Hyaluronic Acid vs Sodium Hyaluronate

When it comes to skin care, the ingredients hyaluronic acid (sometimes referred to as hyaluronate) and sodium hyaluronate have become increasingly popular. What’s the difference and which one should you opt for?

First, you’ll probably want to know what the fuss is about over hyaluronic acid or sodium hyaluronate. Hyaluronic acid is a natural substance that is widely distributed throughout our bodies. It is an important component of cartilage, synovial fluid (the lubricating fluid found between joints) and skin, where it is integral to a number of cellular reactions and in keeping skin hydrated. Hyaluronic acid decreases with aging. Along with a decrease in elastin and collagen (which form part of the skin’s supporting network), the result may be dehydrated skin, skin roughness, flaking, fine lines, wrinkles and sagging.

Injectable fillers use hyaluronic acid to hydrate and separate the skin, holding onto water and supporting all that makes the face plump and voluptuous. Hyaluronic acid cannot be absorbed when applied topically, which is why sodium hyaluronate is around.

Sodium hyaluronate is the salt of hyaluronic acid and it has a much lower molecular size. This gives it the ability to penetrate skin when applied topically, which is why it works in creams and other potions. One key feature of sodium hyaluronate is its ability to hold more than 1000 times its weight in water! This hydrating property makes it an excellent moisturizing ingredient – it not only hydrates skin, but also helps to reduce water loss. The result is a slight temporary swelling of the skin that will help to minimize the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Well hydrated skin also handles exposure to the sun and other environmental assaults better. You’ll find many claims attributed to sodium hyaluronate, but there are no published studies regarding its ability to rejuvenate skin or help boost collagen levels – watch out for unsubstantiated claims.

Find sodium hyaluronate in the La Roche Posay Hydraphase line of products:

• La Roche Posay Hydraphase UV SPF 30 – excellent moisturizer with added benefit of SPF 30
• La Roche Posay Hydraphase Light – targeted moisturizer for normal/combination skin
• La Roche Posay Hydraphase Riche – intense moisturizer with shea butter for dry skin
• La Roche Posay Hydraphase Eyes – hydrating formulation helps to smooth out wrinkles and fine lines