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Experts Corner - Hyaluronic Acid by Dr. Sabine Bellaiche

What is Hyaluronic Acid?

Hyaluronic Acid is a polysaccharide ( sugar) also called Hyaluron. It is naturally produced in our body and mostly present in our skin, eyes and jointures. It is, in the skin, that we can find the highest content in hyaluronic acid. 50 % of the Hyaluronic Acid of our body is localized in the skin which is a real « réservoir » for our body. (1) (2). Hyaluronic acid is well known for its high hydrating power, it works like a sponge, being able to attract and retain up to 1000 times its own weight in water.(3) 

How is Hyaluronic Acid naturally produced in the skin

Hyaluronic acid is produced in the skin by the fibroblast cells ( cells located in the dermis that produce collagen as well) but it is also produced in a lesser quantity by the keratinocytes in the epidermis. At the cellular level, Hyaluronic Acid is synthetized by specific enzymes (called AH synthetases). It is a short-lived molecule with a lifespan inferior to 24 hours. It is continuously produced and renewed in the skin with 30% to 50% of Hyaluronic Acid molecules being destroyed every 24 hours. 

What is the role of Hyaluronic Acid in the skin ?

In the skin, Hyaluronic Acid has a multiple purpose role :

  • Hydratation: Hyaluronic Acid is an hydrophile molecule (a molecule that likes water). As such, it acts as a water retention agent contributing to repulp the skin while giving it a luminous glow.

  • Skin structure support: Hyaluronic Acid strengthens the cutaneous tissue by linking itself to the collagen and elastin fibers helping maintain a stable structure of the layers of the skin.(6)

  • Skin Protection against oxydative stress: Hyaluronic Acid provides also antioxidant protection of the skin against oxidative damages induced by UVB. It is acting as a free radical scavenger as well as a film-forming agent protecting the skin barrier against external aggressors. (7) 

What happens to the Hyaluronic Acid molecule as we age ?

With age, our skin’s capacity to produce Hyaluronic Acid decreases. The fibroblasts’ activity slows down, they start producing less collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid. Over time, the progressive decline in Hyaluronic Acid contributes to the appearance of aging signs (wrinkles, lack of firmness, rough skin texture, dry skin). (8) With age, the natural hyaluronic acid levels decline by 2 % each year. 

What are the differences in between the Hyaluronic Acid used in Aesthetic Clinic and the one incorporated in skincare products ?

In its injectable format, Hyaluronic Acid presents itself in a transparent gel with different degrees of molecule cross linking in order to slow down the natural degradation of the molecule  in the skin and increase its lifespan from 6 months to one year, based on the level of cross-linking. The process of cross-linking is a chemical process allowing to make the Hyaluronic Acid more resistant to free radicals or enzymes naturally present in the skin. Hyaluronic Acid injections should be done under the supervision of a medical expert.

Skin Experts often recommend the concommitant use of skincare products containing Hyaluronic Acid as part of a daily routine to complement the injections and optimise long-term results.. (9) (6) (10) (11) 

Why do we associate Hyaluronic Acid to Hydration, what about its anti-wrinkle effect ?

Hydrating is the proper role of Hyaluronic Acid as it is a polysaccharide ( glycosaminoglycane), a molecule with the capacity to attract and retain water. Its anti-wrinkle effect is also linked to its hydrating power as a well hydrated skin will be less likely to wrinkle and lose its elasticity leading to making wrinkles more visible.


Why do we talk about different molecular weight of Hyaluronic Acid molecules ? How important is it ?

The Hyaluronic Acid molecules used in Skincare can have different sizes (molecular weight) based on targeted benefits:

  • The Hyaluronic Acid molecule of large molecular weight will stay at the surface of the skin and will not penetrate below the skin surface. As such, it is used as a humectant to form a protective film at the surface of the skin. It is a barrier protection to maintain hydration in the skin.

  • Hyaluronic Acid of intermediate molecular weight will penetrate more deeply into the skin to provide a more intense moisturization and a plumping effect. It is used to smooth out fine lines.

  • Hyaluronic Acid of low molecular weight will penetrate even more deeply into the skin. It contributes to accelerate skin regeneration by stimulating the production of collagen and elastin from the fibroblasts.

Very often, skincare products contain a mix of Hyaluronic Acid molecules from different molecular weight for a more complete action.


