The Power of Hyaluronic Acid: Types, Uses, and Benefits

June 19, 2024
Reading Time: 5 mins
the power of hyaluronic acid. BodyTonic medspa Cleveland

If you’ve never heard of hyaluronic acid before, where have you been hiding? 

One of the best-known superstars of the skincare world, hyaluronic acid stands out thanks to its remarkable ability to hydrate, moisturize, and rejuvenate the skin. 

But as with most things skincare, there are various types of hyaluronic acid – which can make it confusing to know exactly what you need, or what its different uses or benefits are. 

Here at BodyTonic Cleveland, we pride ourselves on offering cutting-edge aesthetic treatments alongside the best quality medical-grade skincare products, and hyaluronic acid is something that plays a pretty big role across all of our services. 

So, keep reading to find out more about exactly why you need to be incorporating hyaluronic acid into your skincare regime (if you aren’t already), and the different ways in which you can do so. 

What is Hyaluronic Acid?

Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a naturally occurring substance in the body, primarily found in the skin, eyes, and connective tissues. 

Its main purpose is to retain water (it’s a powerful humectant, able to hold over 1,000 times its weight in water!) and keep tissues moisturized and hydrated, hence its nickname as a “moisture magnet”. And as we all know, moisture and hydration are critical factors when it comes to maintaining a youthful, healthy appearance of our skin. 

Unfortunately – just like collagen, that other “natural superstar” that keeps our skin looking youthful but which naturally declines with age – our natural levels of HA decrease as we get older, leading to fine lines, wrinkles, dryness, and a loss of skin volume and firmness.  

However, also just like collagen, it’s possible to maintain and harness the benefits of hyaluronic acid through skincare products and treatments

There are various compositions and types of hyaluronic acid that can be used in skin treatments, each serving different purposes and benefits, which we’ll go into below. 

And don’t let the name “acid” put you off. Like many other acids found naturally in the body and in other skincare products, hyaluronic acid is a gentle, non-irritating, benefits-packed natural substance. 

Types and benefits of hyaluronic acid

The term “hyaluronic acid” also includes variations of its form, such as “sodium hyaluronate” and “hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid”, which you’ll often find listed as ingredients on topical skincare products in particular, and which are technically “types” (or better, variations) of hyaluronic acid. 

However, the simplest way to break down all the different types of hyaluronic acid is by its molecular weight. 

Essentially, when it comes to topical uses (moisturizers, serums, face masks, etc), the lower the molecular weight, the deeper it can penetrate the skin to work its magic from within; the higher the molecular weight, the more it’s about its effects on the skin’s surface:

  • High molecular weight HA: This form sits on the skin’s surface, rather than penetrating it. It basically forms a protective layer that prevents moisture loss and dehydration while also soothing and smoothing the skin. 
  • Medium molecular weight HA: This form penetrates slightly deeper into the epidermis, providing a more rapid improvement in skin surface hydration, and a balance between surface hydration and deeper moisture retention.
  • Low molecular weight HA: Thanks to its small size, this form can reach the deeper layers of the skin, delivering long-lasting hydration and also promoting collagen production and cell regeneration.

In addition to topical uses, hyaluronic acid can also be used in injectable form, in order to deliver it directly to the deepest levels of the skin. The injectable forms and uses also utilize all these different molecular weights, depending on the treatment type and desired results and benefits. 

Different types of hyaluronic acid treatments 

There are two main “types” of skin rejuvenation treatment that utilize hyaluronic acid: dermal fillers and advanced clinical facial treatments, both of which we offer at BodyTonic Med Spa in Cleveland. 

Advanced facials, such as the Glo2Facial or the Hydrafacial, can include the use of hyaluronic acid as a serum or a skin booster injectable that is infused more deeply into the skin than is possible from topical use only, as part of the treatments’ customization. In these facial treatments, hyaluronic acid is used to deliver intense moisture and hydration and address concerns such as dryness, fine lines, dullness, and skin texture. 

Dermal fillers use hyaluronic acid in a very different way. Hyaluronic acid fillers are used to restore volume, smooth out wrinkles, and enhance facial contours, with a more noticeable result that lasts around 6 to 12 months. 
While both treatment types use hyaluronic acid, their formulations differ, which allows for their different uses and results. Fillers contain a “cross-linking” technology, which binds the HA molecules together and allows them to hold their shape, while the skin boosters have minimal or zero cross-linking, meaning they’re much thinner in consistency which allows for them to be absorbed straight into the skin.

Hyaluronic acid in skincare products 

While the Glo2Facial and Hydrafacial are the best ways to get an infusion of it deep into your skin, regularly applying hyaluronic acid topically will help enhance your results and maximize its benefits on a less intensive but long-term basis

Hyaluronic acid is a versatile, gentle, and non-irritating ingredient so it can be easily incorporated into your skincare routine, can be used both morning and night, and it combines well with many other products. 

At BodyTonic, we’re proud to work with a range of medical-grade skincare brands, all of which have multiple products that incorporate hyaluronic acid. Here are some of our favorites:

SkinBetter InterFuse Intensive Treatment LINES: this cutting-edge serum includes 4 different molecular weights of HA to create an injectable-grade topical solution that improves the appearance of deep expression lines and wrinkles and drastically improves skin hydration. 

Neocutis HYALIS+ Intensive Hydrating Serum: an oil-free, deeply moisturizing formulation with multiple types of hyaluronic acid plus other key ingredients, that helps promote smooth, soft, and supple skin and minimizes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

iS Clinical Hydra-Intensive Cooling Masque: a rich, luxurious, refreshing treatment that delivers powerful hydration and is designed to reinvigorate, refresh, and provide soothing hydration. 

However, there are many, many more products that harness the powers of hyaluronic acid, usually combined with other superstar skincare ingredients such as retinoids, vitamin C, peptides, and much more. 
If you’re not sure which skincare products you need most, come and see us at BodyTonic for a completely free, no-obligation consultation. We’ll use our 7th Generation VISIA® Skin Analysis System to analyze your skin at a deeper level, which enables us to recommend you the very best products and treatments for your unique needs.

What percentage of hyaluronic acid is effective for anti-aging? 

​​The effectiveness of hyaluronic acid depends on its concentration, which varies between skincare products and in-office treatments.

In topical skincare products, a concentration of 1-2% HA is ideal for providing substantial hydration and anti-aging benefits without causing irritation. Look for products labeled with ingredients like sodium hyaluronate or hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid in this range.

In-office treatments typically use higher concentrations, which are necessary for the deeper, more targeted application of HA. The exact concentrations will depend on the treatment type and desired results.

Experience the benefits of hyaluronic acid at BodyTonic Cleveland

Hyaluronic acid is one of the most well-known skincare ingredients for good reason. It’s safe and suitable for all skin types, can be used daily, pairs well with most other skincare ingredients, and provides an absolute wealth of benefits, from enhancing hydration and elasticity to reducing the appearance of wrinkles. 

From moisturizers, serums, and hydrating masques, to advanced facials with deep hyaluronic acid infusions, or hydrating dermal fillers, here at BodyTonic Med Spa we can provide you with all of hyaluronic acid’s many benefits, across all of its different applications and uses. 

So, if you’re local to the Cleveland area, come and see us to find out what differences this superstar natural substance could make to your skin!

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