecular weight hyaluronic acid is demonstrated to stimulate an anti-inflammatory response from macrophages. Although these are two extreme affects, macrophages are multifaceted and often exist within a spectrum of these extremes. As a result of these interactions, low molecular weight hyaluronic acid has been found to contribute to scar formation, which was minimized when higher molecular weight hyaluronic acid was found in the wounded area. All this suggests that the different weights of hyaluronic acid play an important role together in wound healing.

The lower-molecular-weight HA raw material is always priced more expensively, and certain brands will use this as a key claim to position [themselves] in the prestige category. While HA is great at drawing moisture into skin, it needs some help keeping it there. Typically, products containing HA are formulated with occlusive or emollient ingredients that will help lock it in.

I’m Fabulous Cosmetics Hyaluronic acid is plant-based, organic loaded with low molecular hyaluronic acid and Helichrysum which is a scarce and precious plant oil to help lock it in!

Protective effect of helichrysum on skin:

  • strong impact against free radicals
  • significantly stimulates collagen production
  • stimulates tissue changes
  • improves microcirculation and skin detoxification
  • antiseptic that purifies the skin.

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