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Any Thirsty Skin Should Know About Sodium Hyaluronate

Sodium hyaluronate in skincare from A to Z.

Sodium hyaluronate is rapidly taking the stage, becoming even more popular than its counterpart, hyaluronic acid. Here is all about it.

Everybody loves hyaluronic acid in their routine, whether we talk about occasional injectable fillers or daily skincare infused with this plumping powerhouse. And since it became so popular in the skincare world, no surprise it has lately been synthesized into many forms for better results and stability. One of the most commonly hyaluronic acid forms used in your favorite skincare products is sodium hyaluronate — they sound so similar, making it easy to get puzzled. But here we are, to get it all clear for you.

What is sodium hyaluronate?

Sodium hyaluronate is the sodium form of hyaluronic acid with smaller molecules for better outcomes and greater stability against oxidation. Just like hyaluronic acid, sodium hyaluronate is hydrating, just that it can penetrate deeper into the skin layers, unlike its counterpart, which acts more on the surface of the skin. This happens because hyaluronic acid has a high molecular weight, making it work on the outermost skin layers.[1]

As a potent humectant, sodium hyaluronate attracts water molecules from the environment and from within the deeper skin layers, relieving dryness, reinforcing the barrier, balancing oil, plumping wrinkles, and last but not least, giving you the glow. This makes sodium hyaluronate a go-to for every skin type at all ages.

Sodium hyaluronate vs hyaluronic acid 

There’s a constant debate revolving around sodium hyaluronate vs hyaluronic acid. Which one is better? What works best for me? We’re glad you asked. Welp, sodium hyaluronate is often referred to as the skin’s water reservoir, meaning it provides hydration in the long run. This is possible because sodium hyaluronate can sink deeper beneath the skin layers, allowing long-lasting hydration. Compared to sodium hyaluronate, hyaluronic acid acts on the skin’s surface, delivering instant hydration that doesn’t last too long. To get the best of both worlds, you should use products that contain a combination of sodium hyaluronate and hyaluronic acid, preferably serums. 

How to use sodium hyaluronate

You’ll find combinations of hyaluronic acid, sodium hyaluronate, and hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid in concentrations of up to 2%.[2] Supposing you are using a hyaluronic acid serum, you can apply it every day and night after cleansing, toning, and pre moisturizer and SPF (at AM).

As a note, sodium hyaluronate (and other forms of hyaluronic acid) pulls water into the skin when the humidity is more than 70%.[3] Otherwise, it draws it from the deeper skin layers. This can bring the opposite effect and lead to transepidermal water loss and, ultimately, dehydration. To avoid it from happening, be cool and trap it with an occlusive moisturizer.

Pro tip: Apply sodium hyaluronate on damp skin for even more enhanced hydration. When skin is damp, penetration increases up to 4 times. 

Side effects

As a natural compound of our body, sodium hyaluronate is safe to apply to skin. But always do a test patch before you go all-in with new products.

To end

You should keep sodium hyaluronate on your radar regardless of your skin type, mainly if dry or mature. Sodium hyaluronate has deeper skin penetration and greater stability than hyaluronic acid, but that doesn’t make one better than another because they work differently. Mixing multiple forms of hyaluronic acid gives you long-lasting and instant hydration and plumpness. So, next time you wonder if sodium hyaluronate is good for your skin, you know the answer: yes.

  1. Juncan AM, Moisă DG, Santini A, et al. Advantages of Hyaluronic Acid and Its Combination with Other Bioactive Ingredients in CosmeceuticalsMolecules. 2021;26(15):4429. Published 2021 Jul 22. doi:10.3390/molecules26154429
  2. Becker LC, Bergfeld WF, Belsito DV, Klaassen CD, Marks JG Jr, Shank RC, Slaga TJ, Snyder PW; Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel, Andersen FA. Final report of the safety assessment of hyaluronic acid, potassium hyaluronate, and sodium hyaluronate. Int J Toxicol. 2009 Jul-Aug;28(4 Suppl):5-67. doi: 10.1177/1091581809337738. PMID: 19636067.
  3. Harwood A, Nassereddin A, Krishnamurthy K. Moisturizers. [Updated 2021 Jun 2]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: 
Who wrote this?
Picture of Ana Vasilescu
Ana Vasilescu
Ana Vasilescu is the founder of Women's Concepts and a certified skincare consultant. She has over five years of experience working in the beauty editorial industry and over a decade as an acne sufferer. With a background in dermatological research, Ana brings a wealth of expertise to a diverse range of topics, from buzzy ingredients to anti-aging and acne advice. She holds a BA in Sociology and Political Sciences. Find her on LinkedIn or Instagram.
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