Hyaluronic Acid: Everything You Need to Know

Hyaluronic acid application on face

WHAT IS HYALURONIC ACID AND WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?

You’ve probably already heard the words Hyaluronic Acid floating around recently as the ingredient has become increasingly popular in skincare products – but do you know what it is and how it works? Read on to find out how this deeply hydrating active ingredient can help keep your skin moisturised, smooth and flawless.

What exactly is hyaluronic acid?

Hyaluronic acid was first discovered just over 80 years ago by two German researchers. This molecule, which is found naturally in the human body, has a clear, gooey texture and can be found in the eyes, muscles, etc. However, the organ where it's found in its highest concentrations is the skin – with higher levels in the dermis than the epidermis.

Hyaluronic acid plays an essential role in maintaining the appearance and quality of the skin, and in keeping skin hydrated. It acts like a sponge; its structure enables it to capture and hold up to a thousand times its own weight in water. This means it can trap in moisture, creating a sort of protective barrier that leaves skin visibly smoother and plumped.

Hyaluronic acid is constantly being produced by the body and has a high turnover rate. But unfortunately, as the years go by and the skin gets older – and is repeatedly exposed to factors that can cause oxidative stress – the amount of hyaluronic acid in the skin diminishes. The main consequence of this is that the skin becomes dehydrated and fine lines appear on the face.
 
You'll often find hyaluronic acid being used in cosmetic procedures, where it's injected into the skin. But for those of you not so comfortable with needles, you'll be glad to know it's also incorporated into skincare formulas to help fight the effects of ageing, reduce the appearance of wrinkles and maintain skin hydration.  

So, if you decide to use a cream, serum or mask that contains hyaluronic acid, you can be sure that it will effectively hydrate the skin of your face, while also helping to restore its vitality. 

However, what you may not know is that there are different types of hyaluronic acid. They don't all have the same benefits as they don't all penetrate the skin in the same way. It all depends on the size of the molecule – and this is the main difference between the different types.

Two types of hyaluronic acid

"XL" HYALURONIC ACID (HIGH MOLECULAR WEIGHT)

Just as its name indicates, in high molecular weight hyaluronic acid, the molecule is large. It acts on the surface of the epidermis and is used for surface hydration when signs of ageing are not very pronounced. It's ideal for softening expression lines and wrinkles, and to give skin a fresher look.

"XS" HYALURONIC ACID (LOW MOLECULAR WEIGHT)

At the opposite end of the scale, you'll find low molecular weight hyaluronic acid. In this case, the molecule is small (between 20 and 50 thousand daltons). Its extra-small size enables it to penetrate further into the epidermis, so it can revitalise the skin deep down.

Who should use hyaluronic acid?

Everyone knows that every skincare routine should include hydration! So no matter how old (or young!) you are, your skin can enjoy the benefits of hyaluronic acid in cosmetic products. It offers different benefits for different ages.

If you have young skin, the high molecular weight version of this molecule will help to prevent the first signs of ageing and keep your skin well hydrated.

If your skin is more mature, small-size hyaluronic acid will help to "fill" the skin at a deeper level and make it look smoother, plumped and more beautiful.

Hyaluronic acid in L'OCCITANE products

Aqua Réotier collection Prep and Moisturise
"XL" hyaluronic acid


Every morning, give your skin its first layer of hydration with the Aqua Réotier Moisture Prep Essence. Enriched with Réotier water and hyaluronic acid, it gives your skin a fresh, radiant glow. 

Follow immediately with the Ultra-Thirst Quenching Gel or Cream. Ideal for normal to combination skin, the super-fresh gel contains thousands of micro-bubbles that work to quench thirsty skin and keep it hydrated all day long. Suitable for all skin types, the cream offers the same benefits captured in a richer, smoother texture, and leaves skin feeling plumped and revitalised. 

In the evening, cleanse with the Water Gel Cleanser, which transforms into a soft, light foam on contact with water. It gets rid of all those nasty impurities that can build up on the skin, but doesn't dry it out, so you can keep it fresh and radiant every day.  
Precious collection: Renew and Smooth
"XS" hyaluronic acid


At the heart of our Precious formulas, immortelle essential oil works in perfect harmony with a dynamic hyaluronic acid complex. This complex combines "XS" hyaluronic acid with silicon – an essential mineral that acts as a carrier, taking the hyaluronic acid deeper into the epidermis. 

Our dynamic complex is able to quadruple the natural production of hyaluronic acid in the skin. It helps to stimulate cell proliferation, while immortelle essential oil helps cells to "mature" so skin can renew itself faster. 

Fine lines are smoothed, skin is hydrated, and its texture improved. Our Precious range also boasts clinically proven results: after using the Precious routine for just 10 days, tests showed a significant acceleration of natural skin renewal!*  

*Efficacy test on skin renewal on 20 women – Routine: Essential Water, Serum, Eye Balm, Cream 

The benefits of masks formulated with hyaluronic acid

If you want to keep your skin looking radiant, make sure you give it a little of your time... Once or twice a week, treat it to a mask. You'll enjoy it as much as your skin does! The Aqua Réotier Mineral Moisture Mask can be used by all skin types to give a thirst-quenching boost.  

To enjoy the benefits of this face mask, there are two options available: 
• Use it as an overnight mask: apply a fine layer before you go to bed, leave on while you sleep, then rinse off any residue in the morning. 

• Use it as an intense moisture shot: apply a thick layer, leave on for 10 minutes, then remove any residue with a moist cotton pad.  

If you're off on your travels, you can still take the mask with you – in its mini "Pod" form. That way your skin can soak up the benefits of hyaluronic acid and keep its glow, wherever you are!