Ingredient: Sodium Hyaluronate

INCI: Sodium Hyaluronate

Sources:  Plants

Our rating: GOOD 

What is Sodium Hyaluronate?

Sodium hyaluronate is the salt form of hyaluronic acid, a water-binding ingredient. Hyaluronic acid is one of the natural moisturizing factors (NMFs) that is present in our epidermis. It is used as a humectant in skincare products like lipsticks, eye and facial makeup.

In the past, the salt was primarily derived from rooster combs but due to increasing concerns about animal-derived ingredients, vegetable sources such as soybean or corn are now used to extract hyaluronic acid.

Benefits of Sodium Hyaluronate:

Natural moisturizing factors (NMFs) are crucial in preventing the skin from losing water, and to keep it skin young and smooth. A 2000 study by Sakai et.al found that a decrease in the lipid and NMFs content of the skin leads to surface roughness and dryness. As we age, the skin loses elasticity and moisture, as fine lines start to appear.  Sodium hyaluronate helps to reduce the visible signs of aging by retaining moisture and reducing trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL) resulting in the “plumping up” of the skin.

Sodium hyaluronate is more effective than hyaluronic acid because of its smaller molecular size which enables it to easily penetrate the skin's surface. It penetrates further into deeper layers of the skin, retains more water and keeps the skin hydrated. The acid also increases the stability of the product, lessens the likelihood of oxidization, and ensures that the efficacy of the product is not compromised.

Side Effects & Toxicity:

The Cosmetic Ingredient Review’s (CIR) Expert Panel concluded that sodium hyaluronate is safe as a cosmetic ingredient. An extremely safe ingredient, it has no known toxicity in general use and is shown to be non-irritating and suitable for sensitive skin.

Editor’s Note:

Fact: Sodium hyaluronate is able to retain huge amounts of moisture - 1,000 times its weight in water – making it an excellent topical moisturizer for the skin.