What Is Hyaluronic Acid?

Hyaluronic acid serum dripping from a medicine dropper in a skin care product

Hyaluronic acid is found in many antiaging skin serums.  It is a skin sugar known as a glycosaminoglycan. Hyaluronic acid holds 1000 times its weight in water, giving skin it’s plumpness and jello skin feel.

What is hyaluronic acid derived from?

Hyaluronic acid is made from sugars called disaccharides.  These disaccharides are composed of alternating D-glucuronic acid and N-acetyl-D-glucosamine linked into chains.  HA is naturally occurring and is considered a natural ingredient.



What Does Hyaluronic Acid Do for the Skin?

HA has many skin benefits.

  1. Hydrates skin temporarily
  2. It helps other skin care ingredients penetrate into the skin
  3. Firms skin temporarily
  4. Gives the skin a dewy glow


HA in moisturizers, creams, serums, toners, and essences has the benefit of given an instant skin firming feel due to the humectant properties of binding water to the skin’s surface. HA can dramatically effect the efficacy of other skin care products- increasing both the efficacy and the side effects.  For this reason, when you use HA in the skin care routine is important.

Here are some of our favorite Hyaluronic acid serums:


Hyaluronic Acid Side Effects

The side effects of hyaluronic acid serums and moisturizers are due to it’s ability to increase the penetration of other ingredients.  This means that HA serums can increase irritation from acne medications such as benzoyl peroxide and retinoids.  It can also increase irritation to retinoids used for antiaging.  This is why you need a personalized skin care routine for your Baumann Skin Type- so that these issues can be taken into account when deciding if HA is safe for your skin.

Hyaluronic Acid Supplement Benefits for Skin

HA supplements are often taken for skin and joints.  They seem to raise hyaluronic acid levels in skin.  However, it is more effective to use topical hyaluronic acid serums or to inject hyaluronic acid dermal fillers into the skin to rejuvenate the skin. Hyaluronic acid is in the category of antiaging ingredients.



Hyaluronic Acid Essence

HA toners and essences are a great way to apply the skin.  Essences and toners are often less expensive that hyaluronic acid serums.

Where is hyaluronic acid found in the skin?

HA is found in the dermis at the periphery and interface of collagen and elastin fibers

These connections with HA are absent in aged skin.[i]


What does hyaluronic acid do for the skin when applied in skin care products?



What does natural hyaluronic acid do in the skin?

  • Affects keratinocyte differentiation[ii]
  • Affects formation of lamellar bodies via its interaction with CD44, a cell surface glycoprotein receptor with HA binding sites.
  • Binds growth factors and cytokines and hold them creating gradients of these communicating factors[iii].



[i] Baumann L. in Ch 2 Dermis of Baumann’s Cosmetic dermatology (McGraw Hill 2022)

[ii] Baumann L. in Ch 2 Dermis of Baumann’s Cosmetic dermatology (McGraw Hill 2022)

[iii] Strnadova, K., Sandera, V., Dvorankova, B., Kodet, O., Duskova, M., Smetana, K., & Lacina, L. (2019). Skin aging: the dermal perspective. Clinics in Dermatology37(4), 326-335.

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