Is Sodium Hyaluronate Vegan? What Is It Made Of?

By Anett Rannamets. Updated: September 2022.
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Sodium hyaluronate is a hyaluronic acid derivative. Most commonly it is used in skincare for its moisture-binding and anti-aging properties. 

Sodium hyaluronate could be animal-origin or synthetic. Today, skincare is more likely to have a vegan ingredient in it. However, sodium hyaluronate could still be both – vegan and non-vegan. But let’s learn more about it.

What Is Sodium Hyaluronate? 

Sodium hyaluronate is a salt of hyaluronic acid (HA). It occurs naturally in the body and has many important functions in our organism. Sodium hyaluronate is also a common moisturizing skincare ingredient.

Sodium hyaluronate is a glycosaminoglycan that was first discovered in the 1930s. The scientist Karl Meyer discovered the substance when he examined the components of the eyes.

So, sodium hyaluronate occurs naturally in the body. It fulfills many important functions. For example, it has the ability to bind enormous amounts of water in relation to its mass. 

As a lubricant, the substance is also the most important component of our joint fluid. It ensures that movements run smoothly. In addition, sodium hyaluronate performs an important structural function in the brain.

Like hyaluronic acid, sodium hyaluronate in skin care is moisturizing but can penetrate deeper into the skin. However, it is more stable. As a humectant, it draws moisture from the environment into the epidermis.

Sodium Hyaluronate is also known as the hyaluronic acid sodium salt, Healon, Provisc, Viscoat, Hyalgan, Euflexxa, Supartz, and Gel-One.

What Is Sodium Hyaluronate Made Of?

Sodium Hyaluronate is a salt derived from hyaluronic acid. The latter is either made from yeast and bacteria or extracted from animal tissue.

There are basically two ways of obtaining sodium hyaluronate. Firstly, from animals. And in the past, this was the only way. For that, the manufacturers mainly used cockscombs.

30 years ago, however, extraction using biotechnology became more successful. Simply put, it means fermenting proteins from the yeast with bacteria. 

The sodium hyaluronate obtained in this way is filtered several times and is free of animal protein. This makes it safer and minimizes the risk of allergic reactions.

Why Is Sodium Hyaluronate Used In Skincare?

Sodium hyaluronate is used in skincare because it combats skin dryness, attracts moisture, and improves signs of aging. It is also cheaper than hyaluronic acid but has similar effects.

Firstly, sodium hyaluronate is a humectant. Therefore, it is able to bind large amounts of water into the skin. That leads to moisturized, healthy, and younger-looking skin.

Sodium hyaluronate has an anti-wrinkle effect because it activates cell renewal. When the skin is regularly and sufficiently supplied with the active ingredient, it becomes plumper. 

In addition, sodium hyaluronate protects the skin against harmful environmental influences. It gives relief to the skin with a damaged top layer and strengthens the protective barrier.

Sodium hyaluronate is recommended for all ages and skin types. Particularly it is suitable for dry skin. Since it is well tolerated, sodium hyaluronate is also suitable for sensitive skin.

The active ingredient is also used in skincare because it is easy to process. It is also more stable than hyaluronic acid as well as cheaper.

FAQ About Sodium Hyaluronate

What is sodium hyaluronate?

Sodium Hyaluronate is a salt derived from hyaluronic acid. The latter is either made from yeast and bacteria or extracted from animal tissue.

Why is sodium hyaluronate used in skincare?

Sodium hyaluronate is used in skincare because it combats skin dryness, attracts moisture, and improves signs of aging. It is also cheaper than hyaluronic acid but has similar effects.

Is sodium hyaluronate vegan?

Sodium hyaluronate can be both, vegan and non-vegan.

Summary

Sodium hyaluronate is a moisture-binding ingredient that helps with dryness. It plumps up the skin and gives an elastic complexion. As the substance is well-tolerated, it suits every skin type. 

There are two possible ways of deriving it. Sodium hyaluronate might be obtained from animal tissue, most commonly cock’s comb. However, nowadays it is more common to produce it through fermenting yeast. 

As the latter is more popular, most conscious brands use vegan sodium hyaluronate. Still, we recommend shopping for skincare from 100% vegan brands to be completely sure. 

See also: The Best Vegan Anti-Aging Skincare In 2022

Anett is a passionate journalist, writer, and magazine editor with almost 7 years of experience. Through engaging articles, she brings kinder and more environmentally-friendly choices closer to everybody.