Hypochlorous acid is now one of the much sought-after ingredients in the skin care, health, and beauty industry, thanks to its anti-inflammatory and disinfectant properties. The US Environmental Protection Agency recommends hypochlorous acid (HOCL) against the coronaviruses (including Covid 19) as it can destroy the cell walls of microbes and viruses and inactivate them. However, this ingredient can also help heal numerous other skin conditions. This article explores why the hype regarding hypochlorous acid is real and what it can do for your skin. Keep reading.
In This Article
What Is Hypochlorous Acid?
Hypochlorous acid (HOCl) is naturally produced in the cells of all mammals and is a part of the body’s immune response. The neutrophils, eosinophils, mononuclear phagocytes, and B lymphocytes (parts of the immune system and white blood cells) produce hypochlorous acid, the first line of defense against infections, injury, and irritation. It promotes wound healing and manages inflammatory skin conditions (such as seborrheic and atopic dermatitis) and diabetic ulcers.
Topical use of hypochlorous acid has therapeutic, antimicrobial, and immunomodulatory effects on the skin. Let’s understand how it may benefit your skin.
Benefits Of Hypochlorous Acid For Skin
1. Promotes Wound Healing
Clinical studies have shown that HOCl acts as an effective agent to reduce bacterial count in open wounds and promote healing. This disinfectant is active against bacteria like S.aureus, A. baumannii, and P. aeruginosa, preventing the further degradation of skin tissues in wounds. It also eliminates wound odor and is not painful.
2. Can Inactivate Viruses
Hypochlorous acid can inactivate several species of viruses, including the coronaviruses. This ingredient destroys the viruses by chlorination. It forms chloramines and nitrogen-centered radicals, breaking the DNA in the virus (both single and double-stranded) and making it harmless. That is why it is commonly used in sanitizers and disinfectant sprays.
3. Reduces Inflammation
Hypochlorous acid can decrease skin inflammation and soothe conditions like eczema and atopic dermatitis. It can relieve itching and skin discomfort associated with these conditions. It eliminates S. aureus bacteria from the skin. These bacteria produce superantigens that stimulate the T cells, causing itching and rashes.
4. Prevents Acne
S. aureus also causes acne. Hence, applying hypochlorous acid can reduce bacterial infection, calm irritation, redness, and inflammation of the acne lesions. It may also prevent further breakouts. That is why hypochlorous acid is commonly used in acne creams and lotions.
5. Promotes Post-Procedure Healing
Hypochlorous acid can promote post-procedure healing from the skin and cosmetic procedures. It has anti-inflammatory properties and can help reduce itching, redness, swelling, and irritation related to cosmetic skin procedures.
Hypochlorous acid is popularly used in medical settings by doctors for cleaning surgery sites and post-surgery healing. However, it has slowly made its way into the consumer market and is available in various forms.
How To Use Hypochlorous Acid
You will find serums, cleansers, lotions, and creams containing hypochlorous acid. It is also available as OTC facial sprays and mists suitable for on-the-go use to rejuvenate and soothe the skin and prevent acne. It is also found in sanitizers and disinfectant sprays that you can use to sanitize your hands and other body parts.
Hypochlorous acid is a mainstay ingredient in the medicine world and is commonly used to disinfect wounds and promote healing. It occurs naturally in the human body as part of the immune response system. However, topical hypochlorous acid products can help minimize inflammatory skin conditions, prevent bacterial infections, and protect the skin against common viruses. You may use HOCL creams and serums to keep your skin healthy and consult the doctor to learn effective ways to include it in your daily routine.
Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions
Can I spray hypochlorous acid on my face?
Yes, you can use hypochlorous acid as a topical spray to prevent acne and other inflammatory conditions.
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- Hypochlorous Acid: A Review
- Status Report on Topical Hypochlorous Acid: Clinical Relevance of Specific Formulations Potential Modes of Action and Study Outcomes
- Hypochlorous-Acid-Generating Electrochemical Scaffold for Treatment of Wound Biofilms
- Hypochlorous acid is antipruritic and anti-inflammatory in a mouse model of atopic dermatitis