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Hydration revolution: formulator’s information to hyaluronic acid


Hyaluronic acid is among the most in-demand beauty substances right now. A protracted-time favorite in skincare, hyaluronic acid is now marketed for its high-performance, hydrating properties in bodycare – and now even in haircare. It’s a darling of the cosmetics business and sweetness customers alike.

You might be stunned to be taught that it was found within the early Thirties and has been a beauty ingredient for the reason that Nineteen Sixties. However it’s sported on so many beauty labels, you’d suppose it’s a new-found ingredient. In a technique it’s “new” as it’s produced very in a different way right now – as you’ll quickly uncover.

This superhero of hydration definitely deserves our consideration.

Why it’s so feted and what beauty advantages does it carry? Importantly, does it dwell as much as the hype?

Right here, we unravel the secrets and techniques of hyaluronic acid – a powerhouse of hydration – trying past its fame to discover why it’s a game-changer for indie beauty formulators.

Spoiler alert: hyaluronic acid’s high-performance potentialities are effectively inside attain of the brand new beauty formulator!

What’s hyaluronic acid?

Hydration revolution: formulator’s guide to hyaluronic acid
Hyaluronic acid is a polysaccharide discovered naturally within the pores and skin in its extra-cellular matrix, and can also be a part of the pores and skin’s pure moisturising issue (NMF) together with different compounds corresponding to urea, lactic acid, fatty acids (ceramides). It subsequently contributes to sustaining the pores and skin barrier.

The pores and skin holds round 50 p.c of our physique’s hyaluronic acid content material, so you possibly can sense already why it could have a key function to play in our pores and skin’s functioning.

Hyaluronic acid in cosmetics – its origins
Within the Nineteen Sixties, animal-sourced types of hyaluronic acid have been utilized in cosmetics. The commonest supply for each beauty and medical makes use of in that period was derived from rooster combs. Use of animal-derived hyaluronic acid has decreased over time on account of moral considerations, potential allergenic reactions, and the event of extra sustainable and cruelty-free manufacturing strategies.

At present, hyaluronic acid is produced by means of bio-fermentation processes utilizing micro organism so as to present moral and constant sources for the cosmetics business. Nevertheless, do test together with your provider about its origins.

How does hyaluronic acid hydrate our pores and skin?

How hyaluronic acid hydrates
Hyaluronic acid’s magic lies in its skill to carry as much as 1000 instances its weight in water, making it the final word hydrating hero. It is a superb humectant and in contrast to different hygroscopic beauty substances, its skill to draw and maintain water is much less depending on the surroundings round us; meaning it performs excellently no matter the extent of humidity.

A beauty humectant is a purposeful, hygroscopic ingredient that hydrates the pores and skin due to its skill to draw and bind to water. The water supply can range: humectants can entice water from the humidity within the surroundings round them, and even from the pores and skin itself by pulling water from deeper layers to extra superficial layers.

Different humectants frequent in pure cosmetics are glycerine, sorbitol (a sugar alcohol), honey, propanediol (pure model), sodium lactate, and hyaluronic acid. See our information:

The formulator’s information to pure humectants

However there’s a draw back. As we age, our pores and skin’s pure manufacturing of hyaluronic acid reduces and degradation of the hyaluronic acid additionally will increase, leading to pores and skin dryness and dehydration. Together with hyaluronic acid in formulations may help revitalise the pores and skin’s moisture ranges, resulting in a extra luminous, plump complexion.

First, we have to discover the types of hyaluronic acid – together with, unusually you would possibly suppose, its molecular weight – so as to perceive the way it works its magic in our formulations.

Molecular magic: low- vs high-weight

Low vs high molecular weigh hyaluronic acid
For formulators, the excellence between high and low molecular weight hyaluronic acid is essential to the artwork of formulating a super-hydrating beauty. On beauty ingredient provider websites, you’ll have seen low molecular weight (LMW-HA) and excessive molecular weight hyaluronic acid (HMW-HA) talked about and puzzled what they have been.

In short, low molecular weight hyaluronic acid penetrates deeper into the pores and skin – staying on the epidermic stage – providing extra lasting hydration, whereas excessive molecular weight creates a topical, protecting barrier on the pores and skin’s floor providing short-term hydration and visual plumping of the pores and skin.

This dynamic duo of molecular weights ship each speedy and longer-term hydration, and you should utilize each in the identical formulation. There’s some debate concerning the effectiveness of utilizing both weight of hyaluronic acid in rinse-off haircare preparations, however some beauty corporations are offering proof of its hydrating powers even on this use.

We study the molecular distinction in depth on our devoted “Mini-Lab” on hyaluronic acid over in our membership web site, The Lab at Components Botanica. Register to be first to know when The Lab opens its doorways, so you possibly can benefit from the hyaluronic coaching module together with over 35 different in-depth matters.

Find out how to formulate with hyaluronic acid

how to formulate with hyaluronic acid
Now you realize concerning the significance of its molecular weight, let’s have a look at the types of hyaluronic acid accessible to the beauty formulator.

INCI: Sodium hyaluronate

Hyaluronic powder: You could find hyaluronic acid as a white powder or as a gel. We usually use hyaluronic acid between 0.01 and 1 p.c. You will want to hydrate the powder in water for some time (in a single day is right to make sure it’s totally dissolved).

