Hyaluronic acid is the VIP of active ingredients right there with Retinol. It is spoken of and explained numerous times everywhere which almost made it a part of general knowledge. When we Estheticians hear ‘Hyaluronic acid’ we KNOW we have heard it all and know it all. So is this just another general ‘Hyaluronic acid holds 1000 times its own weight in water’ article?
Not so much!
Understanding Hyaluronic Acid
During my career from selling active ingredients such as Hyaluronic acid to laboratories to being an Esthetician and training Estheticians, I have learned that there are some more advanced, technical details that skincare companies don’t share: what does Hyaluronic acid really look like?
When we think of Hyaluronic acid, we think of the final product or filler injections and therefore associate it with being liquid. It isn’t though! In its raw form, 100% Hyaluronic acid is a powder.
Contribution by Jennifer Crable, EpiStep Epidermal Care / Dr Grandel USA
Even though she was never interested in Beauty, Physics, and Chemistry in her teenage years growing up and living in Germany, Jennifer was thrown into all of it at once when she started working for a skincare ingredient research and development company in 2004 and it became her passion. She traveled all over Europe and Asia for them to educate skincare manufacturers about new trends and developments and acted as the interface between laboratories and their R&D Department. In 2009 she decided to go a step further and get out of the ‘behind-the-scenes’ area. She became an Esthetician in Germany and later in Florida in 2013 where she moved to be closer to her American family. Now as an Esthetician, Educator, and Client Care Manager for various German skincare lines and EpiStep Epidermal Care, it is her pleasure to share her knowledge and expertise and support SPA Professionals accordingly.
History of Hyaluronic Acid
In 1934 it was first discovered and isolated from cow eyes without the knowledge of what it truly is. Almost 20 years later, its chemical structure was ‘decoded’ which revealed that it is a molecule composed of two sugar molecules: Uronic acid and Acetyl Glucosamine. Therefore, it was named Hyaluronan / Hyaluronic acid based on the Greek word hyalus which stands for glass + uronic acid. Interestingly enough, its chemical structure might look like an acid, but it behaves like a salt! And this resulted in its INCI name Sodium Hyaluronate. Eventually, it was extracted from rooster combs. These natural originated forms were liquid to gel-like forms.
The Current Hyaluronic Acid Production
The increasing demand for Hyaluronic acid called for an alternative source. Currently, Hyaluronic acid is produced by bacterial fermentation using non-pathogenic and industrially friendly microorganisms which makes it also a sustainable ingredient.
This bioengineered Hyaluronic acid is a powder. As soon as you add water to it, it becomes viscous. In fact, its viscosity strongly depends on the water amount added. The more water added the more liquid it is. If you only add a little bit of water, it becomes a very rigid lump. This explains why there cannot be any serum made of 100% Hyaluronic acid.
And so far, it was impossible to get 100% Hyaluronic acid into the skin as an Esthetician. Until we found a new technology!
The EpiFusion Facial
Dry-channeling and instant wrinkle filling on the epidermal level with 3D-lized Hyaluronic acid! Dissolving Hyaluronic micro-pyramids loaded with other botanicals using epiStep create channels into the epidermis without injury so you can work effectively and safely in your scope of practice!
How Hyaluronic Acid Uniquely Delivers Itself
Introducing The EpiPins. The technology of ‘3D-lization’ makes it possible! This technology is converted to the cosmetic industry from the well-established science of microfluidics. Microfluidics describes the science of manufacturing microminiaturized devices containing chambers and tunnels and studying the behavior of fluids through micro-channels in microscope slides. These channels are created via laser drilling. And no, we are not laser drilling channels into the skin 😊 We use Hyaluronic acid to do that!
Instead of chambers or tunnels, tiny pyramid structures are laser drilled into the microscope slide. 850 of those to be precise and each is 0.25mm long. Our pyramid shape is a unique 3-layered structure and is therefore patented.
The rigid Hyaluronic acid lump is spread onto the slide pushing it into the pyramids. After a ‘baking’ process the now pyramid-shaped Hyaluronic acid patch is placed onto a silicon band so it can be attached to a handle stamp that pushes them into the skin.
Micro-channeling and Epidermal Wrinkle Filling
I do have to refer to ‘Hyaluronic acid holds 1000 times its own weight in water’ at this point. Because this is the function, we are using to create channels into the skin AND fill in wrinkles on the epidermal level.
How? In two steps!
Step 1: Dry Channeling
Channels are created by guiding the Epipins on dry skin after cleansing and exfoliation. These allow an increased absorption rate of your favorite serum and naturally increase Collagen production as the skin is closing the channels.
Step 2: Wrinkle Filling
Once the serum is applied, the epipins are used again only in areas of concern. The moisture of the serum forces the Hyaluronic acid to give up its pyramid structure and dissolve into the skin, filling up wrinkles instantly!
All this happens in a non-invasive way; without causing any drama to the skin: no pain, no inflammation, no risk of breaking capillaries, and no need to numb the skin. But with the ability to give this service to clients of all Fitzpatricks and even the ones dealing with rosacea or eczema! Within the scope of our practice. Why? Because we are NOT using any form of titanium or steel which most States prohibit due to the invasiveness and possible risk of creating bleeding and we are staying within the depth limit of 0.25mm.
There is more though:
Other, water-less, ingredients can be embedded into the Hyaluronic pyramid! Like Ascorbyl Glucoside (a stable and non-irritating form of L-Ascorbic Acid) or Coenzyme Q10 and Rice Bran Extract. These are released once the Hyaluronic acid dissolves.
Those are the active ingredients chosen to offer a variety of options to customize the facial according to the individual skin need. Hyperpigmentation or dull skin benefit from the epipin Brightening in combination with a lightening serum or sagging areas benefit from the epipin Elasticity with a lifting serum. Need to work on multiple conditions? Just switch the serum; use the lightening serum with epipin Elasticity or a lifting serum with epipin Brightening.
It is totally in your hands and we are always pleased to support you with protocols tailored to you with the skincare products you are working with.