What are Molecular Weights in Hyaluronic Acid?

Hyaluronic moisturizers are sometimes formulated with dual molecular weights. The term “molecular weights” sounds like something we should remember from Chemistry class – what it refers to is the size of the molecule. Hyaluronic Acid can be manufactured in both High molecular weight and Low molecular weight.  The easy way to understand this is that High molecular weights are big molecules and Low molecular weights are small molecules.

So, what’s the significance? Simply, that the big molecules sit on the surface of your skin and the small molecules can penetrate more deeply into the epidermal (top) skin layer.

Hyaluronic Acid (HA) has the ability to attract and hold 1,000 times its weight in moisture – making it the best facial moisturizer you can find. Most HA is manufactured in the High molecular weight size. This means that the HA absorbs and retains moisture on the surface of your skin, which is typically is the driest part of your skin because the skin cells are older and are also exposed to the elements.

The beauty of the Low molecular weight HA is that its small molecule size penetrates just below the surface. When it absorbs moisture, the molecule expands. This causes your skin to plump up – and has the beneficial effect of smoothing out wrinkles from underneath.

The best Hyaluronic Acid serums can have both High and Low molecular weight components to hydrate your skin inside and out and help reduce wrinkles.