New Capsules Sérum RoC Multi-Correxion HYDRATRE + PLUMP

Are fueled with 3 % Hyaluronic Complex. Each capsule delivers perfect dose of 100% active ingredient (no fillers, no preservatives) to bring moisture from deep within skin up to the surface for maximum plumping power.

Clinically proven results :

  • IN JUST ONE NIGHT: 100% had visibly plumper skin by morning

  • IN ONE WEEK: 100% had visibly reduced lines & wrinkles. 2X boost in skin hydration levels.

Can we combine Hyaluronic Acid with other skincare ingredients?

Absolutely. It can be used in association with skincare products containing Retinol, Vitamin C, and/or be combined with antioxidants.

Capsules Sérum RoC Multi-Corrrexion HYDRATE + PLUMP can be used with  RoC RETINOL CORREXION capsules (morning and night regimen).

It makes your retinol capsule 2X more effective in supporting collagen production, to experience plumper, smoother & firmer looking skin IN JUST 1 NIGHT.

With 2X the power when layered together-this combination helps boost collagen levels by 59% and increase skin’s natural hyaluronic production by 7X.

Clinically proven results

IN JUST ONE NIGHT: 100% had visibly plumper skin with lines & wrinkles reduced

In 4 WEEKS: 91% had visibly firmer skin and 100% had a visible reduction in lines & wrinkles


New Daily Moisturizer SPF30 RoC Multi-Correxion HYDRATE + PLUMP is powered by 1.5% pure Hyaluronic Acid to quench dry, deflated skin & help visibly plump lines intently & over time. The formula contains also some lightwaves defense active biocells to strengthen skin’s biological protection against harmful sun damage and some anti-pollution agents to protect against pollution stressors.

LightWaves Defense –(Jasminum Sambac Leaf Cell Extract): Light exposure accelerates skin    ageing through a combination of several changes in the layers of the skin (epidermis and dermis), directly affecting the cells’ DNA.  Since the skin is exposed to light rays every day, LightWaves Defense works on preventing and reducing the damage to the skin and to provide protection to the skin cells during exposure.


PROTECTS:cell DNA and reduces damage caused by different types of solar radiation, UV, IR & Blue Light.                                                                

ANTI-REDNESS, WELL-BEING: Reduces redness by stimulating skin microcirculation.

ANTI-AGEING: Reinforces the skin’s firmness, suppleness, and elasticity by maintaining the level of key components of the dermis.                           

RADIANCE: Revives Skin radiance, making it brighter and more uniform.        

FIRMING: Maintains the skin’s degree of firmness.

Anti-pollution agents (Pollustop): Biosaccharide gum. Anti-pollution ingredient.

- Forms a film on the skins surface.  Has a high molecular weight.

- Creates a barrier to protect against 3 types of pollution stresses:

- Atmospheric (carbon particles, particulate matter and heavy metals)

- UV

- Domestic (chemicals)


Clinically proven results :

INSTANTLY : 100% had more hydrated skin

IN 4 WEEKS : 84% had a visible improvement in skin elasticity, 100% had visibly re-plumped  lines & wrinkes

IN 8 WEKKS : 100% had a continuous improvement in reducing lines & wrinkles

With SPF30 Invisible on 100% of all testers!


What about the UnderEye area? How do we get puffy eyes?

It is important to differentiate two types of puffy eyes:


  • Puffy eyes resulting from the accumulation of fat substances under the skin in the undereye area. This is something congenital that can become more preeminent with age.

  • Puffy eyes resulting from the loss of fat under the skin in the undereye area being aggravated by the loss of elastin. Little by little, the eyes are puffy and dark circles show up over time./p>


Why is it good to add Caffeine to Hyaluronic Acid in Eye contour products ?

Associating Caffeine to Hyaluronic acid (low molecular weight) is an excellent solution for the eye contour area. Caffeine accelerates the blood micro-circulation in the eye area providing a better oxygenation of the tissue. As a result, there is a stimulation of collagen production and an improvement of the skin quality in the eye contour area.


As a dermatologist, do you have any recommendations for the eye contour area?

