Sodium Hyaluronate

A sodium salt of famous hyaluronic acid. A potent humectant that hydrates the skin, supports collagen function, and fills out small wrinkles. Sodium hyaluronate also offers soothing and antioxidant properties.
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Sodium Hyaluronate

Overview

Sodium hyaluronate (SH) is a sodium salt of the famous hyaluronic acid, and one of the best humectant moisturizing ingredients on the market.

The benefits of sodium hyaluronate in skincare products are undeniable. It has the ability to bind an insane amount of water to the skin’s surface (high molecular weight sodium hyaluronate), as well as to the deeper layers of the skin (low molecular weight sodium hyaluronate).

According to studies, the active concentration of the ingredient starts at around 0.1 – 0.2%. Sodium hyaluronate offers great soothing and antioxidant properties, as well as being able to reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

You may be asking an important question: what is the difference between sodium hyaluronate and hyaluronic acid? The results are unsurprising.

Although there seems to be a lot of false information floating around on the internet, scientific studies suggest that there is no real difference between sodium hyaluronate and hyaluronic acid. In fact, the two terms are often used interchangeably.

Sodium hyaluronate is a simple sodium salt of pure hyaluronic acid, and it happens to be slightly more stable, more practical, and cheaper to produce. When comparing their humectant and anti-wrinkle effects, it actually depends more on the molecule size of the compound than the presence or absence of sodium.

Both humectants have truly massive molecules, and studies show that smaller versions of both ingredients result in better penetration through the skin, and thus better anti-wrinkle effects.

Hydrolyzed sodium hyaluronate (HSH) is simply sodium hyaluronate that has been chemically chopped up into smaller fragments. It is currently the belief in the dermatological sciences that these smaller fragments are better able to penetrate the skin and so better deliver the anti-aging and humectant effects into the skin’s dermis layer.

Sodium pyrrolidone carboxylic acid (sodium PCA) is often brought up when discussing hyaluronic acid. They are both incredible humectant ingredients and are a part of the skin’s Natural Moisturizing Factor (a mixture of compounds that maintain skin hydration). Their abilities are comparably amazing, and they are often used in combination.

Read more about hyaluronic acid here: Hyaluronic Acid.

Science

1
Pavicic, T., et al. (2011). Efficacy of cream-based novel formulations of hyaluronic acid of different molecular weights in anti-wrinkle treatment. Journal of drugs in dermatology : JDD, 10(9), 990–1000.
2
Fiume MM, Bergfeld WF, Belsito DV, et al. Safety Assessment of PCA (2-Pyrrolidone-5-Carboxylic Acid) and Its Salts as Used in Cosmetics. Int J Toxicol. 2019;38(2_suppl):5S-11S.