Sodium Hyaluronate vs. Hyaluronic Acid: What’s the Difference?

Are you wondering about the difference between sodium hyaluronate vs hyaluronic acid? Trust me, you’re not the only one! As a matter of fact, that’s one of the most commonly asked questions among beauty gurus and skincare lovers. 

Well, you’re in luck, because today, we’re going to get to the bottom of this common doubt. And as you’ll see yourself, it’s fairly simple to understand the difference because sodium hyaluronate is actually a derivative of hyaluronic acid. 

But first things first! Let’s see what each of these ingredients can do for your skin individually before we get into sodium hyaluronate vs. hyaluronic acid and discuss their differences. Let’s dive in!

What is Hyaluronic Acid?

Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurrent sugar found in the body, more specifically in connective tissues, eyes, lips, and the skin. Hyaluronic acid is a humectant, which means it can retain 1,000x its weight in water. This ability makes it such a good hydrator as it can retain moisture and keep the skin hydrated. 

As we age, the levels of hyaluronic acid in our skin start to degrade, resulting in wrinkles, dryness, and fine lines. Using the right skincare products and eating certain healthy foods may make up for the loss of hyaluronic acid and help improve the skin’s texture.

The Skin Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid

Because of its incredible ability to draw in moisture to the skin, hyaluronic acid is known as a super-potent hydrator and an anti-aging ingredient.

Here are some of the countless skin benefits of hyaluronic acid:

  • Anti-aging properties – Hyaluronic acid helps improve the skin’s barrier, smooths out the skin, and is considered to be a powerful anti-aging ingredient;
  • Extremely moisturizing – It’s one of the most moisturizing skin care ingredients that can boost hydration and retain natural moisture in the skin;
  • Firmer skin – By hydrating the skin, hyaluronic acid also makes it look instantly plumper and firmer;
  • Anti-wrinkle – Hyaluronic acid can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and make the skin look youthful;
  • Non-comedogenic – HA is non-comedogenic, which means it won’t block your pores and cause breakouts.

What is Sodium Hyaluronate?

Sodium hyaluronate is the salt form of hyaluronic acid, which means it’s been synthesized to form smaller molecules for increased resistance to oxidation and stability. Due to the smaller molecule weight, sodium hyaluronate is able to penetrate deeper into the skin and provide intense hydration.

Sodium hyaluronate is a good alternative to hyaluronic acid and is commonly used in skincare products such as moisturizers and serums. It can smooth out fine lines, provide super hydration to the skin, and is able to draw in moisture to deeply plump the skin.

The Skin Benefits of Sodium Hyaluronate

Just like hyaluronic acid, sodium hyaluronate is a powerful hydrating skincare ingredient that can hold 1,000x its weight in water. It offers tremendous skin benefits such as:

  • Deeper hydration – Because of the smaller molecule size, sodium hyaluronate provides intense hydration by penetrating into the deeper levels of the skin;
  • Reduced wrinkles – Being a humectant, sodium hyaluronate is also a powerful anti-aging ingredient that can plump the skin and prevent new lines from forming;
  • Supple skin – Increased moisture in the skin leads to suppler and firmer skin which is another reason why sodium hyaluronate is a super-powerful ingredient;
  • Can benefit acne-prone skin – Since it’s also non-comedogenic, sodium hyaluronate is unlikely to cause acne breakouts. It can even help hydrate acne-prone skin and serve as a complementary acne treatment.

What’s the Difference Between Sodium Hyaluronate and Hyaluronic Acid?

The next time you see sodium hyaluronate and hyaluronic acid on a list of ingredients, you’ll know exactly what to expect from your product. And as you’re about to see for yourself, the difference is quite simple.

As I mentioned above, the only differences between sodium hyaluronate and hyaluronic acid are their molecular weight and stability. Sodium hyaluronate has a smaller molecular size, which means it can penetrate even deeper into the skin than hyaluronic acid can.

As a result, sodium hyaluronate is more stable and less susceptible to oxidation. It also means it has a longer shelf life.

In addition, while hyaluronic acid is a natural component found in the body, sodium hyaluronate is synthetically produced in the laboratory environment.

