Here’s Why Experts Are Buzzing Over Sodium Hyaluronate for Glowing Skin

We asked the pros about this "it" ingredient.

Sodium hyaluronate might not get as much hype as hyaluronic acid, but this skincare ingredient is packed with benefits for a wide variety of skincare concerns. When it comes to treating skin, sodium hyaluronate works wonders for hydration, anti-aging, and much more. We asked experts all about the benefits of adding sodium hyaluronate into your skincare regimen.

<p>Lise Gagne/Getty Images</p>

Lise Gagne/Getty Images

What Is Sodium Hyaluronate?

“Sodium hyaluronate is a derivative of hyaluronic acid that acts as a humectant in skincare. Its main purpose is to provide hydration,” says Merry Thornton, board-certified dermatology physician assistant, licensed skincare expert, and founder of Element Medical Aesthetics. Thornton recommends applying this ingredient when the skin is damp because sodium hyaluronate works well in the presence of moisture.

“Once you apply the sodium hyaluronate, it's going to suck in any water that is on the skin's surface," explains Dr. Caroline Chang, board-certified dermatologist. "It's going to absorb any further water that you add on top with your moisturizer. It's a great product to really plump the skin and keep the skin hydrated," she says.

Skin Benefits of Sodium Hyaluronate

This ingredient offers various benefits to improve the overall look and feel of the skin. “Sodium hyaluronate absorbs 1,000 times its weight in water, making it ideal for hydrating the skin,” Thornton says. “Sodium hyaluronate also plumps the skin, thus reducing the appearance of fine lines. It also helps the skin with epidermal water loss, which can lead to conditions such as eczema,” Thornton adds. Sodium hyaluronate is an effective ingredient to hydrate skin and help it appear glowy and luminous.

Sodium Hyaluronate vs. Hyaluronic Acid

Sodium hyaluronate and hyaluronic acid are common ingredients found in many skincare products. “Sodium hyaluronate is a derivative of hyaluronic acid in a salt form, which makes it more stable," Thornton says. "Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring molecule in the skin and connective tissue. It keeps the skin hydrated and lubricates joints and nerves."

Both of these ingredients can add hydration and moisture to the skin. “Sodium hyaluronate is generally considered better than hyaluronic acid in products because it's a smaller molecule. The smaller molecular size allows it to penetrate a little more deeply into the skin surface,” Dr. Chang explains. She recommends the Younique Glowplexion line ($157, youniqueproducts.com) for skincare products containing sodium hyaluronate. This line improves hydration to the skin for a glowing, healthy appearance. 

Side Effects

For most people, there are minimal side effects of using sodium hyaluronate as part of your skincare routine. “Side effects of using sodium hyaluronate are uncommon and unexpected. If you experience irritation, discontinue the product and consult your physician or dermatologist,” Thornton says.

Related: Dermatologists Are Raving About Prickly Pear Oil For Your Skin

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