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When Chief Marketing Officers make decisions about your skin care

How do you end up with silly formulations like Perricone’s Hyaluronic 4 + 2 Complex?

Ingredients: Water, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Acetylated Hyaluronate, Hydrolyzed Sodium Hyaluronate, Pentylene Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin.

This ingredient list is silly. Why? There is sodium hyaluronate (hyaluronan), an ingredient we use in Skin Actives. As you can see below, I am against using three of the four actives: Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Sodium Acetylated Hyaluronate, and Hydrolyzed Sodium Hyaluronate. The rest is water (solvent) and preservatives.

One of these, sodium acetylated hyaluronate, was designed to be used in implants and grafts. It is made by cutting hyaluronan and acetylating it by chemical means, to prevent degradation by skin hyaluronidases that can recognize native hyaluronan and break it down.  The paper describing its use was published just last year by the company that makes it, so we have no information about possible side effects of allergies.

The same concept is behind Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer; hyaluronan has been cross-polymerized to make it non-recognizable by skin hyaluronidases. It was also developed for injection.

Hydrolyzed Sodium Hyaluronate is simply short fragments of hyaluronan. In theory, the purpose is to increase penetration into the skin and dermis. Unfortunately, the body also uses these fragments to signal that the skin has been wounded, starting inflammation. If there is anything we don’t need more is inflammation.

In short, this product is not good, but the name, 4+2 sounds interesting, doesn’t it?

They know that too, so they also add niacinamide and DMAE in the “high potency hyaluronic intensive hydrating serum” the finished product they sell.


Meunier, M,  Scandolera, A.,  Chapuis, E. , & Lapierre, L.,  Sandré, J.,  Brunner, G.,  Lovchik, M.,  Reynaud, R. (2021). The anti‐wrinkles properties of sodium acetylated hyaluronate. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology. 10.1111/jocd.14539.