The skin of the eye contour area is very thin ( 3 to 5 times thinner than in the other part of the face). Additionally, it is being solicited all day long as we blink eyes an average of 10 000 times a day! As such, the eye contour is extremely fragile and delicate and requires a particular attention when it comes to the selection of ingredients and the types of formulation being used. Prefer gel-cream formulas (rich creams can accentuate the risk of puffy eyes) with low-molecular weight Hyaluronic Acid. Use very gentle Eye make-up removal avoiding unnecessary skin frictions and protect the eye contour area from the sun and environmental aggressors every day all year long.


Eye Cream RoC Multi-Correxion HYDRATE + PLUMP

Fueled by 1.5% Pure Hyaluronic Acid, peptides and caffeine. It has been specially formulated for the delicate eye area. Peptides visibly lift for a more contoured eye area. Hyaluronic Acid instantly plumps fine lines for a smoother looking under eye. Caffeine helps to alleviate eye bags for a more wide awake look.


Clinically proven results :

IN ONE WEEK : 100% had a visible reduction in crow’s feet & more hydrated skin

IN 4 WEEKS : 85% saw a reduction in under eye puffiness for a more awake look

Developed in collaboration with Docteur Sabine Bellaiche, Esthetic Doctor.

Bibliography :

  1. Hyaluronic acid: A key molecule in skin aging. Papakonstantinou, E.,Roth, M., Karakiulakis G. s.l. : Dermatoendocrinol. 2012 Jul 1; 4(3): 253–258, 2012, Vol. 4(3). 253–258.

  2. Hyaluronic Acid: Molecular Mechanisms and Therapeutic Trajectory. Gupta, RC., Lall, R.,Srivastava, A., and Sinha, A. 192, s.l. : Frontiers in Veterinary Science, Vol. 6.

  3. Skin ageing and its treatment. Baumann, L. 241–251, s.l. : Journal of Pathology, 2007 , Vol. 211.

  4. The content and size of hyaluronan in biological fluids and tissues. Cowman, MK., Lee, H-G., Schwertfeger, KL., McCarthy, JB., and Turley, EA. 261, Cowman, MK., Lee, H-G., Schwertfeger, KL., McCarthy, JB., and Turley, EA. : Front. Immunol, 2015, Vol. 6.

  5. Acide hyaluronique et hydratation cutanée. Masson, F. s.l. : Annales de dermatologie, 2010, Vol. 137. S23-S25.

  6. Hyaluronic acid, a promising skin rejuvenating biomedicine: A review of recent updates and pre-clinical and clinical investigations on cosmetic and nutricosmetic effects. Bukhari, SNA., Roswandi, NL., Waqas M., Habib, H., Hussain, F., Khan, S., Sohail, M., Ramli, NA.,Thu HE., Hussain, Z. s.l. : International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, 2018.

  7. The Protective Role of Hyaluronic Acid in Cr(VI)-Induced Oxidative Damage in Corneal Epithelial Cells. Wu, W., Jiang, H., Guo, X., Wang, Y., Ying, S., Feng, L., Li, T., Xia, H.,Zhang, Y., Chen, R., Chen, T and Lou, J. 2017. ID 3678586.

  8. Fibroblast Growth Factors: A Controlling Mechanism of Skin Aging. de Araújo R.a., Lôbo M.a.,Trindade K.a., Silva D.F.b.,Pereira N.a. s.l. : Skin Pharmacol Physiol 2019;32:275–282, 2019, Vol. 32. 275–282.

  9. Injection d’acide hyaluronique. Pomarède, N. s.l. : Annales de dermatologie, 2009, Vol. 136. S287-S289.

  10. Efficacy of a New Topical Nano-hyaluronic Acid in Humans. MANJULA JEGASOTHY, S., ZABOLOTNIAIA V and BIELFELDT, S. s.l. : The journal of clinical aesthetic dermatology , 2014.

  11. Essendoubi, M., Gobinet, C., Reynaud, R., Angiboust, J.F., Manfait, M and Piot, O. Human skin penetration of hyaluronic acid of different molecular weights as probed by Raman spectroscopy. Skin Research and Technology. 2016, Vol. 22, pp. 55-62.

  12. Efficacy of cream-based novel formulations of hyaluronic acid of different molecular weights in anti-wrinkle treatment. Pavicic T., Gauglitz GG., Lersch P., Schwach-Abdellaoui K., Malle B., Korting HC and Farwick M. s.l. : Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, 2011, Vol. 10(9). 990-1000.