Hyaluronic acid is one of the buzziest terms in the beauty industry. From moisturizers to serums, essences and eye creams, you can find hyaluronic acid in almost everything these days. But should hyaluronic acid really be our end-all-be-all for hydration? We don’t think so. As much as we love hyaluronic acid, we believe in HA plus so much more. To learn more, we decided to reach out to our team of chemists in our Research and Development lab, read on for all things hydration, and some serious science.
Q&A With R&D
Why is keeping the skin hydrated so essential to skin health?
Skin hydration is integral for overall skin health, and to combat multiple skin concerns. A hydrated complexion will not only appear more healthy and youthful-looking, but will also help to combat oiliness and provide protection against environmental irritants. When your skin is optimally hydrated, skin cells function properly and are better able to keep skin protected while carrying out normal functions.
Dehydrated skin produces more sebum to help compensate for the lack of moisture that is integral for normal biological processes of the skin to take place. Dehydrated skin is also less resilient to irritating environmental contaminants we commonly come into contact with.
Optimal hydration balance results in skin that not only looks healthy but acts healthy.
Can you explain why multiple sizes of Hyaluronic Acid is important?
Different molecular weights penetrate to different levels of the skin due to their unique molecular sizes. HA molecules with lower molecular weight are smaller and are therefore able to reach the deeper into the layers of skin. Once there, these low molecular weight HAs work to sustain the skin’s moisture content.
On the other hand, those HAs with higher molecular weights are larger and are therefore too big to penetrate as deeply into the skin as their smaller counterparts. These bigger molecules will remain closer to the surface of the skin where they form a protective barrier and deliver faster visible results.
Low and mid-weight HAs work on connective tissues to provide anti-wrinkle and regenerative capabilities even after rinsing. High molecular weight HA remain near the skin surface and act on visible inflammation, and creating an invisible film of moisturization to protect against water loss.
Why is Hyaluronic Acid such a popular ingredient right now? Why do we use these other ingredients for hydration as well — what are the added benefits of going beyond HA?
The popularity of HA stems from its ability to intelligently hydrate all skin types. We know that this compound is greatly beneficial for dry or mature skin, but it can also help normal, oily, sensitive, or blemish-prone complexions and anyone in between. Oily or blemish-prone skin types still need hydration, and the lightweight molecule of hyaluronic acid is a great choice for doing so as it feels weightless on the skin, whilst still providing necessary moisture without clogging pores. HA is also great for sensitive skin, as it aids in calming inflammation and protecting the skin with its inherent antioxidative properties.
While HA is integral to maintaining a healthy water balance for the skin, this is not the molecule’s core purpose. So, it is important to include actives that work in tandem with HA to get the most inclusive hydration for the skin
When developing a new product, how do you choose which hydration ingredients you will include?
When selecting hydrating actives for a new project we start by reviewing clinical data to achieve the most cutting-edge and efficacious actives in moisturization while finding ingredients that fit Tata’s specific goals for the project. Whether the hydration goal is lipid balance for dry skin or water retention for dehydrated skin types, we formulate to achieve the results that Tata wants to deliver with a new product as well as considering what skin concerns and skin types will be addressed by the new offering.
Our Major Hydrators
Chia Seed Water: Chia seed water is a complex carbohydrate fluid that is secreted when the seed comes into contact with water, generating a viscous solution full of polysaccharides.
Polysaccharides are long-chain carbohydrates naturally found in the skin which stabilize cellular membranes and form a shield against water-loss to prevent skin dehydration.
Tremella Mushroom: This complex of chain-like carbohydrates called polysaccharides are unlocked via fermentation from an ancient Chinese medicinal remedy - Tremella mushroom.
These biological molecules play an important role in the skin’s ability to store water, and their water-binding capacity translates to a flexible film of hydration that protects against dryness and restores suppleness.
Marsh Samphire:Marsh Samphire, a plant that typically grows in a saline coastal environment, generates a protein to help maintain its water levels under harsh conditions.
These plant proteins are similar to that of human aquaporins– proteins found in cell membranes that regulate the flow of water. These proteins were found to increase aquaporins, and in turn, foster the natural moisturizing action of healthy skin.
Pomegranate Hydrospheres: Isolated carbohydrates from pomegranate create a barrier enhancing film on the skin’s surface enabling hydrating spheres to hold onto surface-level moisture for increased suppleness.
Sugar Carbohydrate Complex:The unique skin-identical carbohydrate complex stimulates key genes to improve skin barrier function and thus maintain deep hydration. Due to its similarity to skins naturally produced compounds, a unique binding action takes place which results in increased water retention for both the short- and long-term. The effect is reduced discomfort caused by dry skin and a level of deep-skin hydration that remains even after rinsing.