Why Derm Nurse Practitioners Love Hyaluronic Acid for Moisture
Christine Nell , FNP and KarriAnn Khalil FNP, co-founders of the tech-based medspas SKIN FIVE, Beverly Hills derm Nurse Practitioners and sisters IRL tell us why hyaluronic acid is one of the most powerful ingredients in the hydrating product pantheon. Photo by Michele Mattei.
Four-in-One Foundation Information #3: This is the third of a 4-part Mineral Air series deconstructing the major components (primer, concealer, hydrator, pigment) of our extraordinary multitasking foundation formula.
One major reason for of Mineral Air’s popularity is the glowing plumpness it imparts to the skin’s surface. We achieve this by infusing our formula with hyaluronic acid, the ultimate moisturizing ingredient that smooths fine lines and imparts a youthful smoothness.
Tech-based SKIN FIVE med-spa co-founders (with dermatologist Dr. Ava Shamban of AVA MD), full time Nurse Practitioners Christine Nell, FNP and KarriAnn Khalil, FNP filled us in (pun intended) about this versatile substance.
1. What is hyaluronic acid and why it’s good
Christine Nell (who is also co-owner of the Beverly Hills AVA MD dermatology practice) says, “Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a naturally occurring and extremely versatile lubricant in our bodies that has a somewhat viscous, gel-like texture. It does everything from lubricate the joints and connective tissues, keep the eyes adequately moist and even accelerate wound healing. Because it is produced by the body (but be assured, as a commercial ingredient it’s grown in a lab), even those with sensitive skin need not worry about allergies.”
Hydrators, aka moisturizers, work by attracting water into tissue. A single hyaluronic molecule will absorb water up to 1000 times its volume and will gently plump up as a consequence. So why not just splash water on your face and call it a day and skip the HA middleman?
KarriAnn responds, “Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way because 1) water evaporates and 2) the water molecule itself is too large to be absorbed into the skin from the outside. But hyaluronic acid molecules (there are many sizes) are small enough to penetrate and work their magic by stealth. Once absorbed or injected, they attract water from inside the body and hold onto to it.”
2. HA as an injectable filler
Injectable dermal fillers have literally changed the face of rejuvenation and has brought out the artistry of those skilled in applying it. Christine goes down the grocery list of hyaluronic acid fillers offered at her Beverly Hills dermatology practice. “Restylane to fill in undereye hollows? Hyaluronic acid. Juvederm to create pillowy but still natural looking lips? Yep, hyaluronic acid. Belotero for to erase necklace lines? Voluma for cheekbone augmentation? You got it, all hyaluronic acid. What makes them different from one another is their viscosities (thickness), each of which is appropriate to inject in different areas of the face or body.”
3. HA as a topical moisturizer
KarriAnn reports that hyaluronic acid is important ingredient in topical moisturizers and anti-aging treatments for every skin type including those with oily skin. “It seems counterintuitive but it is possible to have oily skin and be dehydrated at the same time; in fact, it’s a lot more common than people think.
“There are two factors at play here,” she explains. “Sebum is oil and produced by oil (sebaceous) glands. All oily substances, including heavier, greasier moisturizing creams, hold in the water that’s already there in the cells. But they do not, cannot add water. A lot of times, those with oily complexions dehydrate their to extremes. What ends up happening is a boomerang effect where the skin reacts by producing more oil in order to lubricate itself. The solution is a moisturizer with hyaluronic acid that is greaseless but will still attract the water where it is desperately needed.”
4. HA in makeup prep
Both sisters note that some patients say that their face looks worse after applying makeup than it did when it was bare. Reports Christine, “Makeup settling into lines, pores and textural irregularities can be about of the state of the skin, sure. But just as often, it’s a lack of nourishing moisture in the skincare products or makeup itself. Attend to both and the difference can be incredible.”
Mineral Air in the picture: The moisturizing hyaluronic acid contained in the Four-in-One Foundation formula plumps the skin surface to encourage elasticity while diminishing the appearance fine lines, scars and large pores. Rather than settle into surface roughness, the fine mist Four-in-One application from the AirMist Device actually works in two ways. First, the hyaluronic acid physically plumps tissue. Next, mechanically the mist is so fine that it flexibly drapes onto the skin for a smoother contour.
“Makeup settling into lines, pores and textural irregularities can be about of the state of the skin, sure. But just as often, it’s a lack of nourishing moisture in the skincare products or makeup itself.”