Simply as we dissolve gums in glycerine, we are able to additionally decide to make use of glycerine as a wetting agent to assist make the hydration of hyaluronic powder simpler; or use emollients and humectants like propanediol for the job. There is no such thing as a purpose you possibly can’t mix humectants. Guarantee you realize the burden of the diluent (water or glycerine) so you possibly can work out the maths so as to add the specified quantity of hyaluronic acid to your formulation.

Hyaluronic acid gel: If utilizing the gel kind, be sure that it’s safely preserved as it’s possible you’ll want so as to add one other preservative. Examine your provider’s info. Discover out extra about pure preservation in our Certificates in Pure Beauty Preservation, or within the weblog posts beneath:

Every little thing you needed to learn about pure preservatives

Working with hyaluronic acid in cosmetics

Hyaluronic acid is a superb ingredient to formulate with, as you possibly can add it to gentle emulsions corresponding to lotions and serums. Mix it with different humectants or energetic substances for a synergistic impact.

There are just a few essential issues to notice about working with hyaluronic acid in cosmetics:

  • Storage: The powdered kind must be stored dry, so retailer it fastidiously in an air-tight container away from humidity.
  • Weighing: Should you make small batches of your formulation, you have to precision scales as you might be including very minute quantities of hyaluronic acid. It helps to make use of it in diluted and dissolved first to resolve this problem.
  • Processing: Hyaluronic acid shouldn’t be processed on excessive shear, which suggests with a high-shear homogeniser. Ideally, use a hand whisk or overhead stirrer.
  • Cool-down part: Add hyaluronic acid powder or gel to the cool-down part of your formulations.
  • Gel formulations: Keep in mind that low molecular weight hyaluronic acid gained’t kind a gel.
  • pH vary: Hyaluronic acid is finest used within the decrease pH ranges of round 5- 5.5.

Try these formulations for inspiration on how you can embody hyaluronic acid:

Find out how to make a rose hydrating facial serum
Find out how to formulate a bakuchiol magnificence focus
Formulate a hydrating physique mist with tropical extracts
Find out how to make a scented pure physique yoghurt

Finest Pure Options to Hyaluronic Acid

natural alternatives to hyaluronic acid
As most types of hyaluronic acid to be used in cosmetics are produced by means of bio-fermentation, it’s possible you’ll want to search pure, plant-derived alternate options that provide the same hydration-boosting properties to hyaluronic acid. Listed here are just a few pure alternate options to discover:

1. Aloe Vera

INCI: Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder

One of the vital common substances in skincare, aloe vera is a soothing and hydrating ingredient, with a water content material starting from 99 to 99.5%. Since aloe vera powder is 200 instances extra concentrated than the gel, it gives a thirst-quenching impact. Use 0.1-1% aloe vera powder in your toners or moisturisers, or in gel-like merchandise by including a gelling agent. Discover out extra about aloe vera:

The formulator’s information to aloe vera
Find out how to make an aloe vera repairing mist
Find out how to formulate a soothing after-sun gel
Find out how to make a jasmine and aloe micellar water

2. Snow Mushroom

INCI: Tremella fuciformis polysaccharide

Usually labelled because the “plant-based various” to hyaluronic acid, snow mushroom has distinctive water-retaining properties. (Observe: funghi aren’t vegetation, nevertheless, however their very own distinctive organism class.) Due to their polysaccharides, snow mushrooms retains the pores and skin hydrated and supple, and likewise reduces indicators of pores and skin ageing indicators.

Use snow mushroom in lotions and serums by diluting the powder in water earlier than including it to your cool-down part. Discover out extra about this energetic ingredient within the Mini-Lab on Mushroom Components.

3. Panthenol

INCI: Panthenol

Pure panthenol is one other humectant that retains the pores and skin moisturised. Additionally known as pro-vitamin B5, it promotes pores and skin regeneration and strengthens the pores and skin barrier. It penetrates the pores and skin and is transformed to D-pantothenic acid. It’s accessible as a water-soluble powder (L-Panthenol) or a water-soluble liquid (D-Panthenol) so as to add within the cool-down part.

Different alternate options

There are a lot of extra hyaluronic acid alternate options you would formulate with, corresponding to birch sap, vegetable collagen, and oat silk, which offer the pores and skin with as a lot hydration as hyaluronic acid. As a pure formulator, it is important to maintain updated with ingredient traits and be taught to formulate with new substances.

Additional studying and references

Nobile et al, 2014. Anti-aging and filling efficacy of six sorts of hyaluronic acid based mostly dermo-cosmetic remedy.
Bravo et al, 2022. Advantages of topical hyaluronic acid for pores and skin high quality and indicators of pores and skin growing old.
Juncan et al, 2021. Benefits of hyaluronic acid and its mixture with different bioactive substances in cosmeceuticals.
Essendoubi et al, 2016. Human pores and skin penetration of hyaluronic acid of various molecular weights as probed by Raman spectroscopy.
Saleem et al, 2022. Aloe vera gel impact on pores and skin and pharmacological properties.
Boo YC, 2021. Mechanistic Foundation and Scientific Proof for the Purposes of Nicotinamide (Niacinamide) to Management Pores and skin Getting older and Pigmentation.
Ma et al, 2021. A evaluation on the manufacturing, construction, bioactivities and software of Tremella polysaccharides.
Camargo Jr. et al, 2011. Pores and skin moisturizing results of panthenol-based formulations.



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