Is Hyaluronic Acid Absorbable by the Skin (Topical)?

I've read the molecules are to large to penetrate the epidermis.

Doctor Answers 6

There are topical hyaluronic acid formulations


Regarding your question about hyaluronic acid being absorbable through the skin. Products such as Restylane and Juvederm, two commonly used wrinkle fillers or plumping agents, will not cross the skin barrier. However, there are topical formulations such as Hydrating B5 gel, a Skinceuticals product, that will penetrate through the skin to hydrate the dermis.

Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Topical hyaluronic acid

The topical hyaluronic acid creams function in a different way then the injectable hyaluronic acid. The topical form is applied to the skin and act as a super moisturizer that hydrate the skin and plump it. Another thicker form of hyaluronic acid masks is used to attract more water from the air. Hope that helps.

Hisham Seify, MD, PhD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Not sure I understand the question

Since Restylane is injected as a volume enhancer and wrinkle filler, I am not sure why you might be asking about transcutaneous absorption of the molecule. My guess however would be that it could not migrate through the skin barrier.

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Topical Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is a normal component of skin that contributes moisture and elasticity. As an injectable filler it is formulated to restore volume and take up space in a safe reliable fashion. Many topical skin care treatments also contain hyaluronic acid in a form that is designed to help penetrate the outer layer of skin and rehydrate the deeper layers of the dermis. Effectiveness is variable but many of our patients have had amazing results!

Hyalruonic acid and the skin

I have heard skin care companies try to compare the efficacy of topical preparations to the effects of injectible products such as Juvederm and Restylane. There are also topical products that can claim to provide the same result as Botox. This may or may not be where the question comes from.

In my Raleigh, NC plastic surgery practice and medical spa we do offer facial treatments and home care products that contain hyaluronic acid. These products can be very effective for skin hydration, but they do not take the place of hyaluronic acid fillers.

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 70 reviews

Hyaluronic acid usually injected

Hyaluronic acid is a normal substance found in the body and as such there is normal turnover. It is broken down by hyaluronidase (an enzyme). Not sure why you would put it on your skin; it would be an expensive skin cream! Good Luck!

Leonard Lu, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.