Sodium Hyaluronate in Skin Care

Sodium Hyaluronate in Skin Care

Meet the at-home “skin filler” sodium hyaluronate! Nearly identical to hyaluronic acid (the dermal-plumping injectable), this substance has some key differences that make it a must-have ingredient in hydrating skincare products. Saturating our outer skin layers with water, this miracle molecule keeps our complexion looking hydrated, fresh, and glowy! Let’s shed some light on this wonder ingredient, so we can decide if sodium hyaluronate deserves a spot in our skincare ritual.

What is sodium hyaluronate?

Sodium hyaluronate is a hydrophilic molecule, meaning it binds to water. Juicy and lubricating, our bodies produce this watery substance naturally to cushion our joints, tissues, and neural material. Although it behaves similarly to hyaluronic acid in terms of its hydrating action, this version is meant for superficial, on-the-skin applications. As it soaks into the outermost layers of the dermis, it quenches dull tired skin, keeping our face looking nourished and fresher for longer!

No wonder sodium hyaluronate deserves a starring role in almost every hydrating skincare formula. But if so, then what place does hyaluronic acid have in our skincare journey? Read on to learn the difference between sodium hyaluronate and hyaluronic acid.

Sodium hyaluronate versus hyaluronic acid

The biggest difference between sodium hyaluronate and hyaluronic acid is the size of the molecules. The tinier one is sodium hyaluronate — micro enough that our pores can absorb it, while hyaluronic acid is a larger particle that can’t squeeze through the dermal barrier when applied topically at home.

Another key difference is that sodium hyaluronate is more stable, so it can survive without degrading in the presence of oxygen. Hyaluronic acid, on the other hand, if exposed to air, will be destroyed more quickly because it’s less stable. That’s why it needs to be injected deep into the dermis by a qualified practitioner in a clinical setting.

If you’re needle-shy, however, then opt for hydrating products with sodium hyaluronate. These dewy molecules work with our natural tissue, attracting water and smoothing our skin for a softer, silkier look.

Microneedling with sodium hyaluronate

To maximize the hydrating benefits of sodium hyaluronate, more clinicians are offering superficial skin infusions via microneedling. Here’s why it’s genius: during this procedure, we receive tiny punctures into the superficial layer of the skin from a device containing fine hair-like needles. By creating these hollow channels in the skin, sodium hyaluronate can seep a bit deeper into the dermis —but not as deeply as actual dermal filler.

While present in the skin, sodium hyaluronate coats the cells and unifies with the surrounding tissues, where it can remain for months. But when we apply it topically at home, the molecules will disperse into the outermost dermal layer, not penetrating enough to last that long—perhaps a day or two at most. During this time, your skin will appear renewed and supple, showing fewer fine lines and faded wrinkles!

Skincare with sodium hyaluronate

Making our skin-plumping goals a reality, recent innovations have led to cutting-edge formulas that combine sodium hyaluronate with other high-potency antioxidants so that this natural hydro-booster acts as a support system for partnering ingredients - this synergy allows the entire skin treatment to perform on a more optimal level! These newer formulations are often found in under eye masks, eye creams, and skin serums.

Under eye masks with sodium hyaluronate

From sleepless nights to workday stress, our under eyes are constantly dragged down with puffiness and dark circles. Thankfully, eye masks made with sodium hyaluronate are an effective solution; they can camouflage lines and shady areas by saturating the area with water!

This treatment is especially powerful when combined with natural anti-aging herbs like Rosebay Willowherb. Studies show that it offers incredible anti-inflammatory and soothing properties when applied to the skin. Nuria’s Hydrate Nourishing Under Eye Masks are made with Rosebay Willowherb and of course, sodium hyaluronate—both ingredients working in unison for the best under-eye plump ever!

Eye creams with sodium hyaluronate

Defining our personal checklist for a buy-worthy eye cream, we should always scout versions containing our new non-negotiable: sodium hyaluronate! The most effective formulas fuse the hydrating effects of these hydrophilic molecules with the anti-aging benefits of natural herbal extracts. Together, these ingredients work in harmony to revitalize signs of crepey, dry under eye skin.

To create the ultimate ingredient cocktail, Nuria’s Defend Triple Action Eye Cream combines sodium hyaluronate with cooling cucumber and ginseng. We get the nutrient-soaked calmness of cucumber, while ginseng acts as an adaptogen —an herb that adapts to our health needs (in this case, skin repair).

Skin serums with sodium hyaluronate

Sodium hyaluronate in skin serums has a unique function! A team of pharmaceutical researchers based in Romania found that sodium hyaluronate works best when combined with other antioxidants in cosmetics. As the skin absorbs sodium hyaluronate, the receptors in the dermis are more open to absorbing other nutrients in a cosmetic formula.

Based on these findings, Nuria’s Defend Skin Restoring Serum combines sodium hyaluronate with carrot seed oil (which is high in vitamins B,C,D & E!) and rooibos tea, an ancient herb that helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

Now that we’re so skincare savvy about the difference between hyaluronic acid and sodium hyaluronate, we can make informed choices about our cosmetic options. Whether we’re looking to rekindle our complexion or achieve more hydration, we can take comfort in knowing that sodium hyaluronate can be used throughout our entire skincare ritual!


About the author, Naomi Furgiuele
Naomi is the founder of Nuria and a self-professed nerd with a love for all things science and skin care. She’s had a hand in product development for some of the biggest global beauty brands in the business, gets some of her best ideas while out on a run, and loves her exfoliator almost as much as her awesome family.


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