Kara Vita's Long History with Hyaluronic Acid
by Deborah Duffey, Chief Product Development Officer and President December 20, 2021
By now you might have heard of hyaluronic acid—maybe on a commercial, in
conversation with friends, or on the bottle of your nightly serum. But despite how
seemingly suddenly it appeared, in reality hyaluronic acid has been used in
skincare for decades.
Hyaluronic acid is a molecule that is naturally found in the body. It’s in joints, in your eyes, and in your skin. While in the skin, the substance acts as a plumper and hydrator, pulling water from the atmosphere and from your body to keep the skin healthy and moisturized. But as we age, hyaluronic acid decreases, and this can lead to the appearance of more wrinkles and fine lines, and a general lackluster appearance.
Fortunately, using hyaluronic acid topically can give skin back much of what it’s missing when the molecule starts to run lower in the body. Applying hyaluronic acid to the skin plumps up its appearance, and it can smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and reduce the look of uneven texture. It can hold up to 1000 times its own weight in water, so it can pull moisture into the skin and help hydrate dry skin. While hyaluronic acid is a recommended ingredient for any skincare routine, it’s important to note that it’s not an anti-ager on its own. Hyaluronic acid effects are more immediate and short-term, rather than making lasting changes to the skin. This doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its place in an anti-aging routine; it just means that it needs to be used correctly—either paired with other products with moisturizing and anti-aging ingredients (if this is your goal!) or, more efficiently, formulated into a product that meets all these requirements on its own.
Kara Vita uses hyaluronic acid in several products, all of which use our patented nano-encapsulation technology that delivers bio-active ingredients deep into the skin where they can make the biggest changes. Deborah Duffey, President at Kara Vita and Dermazone Solutions, which formulates Kara Vita products, shares why hyaluronic acid is such a beneficial ingredient and how Kara Vita uses it in our products.
What is Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic acid is a sugar molecule that is already naturally present in the
body—mostly in joints and eyes! It’s a versatile ingredient: among other uses, it
can be injected or ingested orally to treat painful joints, used in eyedrops to
prevent dry eye, and it’s even the main ingredient in some dermal fillers to
plump lips and cheeks.
When it comes to skin, however, HA is one component responsible for plumping and hydrating skin. It does this by binding to water, holding up to 1000 times its weight! Naturally, this plumping reduces the look of wrinkles and firms up the appearance of sagging skin.
As we age, hyaluronic acid decreases, and so does the moisture and firmness it gives skin. There are several factors that influence this decrease, like diet and lifestyle, but it’s possible to easily fake the benefits by using HA in a topical skincare product.
The Benefits of HA for the Skin
Hyaluronic acid plumps skin and keeps it hydrated. Using topical HA can
replicate this. The plumping effect of HA decreases the look of wrinkles and fine
lines, and can give skin a more youthful appearance. This plumping can also
help hide acne scarring or uneven texture.
And of course, there are the hydrating effects. While HA pulls in and holds onto water, it needs someplace to grab that water from. This can be from the atmosphere or from the skin itself, which is why it’s recommended to apply HA on damp skin, and/or to apply moisturizer with it. Or, you can choose a product that incorporates other moisturizing ingredients along with HA.
You might see HA on labels in a few different ways, but often they all work the same way. “Hyaluronic acid and sodium hyaluronate are often spoken of interchangeably. Essentially both temporarily moisturize, plump, and smooth the appearance of lines and wrinkles,” explained Deborah Duffey.
“Sodium hyaluronate is a smaller molecule and therefore can penetrate the skin easier,” she said, which is due to its low molecular weight. “High molecular weight hyaluronic acid also has its place in skincare. Although it is too big to penetrate skin, it forms a light barrier on top of the skin, entrapping moisture.” Products with a variety of HA molecules at different weights can assist in getting it to all the layers of the skin for maximum effectiveness.
Despite its marketing, HA on its own isn’t technically an anti-aging ingredient, at least according to Kara Vita’s standards. Kara Vita defines anti-aging ingredients as those that meet 6 functions of anti-aging, and while HA might meet a few of these, it doesn’t fully live up to our high standards. This is because HA’s benefits tend to be more immediate rather than long term. It’s worth noting that it can still be used as part of an anti-aging routine—in fact, it’s recommended that you do!—just don’t rely on it to make lasting changes on its own.
Hyaluronic Acid is Not a Trend
Hyaluronic acid may seem like another buzzy ingredient, but it’s not new. While
it originated in the body, even using HA topically as a skincare ingredient has
been around for decades. “Skincare companies have been formulating with HA
for 15-20 years. So, although we hear about HA as a new breakthrough
ingredient, it isn’t,” shared Duffey.
In the past, HA was derived from animal tissues (most often from rooster combs, the red fleshy part on the head of a rooster!). Today, advancements have been made so even those who avoid animal products can use HA. “Scientists have learned a lot about this molecule over the years and how to produce it without using an animal by-product by way of fermentation,” said Duffey. Most HA we use today comes from fermenting a Streptococcus strain.
Why Kara Vita Uses Hyaluronic Acid in Our Products
HA is a powerful, well-tolerated substance that pairs well with other
skin-benefiting ingredients. For this reason and others, Kara Vita uses it in several
products. “HA binds many times its weight in water. Therefore, it temporarily
moisturizes skin and smooths the appearance of lines and wrinkles,” said Duffey.
“We have learned that when it is applied to the skin, it can stimulate our cells to produce more of their own hyaluronic acid. Considering that the body needs to replace 30% of its HA every day, this is an important benefit,” she explained.
Hyaluronic Acid in Kara Vita's Products
HA can be found in a range of different types of products, most often in serums
and creams. Kara Vita uses it in several of our products, including those used
around the eyes.
“We guarantee you will see a visible change in your skin within two weeks. Our performance guarantee applies to all our products,” said Duffey. Unlike other hyaluronic acid products that may not be formulated for maximum efficacy, Kara Vita uses the power of nanotech to deliver ingredients deeper into the skin, where they can make a bigger impact than they can just sitting on the surface.
While you can find hyaluronic acid in many products, these two are great options to get started.
Hyaluronic acid can smooth the look of wrinkles around the eyes, and it works best when coupled with anti-aging ingredients, which is why this eye cream uses squalene, green tea extract, and 13 bio-actives. While HA can provide more immediate anti-aging effects, like plumping fine lines, over time Eye Tender will turn back the clock.
This antioxidant treatment repairs skin at a cellular level and is powerful enough to use after professional skin treatments to accelerate the healing process. Hyaluronic acid is featured prominently in this cream, along with plant extracts and oils, to support skin daily. With this combination of ingredients, the cream provides real anti-aging forever benefits.