What is Hyaluronic Acid?

What is Hyaluronic Acid?

Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is a naturally occurring compound essential for maintaining the structural integrity and moisture of various tissues in the body. Predominantly found in the extracellular matrix, HA plays a crucial role in supporting the biochemical processes that maintain cell structure and promote health. One of the key properties of HA is its remarkable ability to retain water, with one molecule capable of holding up to 1,000 times its weight in water. This characteristic makes it one of the most effective ingredients for skin hydration, allowing it to maintain elasticity and firmness by attracting and holding moisture within the skin cells.

Moreover, HA is not just a hydrating agent; it also stimulates biological processes that contribute to skin health. Research indicates that HA helps to activate fibroblasts—cells responsible for collagen and elastin production—located in the deeper layers of the skin. By promoting the formation of these critical components, HA supports the development of a robust and stable skin structure. Additionally, it plays significant roles beyond the skin, such as lubricating joints, aiding in wound healing, reducing inflammation, and maintaining moisture levels in our eyes.

This multifunctional molecule is integral not only for its immediate benefits on skin appearance, providing hydration and support for anti-aging efforts, but also for its underlying support of overall cellular function, making it a cornerstone ingredient in skincare.

Where is it found in our body and what does it do?

Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is naturally found throughout the body, playing a crucial role in maintaining health in various areas, including the skin, eyes, and joints.  

In the skin, HA enhances hydration and elasticity, vital for a youthful appearance. It retains moisture to keep the skin plump, reducing fine lines and wrinkles while protecting against environmental factors.

In the eyes, HA maintains moisture, ensuring clear and comfortable vision. In the joints, it acts as a lubricant and shock absorber, easing movements and potentially reducing discomfort from conditions like arthritis.

Beyond these areas, HA also aids in wound healing by regulating inflammation and promoting the formation of new blood vessels. This makes HA incredibly important not only for skin health but also for essential functions like movement, sight, and healing.

How and why HA decreases over the years?

As we age, the natural levels of Hyaluronic Acid (HA) in our bodies decline due to several biological mechanisms. This decrease in HA is primarily driven by increased activity of enzymes such as hyaluronidases, which break down HA, and a reduction in the synthesis of HA by cells in the skin. These changes are influenced by factors including genetic aging processes, environmental exposure to UV radiation, and pollution, which accelerate the degradation of HA.

By the time we reach our 40s, the HA content in our skin is typically about half of what it was in our 20s. This significant reduction in HA leads to a loss of moisture retention, decreased elasticity, and reduced skin firmness, resulting in more pronounced wrinkles and a loss of suppleness. These visual and structural changes in the skin are key indicators of aging.

To counteract these effects, it is essential to replenish HA through skincare products. Regular application of HA-enriched formulations can effectively restore hydration levels, smooth out wrinkles, and improve skin texture and elasticity. By boosting the skin's HA content, we can help maintain its youthful appearance and functionality, offsetting some of the natural declines that accompany aging.

How does it work?

Hyaluronic Acid (HA) enhances skin hydration and structure through its unique ability to bind and retain water molecules. When applied to the skin, HA forms a permeable layer and penetrates into the dermal layer, attracting water from the surroundings and the deeper layers of the skin. This not only helps to hydrate the surface but also plumps the skin from within, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Additionally, HA supports the skin’s natural barrier function, helping to maintain skin resilience and elasticity by promoting the health of the skin's extracellular matrix, which includes collagen and elastin. This dual action of moisture retention and structural support makes HA a powerful ingredient for maintaining youthful, hydrated, and firm skin.

Size does matter... What types of HA exist?

Hyaluronic Acid (HA) in cosmetics is categorized by molecular weights, measured in kilodaltons (kDa), where 1 kDa equals 1000 Daltons. This measurement helps define the size of the HA molecules and their corresponding effects on the skin:

  • High Molecular Weight Hyaluronic Acid:

High molecular weight HA, typically above 1500 kDa, remains on the skin's surface due to its large molecular size. It forms a film that helps protect the skin from moisture loss, provides temporary plumping of fine lines and wrinkles, and has anti-inflammatory properties. Its effects are immediate but short-lived because it does not penetrate deep into the skin.

  • Medium Molecular Weight Hyaluronic Acid:

With a molecular size ranging from 100 to 500 kDa, medium molecular weight HA penetrates the surface layers of the skin more effectively than high molecular weight HA. It rapidly improves skin hydration and helps maintain it throughout the day. Due to its deeper penetration and lasting hydration effects, it is often used in premium skincare products and is comparatively more expensive.

