The Science Behind Senté’s Heparan Sulfate Analog Technology

A woman considers a skincare solution backed by science.

To some, skincare is a must-have ritual; to others, it’s a frivolous activity for the vain. Yet compelling research has demonstrated that skincare routines are much more vital to our wellness than anyone ever thought possible. 

There is clinical evidence that advanced skincare routines make much more than a superficial difference. Studies have linked skin and heart health – while certain skincare methods may even reduce the risk of "inflammaging" conditions like Alzheimer's and diabetes

Quite simply, science and skincare simply go hand in hand. That's why we've turned a tiny, but powerful, molecule called Heparan Sulfate Analog (HSA) into the cornerstone of our award-winning, medical-grade skincare products.

But what is HSA, exactly? And does it really improve the health and appearance of your skin?

What is Heparan Sulfate Analog (HSA)?

Fresh-faced woman starts her skincare routine.

We developed and patented Heparan Sulfate Analog (HSA) to mimic the structure and function of heparan sulfate, a water-binding molecule found naturally in your body. 

Heparan sulfate plays some really crucial roles in your overall health – like helping make the skin cell repair process possible, and controlling immune responses to inflammation and oxidative stress (which speeds up aging). Heparan sulfate has even informed the creation of anti-inflammatory drugs. As a bonus, it helps skin stay hydrated.

Clearly, heparan sulfate does a lot of important work throughout your body, especially your skin, all on its own. So why would anyone need more? 

Well, as you get older, your natural supply of heparan sulfate starts to fade away, ultimately leading to redness in the face (thanks to chronic inflammation), barrier damage, and other visible signs of aging.

How Does HSA Work?

Woman keeps her skin hydrated in the shower.

Like heparan sulfate itself, HSA boosts the skin's immune response to inflammation and oxidative stress. 

Basically, it increases the skin's production of something called anti-inflammatory cytokines, which do all sorts of things to reduce inflammation, like lessening redness and irritation. 

HSA also attracts and retains water molecules, which means a more plump and youthful-looking complexion. There are many hydrating skincare products on the market, but HSA is exceptional in the way it both combats inflammation and provides deep hydration, unlike many other ingredients offering only superficial hydration. 

HSA is able to do this because of its low molecular weight. That’s a fancy way of saying that even a topical application (unlike, say, a filler) will be absorbed by your skin to provide long-lasting benefits. 

How is HSA Different from Other Skincare Ingredients?

Woman submerges herself in water to maintain skin health.

HSA is a one-of-a-kind skincare ingredient. It's truly an analog of a unique molecule that's already doing powerful work in your skin, so it does its job in a more natural and effective way than typical skincare ingredients.
A rigorous clinical study published in the July 2015 issue of The Journal of Drugs in Dermatology focused on Senté’s Dermal Repair Cream, stating that HSA “may be one of the most exciting and fascinating compounds that we now have available in the cosmetic arena.”

Over eight weeks, 15 patients “showed improvement in skin hydration, skin firmness, skin elasticity, skin barrier function, and global fine lines and wrinkles” – and those with sensitive skin showed the most improvement.
And in October 2022, a study presented at the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Annual Meeting discovered that, thanks in large part to HSA, Senté’s Dermal Repair Cream drastically improved the notoriously challenging effects of rosacea, a chronic inflammatory skin condition. 

Dermatologists and other skincare specialists have even turned to HSA for their personal skincare. Keshini Parbhu, M.D., who specializes in ophthalmology, ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgery for the Remagin clinic in Florida, includes the following Senté products in her daily routine

Is HSA in Other Skincare Products?

Woman has applied a skin mask to maintain her skin's health.

Many skincare products contain ingredients that aim to hydrate the skin. But because Senté holds the patent for HSA, you won’t find its revolutionary benefits in any other products.

You have likely encountered hyaluronic acid, a hydrator in the same family (glycosaminoglycan) as heparan sulfate, which is found in the joints and eyes. Both HSA and hyaluronic acid can be effective, though in very different ways.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, hyaluronic acid “helps skin stretch and flex and reduces skin wrinkles and lines” – though it must be noted that “products that combine hyaluronic acid with other medications or compounds may have some risks of side effects.”

HSA, on the other hand, has been proven to work well when mixed with other ingredients and combined with treatments, even enhancing their results:

  • Retinol: HSA bolsters the skin barrier when combined with prescription retinoids/retinol products, so you’ll be better able to tolerate them.
  • Pigmentation correctors: HSA can make these more effective by helping reduce inflammation-induced pigmentation. HSA + In-office treatments
  • Peels, Micro-Needling, Non-Ablative Laser treatments: HSA is recommended for use with these treatments to help minimize redness and irritation.

Because Senté holds the patent for HSA, you won’t find its revolutionary benefits in any other products.

A Skincare Solution Backed by Science

A joyful woman is comfortable in her skin and smiling.

You live in your skin every day, and by now, you’ve probably discovered that healthy skin can come from a lot of places – great genes, excellent sleep, a well-balanced diet, exercise, good weather, sheer luck. But inflammation can happen to anybody, no matter how meticulous their routines, revealing itself as:
  • Uneven tone 
  • Redness
  • Irritation
  • Fine lines
  • Wrinkles
  • Dryness
  • Dermatitis
  • Psoriasis
  • Other chronic conditions

Research shows us that we don’t need to feel helpless about inflammation. There are data-backed practices and substances that really can take charge of our health at a molecular level to help us be more confident in our own skin. 

Senté's medical-grade skincare products leverage scientific discoveries about heparan sulfate and inflammation to deliver real results. Our proprietary technology doesn't just make you feel and look good – HSA leaves a substantive, persistent, and overwhelmingly positive impact on your skin.

And, we hope, on you.