Can You Use Sodium Hyaluronate and Hyaluronic Acid Together?

Now that you know the main differences between these two ingredients, I’m sure you must be wondering whether it’s safe to use them together. 


That’s a no-brainer! Yes, you can absolutely use sodium hyaluronate and hyaluronic acid together. 

They are both incredibly beneficial, gentle on the skin, and super hydrating. Using them together will only make your skin healthier and brighter.

You can often find these two ingredients in anti-aging, moisturizing, and plumping skincare products. There’s no denying that they can both do wonders for your skin’s condition individually; so imagine what they could do when paired together! Quite a dynamic duo, as I like to say!

Related: Can you use niacinamide with hyaluronic acid?

How to Use Sodium Hyaluronate and Hyaluronic Acid Together?

When using sodium hyaluronate and hyaluronic acid together in the same skincare regimen, apply depending on product consistency. Or in other words, from thinnest to thickest. 

For instance, if you’re applying a serum containing sodium hyaluronate or hyaluronic acid, put it after your cleanser, toner, or active ingredients. Then, apply your moisturizer to lock in the serum with sodium hyaluronate or hyaluronic acid nicely and allow all that moisture to stick. 

On another hand, if you’re using a moisturizer with one or both of these ingredients, apply it as the last step of your beauty routine. Of course, if you’re using it in the morning, make sure you put on sunscreen last.

Sodium Hyaluronate and Hyaluronic Acid Products to Try

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Neutrogena Hydro Boost is a lightweight water face moisturizer that instantly soothes the skin and provides intense hydration. It leaves the skin looking smooth and soft every time.

Formulated with hyaluronic acid, this unique water face-gel absorbs quickly so you can easily wear it under makeup, but it also has a long-lasting moisturizing effect that keeps the skin hydrated throughout the entire day.

It’s oil-free, dye-free, non-comedogenic, and 100% alcohol-free. No matter your skin type or skin concern, I think you’ll really like how this cream feels on your face.

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La Roche-Posay Hyalu B5 is an anti-aging serum, powered with hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5. It has a rich formula that leaves the skin feeling smooth and plump. Also, the hydrating properties of hyaluronic acid play a major role in keeping the skin moisturized and fresh.

What makes this serum so amazing is that it’s formulated with two types of Hyaluronic Acid (sodium hyaluronate and hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid), Madecassoside, and Vitamin B5, creating a triple anti-aging complex.

Whether you have dry, oily, or sensitive skin, you’ll definitely enjoy this super-potent serum and its incredible benefits.

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CeraVe Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum features the highest concentration of hyaluronic acid, 3 types of essential ceramides, and vitamin B5. The refreshing formula replenishes the skin’s hydration while helping to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles.

CeraVe Hylauronic Acid Serum is very lightweight and has a smooth, gel-like texture. It leaves the skin feeling smooth to the touch and provides all-day hydration.

This dermatologist-approved facial serum is good for all skin types and is formulated without fragrance. If you’re looking for a clean and powerful product, give CeraVe a try.

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Kiehl’s Vital Skin-Strengthening Serum contains a small molecular-weight hyaluronic acid that gently hydrates the deeper levels of the skin. This anti-aging serum helps prevent signs of aging while smoothing out fine lines. 

The rich formula containing hyaluronic acid and an Adaptogenic Herbal Complex promotes youthful and replenished skin. The serum visibly reduces signs of aging and protects against skin-aging stressors.

No matter your skin type, you can use Kiehl’s Vital Skin-Strengthening Serum to boost your skin’s complexion and give it some much-needed love and care.

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Final Thoughts

Sodium hyaluronate and hyaluronic acid are two excellent skincare ingredients. They are both gentle and exceptional at hydrating the skin.

When it comes to the differences between sodium hyaluronate vs hyaluronic acid, it all boils down to their molecular size. Sodium hyaluronate has a smaller molecular size, therefore, it can penetrate deeper into the skin and provide even more intense hydration than hyaluronic acid can.

But both of these ingredients are incredibly beneficial, so you won’t go wrong with either one of them. No matter which one you choose, you can rest assured you’ll get a hydrated-looking complexion. Now go ahead and give yourself some much-deserved self-care!

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