  • Very Low Molecular Weight Hyaluronic Acid:

The type used in Philab products, very low molecular weight HA, ranges from 10 to 20 kDa. This form of HA penetrates deeply into the skin, reaching the connective tissue where it has a profound long-term strengthening and tightening effect on the skin structure. It stimulates cell proliferation, enhances the skin's natural production of HA, and boosts collagen production, which is crucial for maintaining the skin's structural integrity. Due to its deep penetration and significant benefits, very low molecular weight HA is highly valued and, as a result, very expensive.

How is it made?

Hyaluronic Acid (HA) used in Philab's products is produced through a biotechnological fermentation process, utilizing non-GMO and non-animal materials, making it vegan-friendly and free from animal-derived contaminants. This method ensures high purity and consistent molecular weight, optimizing the HA for effective skin penetration and hydration in cosmetic formulations.

Is it safe?

Yes, Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is considered safe for use in skincare and cosmetic products. It is a naturally occurring substance in the human body, which means it is generally well-tolerated and poses minimal risk of allergies or irritation. HA is non-toxic and has been used safely in various forms, including serums, creams, and injectables. Its ability to enhance skin hydration and contribute to a healthy skin barrier makes it a popular choice in many skincare formulations, with a strong track record of safety and efficacy.

For which skin is it suitable?

Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is remarkably versatile and suitable for all skin types, making it a highly inclusive skincare ingredient. Its unique ability to retain moisture benefits not only dry skin by providing deep, lasting hydration but also assists oily and combination skin types by balancing skin moisture levels without adding excess oil. Sensitive skin types benefit from HA’s gentle nature, as it helps to fortify the skin's natural barrier, reducing susceptibility to irritants. Additionally, HA's anti-inflammatory properties make it ideal for acne-prone skin by soothing redness and irritation. Its capacity to plump the skin and smooth out fine lines and wrinkles also makes it an excellent choice for aging skin. Overall, HA’s wide-ranging benefits across different skin conditions and types underscore its universal appeal and effectiveness as a skincare solution.

How to use it?

Using Hyaluronic Acid (HA), particularly the Very Low Molecular Weight (VLMW) HA, is an excellent strategy for deeply hydrating and rejuvenating the skin, especially as natural HA levels decrease with age. To effectively incorporate VLMW HA into your skincare routine, start with a highly concentrated serum like Philab’s Anti-ageing Repair Serum, which utilizes VLMW HA for its superior ability to penetrate deep into the skin’s layers and stimulate collagen production.

However, it’s important to follow up the HA serum with a moisturizer. This is because while HA attracts moisture to the skin, without a protective layer over it, the moisture can evaporate, leaving the skin feeling tight and dry. Applying a moisturizer after the HA serum helps lock in the moisture and provides an extra layer of protection to prevent dehydration.

Additionally, VLMW HA pairs exceptionally well with high potency ingredients like peptides, which further enhance the skin's texture and elasticity by promoting collagen synthesis and repair mechanisms. By combining these powerful ingredients, you can create a synergistic effect that significantly boosts skin health and appearance.

For an effective anti-aging skincare routine, consider using Philab’s Anti-ageing Repair Serum, followed by your favorite moisturizer to seal in hydration and nutrients, ensuring your skin remains supple and youthful-looking.


In conclusion, Hyaluronic Acid (HA), particularly the Very Low Molecular Weight (VLMW) HA used in Philab's formulations, stands out as a pivotal component in advanced skincare. The exceptional ability of VLMW HA to penetrate deep into the skin layers ensures effective hydration from within, which not only enhances skin moisture but also promotes the natural synthesis of collagen. This results in visibly plumper, smoother, and more elastic skin.

Philab's choice to utilize VLMW HA is aligned with the latest in skincare science, offering products that not only address superficial symptoms of aging but also work fundamentally to improve skin health at a cellular level. By incorporating such a potent form of HA, Philab ensures that their skincare products are not only effective in delivering immediate hydration but also provide long-term anti-aging benefits.

Moreover, the compatibility of VLMW HA with other high potency ingredients like peptides amplifies its efficacy, creating a robust formula that supports skin repair and renewal. This thoughtful formulation approach underlines Philab's commitment to providing top-tier skincare solutions that align with optimal skincare practices, ensuring that users receive the best possible outcomes for maintaining youthful, healthy skin.

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