Understanding the Different Types of Hyaluronic Acid and Their Uses

Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is the magical skincare ingredient that provides moisture to our skin. When absorbed into the skin, HA can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water, and in doing so gives skin a soft plump texture and even brighten skin tone. It also improves fine lines and wrinkles as well.

Despite the common name Hyaluronic Acid as an ingredient, it is very uncommon for you to see this item in the ingredient list of your skincare product. Instead, you will most likely see either Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid or Sodium Hyaluronate. We’ll explain in more details why is this so later.

Are all Hyaluronic Acid the same?

The answer is no.

To understand how HA works, we have to understand their molecular weight. Large molecular weight HA are very viscous (thick) and does not penetrate the skin well. Conversely, small molecular weight HA are waterier and is able to penetrate deeper into our skin.

Hyaluronic Acid (as an ingredient) is known to have large molecular weight. This is why many skincare companies uses a process called hydrolyzing to break down the molecule – resulting in the ingredient Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid which is commonly found in your products. The other popular method is to use the salt form of HA called Sodium Hyaluronate. Sodium Hyaluronate has lower molecular weight than even Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid and therefore it’s more easily absorbed into the skin.

The Importance of Molecular Weight (size)

At this point, you may be thinking that Sodium Hyaluronate must be the best form of HA for skincare products since its low molecular weight allows it to penetrate the deepest.

This is not true.

Hyaluronic Acid that is naturally found in our body has a wide molecular weight range – from 4kDa to 8,000kDa. Different size HA performs different functions for our skin and we need all of them to provide us with a well-balance overall hydration.

Below is a table to highlight the functions of different molecular weight HA:

Type of HA Molecular Weight Use
High molecular weight HA >1,800kDa Forms a moisturizing film on the skin surface and prevent external stimuli from entering the skin.
Medium molecular weight HA >1,000-1,800kDa Stored in the connective tissue of the skin and prevents moisture evaporation on skin surface.
Low molecular weight HA >100-1,000kDa Stored in the connective tissue of the skin and provides moisture deep into the skin. Helps improve fine lines and wrinkle.
Ultra-low molecular weight HA <100kDa Works in the deeper levels of the skin by moisturizing from the inside. Helps with regeneration and rejuvenation.

GeneDNA Quadruple Hydro Booster serum


This derma-grade HA serum has Unnie’s stamp of approval all over it. It comes with 8 types of Hyaluronic Acids – from high molecular weight HA all the way to ultra-low molecular weight HA, giving your skin the complete, balanced, hydrating solution.

In fact, you’ll probably struggle to find another serum with all 8 types of HA ingredients! (Unnie’s challenge!)

Get your GeneDNA Quadruple Hydro Booster here today! We’re confident you will feel the difference immediately!

Or drop us a message if you have any further questions.

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