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Sodium hyaluronate is the water-soluble sodium salt form of hyaluronic acid, which is a naturally occurring substance in the body including the skin and joint fluid.

It is an ingredient extracted from HA, that is best used for skincare and was sourced from animal tissues or bacterial fermentation. When applied correctly, it gives a smooth and moisturizing effect to the skin, the reason why so many people are raving about it.

According to the health website Healthline, sodium hyaluronate could come in many names: including hyaluronate sodium, hyaluronic acid sodium, hyaluronic acid sodium salt, hyalurone sodium. Both HA and sodium hyaluronate can make the skin look younger and supple, and benefits joint and eye health. Despite being almost similar, they are two different substances that are essential to keep the skin hydrated.

Sodium Hyaluronate: How Is It Used, What Are Its Benefits?
(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
Chemical structure of sodium hyaluronate

Sodium Hyaluronate vs. Hyaluronic Acid

As mentioned, sodium hyaluronate is extracted from hyaluronic acid and is used separately. As its name implies, it is the sodium salt version of HA alongside the potassium hyaluronate, another form of HA.

The health website reported that the difference between sodium hyaluronate and hyaluronic acid comes down to their molecular weight, wherein the latter has a higher molecular weight that makes it a macromolecule that coats the skin and prevents water loss to promote better skin hydration.

On the other hand, sodium hyaluronate has a lower molecular weight and can easily penetrate the epidermis and nourishes the skin from within.

"Sodium hyaluronate has smaller molecules than hyaluronic acid, which is why, for topical use, it is sometimes better as it penetrates the skin more easily and helps it to absorb the benefits of the ingredients in your beauty product, be it a serum, a moisturizer, or a mask," says Perfect Image founder and chemist David Petrillo, according to Greatist.

Although HA is naturally found in the body, it is exhausted and becomes less efficient as a person ages and that is when sodium hyaluronate is most needed to hydrate the skin. The lack of HA results in drier and less firm skin at the mid and late 20s, which could vary in skin types and ethnicities but could still be felt as the skin begins to feel drier.

Since sodium hyaluronate is derived from HA, it is sometimes listed as "hyaluronic acid (as sodium hyaluronate)" in some skincare product labels.

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Benefits of Sodium Hyaluronate

The Derm Review listed some benefits of sodium hyaluronate to the skin. These are the following:

  • Hydration- The main benefit of using sodium hyaluronate is that it helps replenish skin's moisture content and hydrate the skin cells to give a plump and dewy look.
  • Has a Protective Effect on Collagen Synthesis- Studies have shown the protective effect of sodium hyaluronate in collagen synthesis. It helps reduce signs of aging by decreasing water loss on the epidermis, which is linked to sun exposure, low humidity, and other external factor related to dryness of the skin.
  • Reduces Fine Lines and Wrinkles- Serums and supplements containing sodium hyaluronate replenished the skin and give back the moisture it lost with time to reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Filler- Since it is something that the body recognizes coming from the HA, sodium hyaluronate can become cheek and lip fillers with less irritation and reaction from the immune system.
  • Good for Congestive and Sensitive Skin Types- With its light formulation as it usually comes in the form of a gel, sodium hyaluronate can be slotted in the skincare routine without the added heaviness, making it great for congestive skin types. Also, it is a non-irritating ingredient and therefore good for those with sensitive skin.

Sodium hyaluronate does not have any known side effects and is even considered as safe for use in cosmetics and skin conditioning agents at a concentration of up to 2%. It can also be ingested as a supplement. I case of allergic reactions, users are advised to stop using the product and consult a dermatologist.

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