Hyaluronic acid, also known as hyaluronan, hyaluronate, HA, glycosaminoglycan, hyaluran, hyaluronate sodium, hylan, and sodium hyaluronate is touted as the “fountain of youth” by the beauty industry. Hyaluronic acid helps to retain over 1000 times its weight in water within the cell of the skin, making it an excellent moisturiser. No other biological substance can retain as much water as HA resulting in increased smoothness, softening and decreased wrinkles. 3760162801712 3760162801729
Hyaluronic acid can keep your skin glowing, and it also benefits your joints.
Hyaluronic acid is often recommended by dermatologists and other physicians for its ability to improve skin’s texture and appearance, along with reducing joint pain and other symptoms associated with aging. HA is probably most well-known for its inclusion in pricey anti-aging skin serums, but you’ll also find it joint-supporting formulas.
So what is hyaluronic acid exactly, and how does it work? 3760162801712 3760162801729
Hyaluronic acid is a lubricating, clear substance that’s produced by the body naturally. In the human body, hyaluronic acid is found in the greatest concentrations in the skin, inside joints, within the eye sockets and in other tissues where it helps retain collagen, increase moisture, and provide elasticity and flexibility.
Hyaluronic Acid Benefits
- Hydrates Dry, Aged Skin
Many people report that their skin feels “dewier,” the bags under their eyes become lighter and their skin texture is smoother after applying serums containing hyaluronic acid. The primary way in which HA helps improve appearance of “chronoaged skin” (skin aged due to sun exposure) is by reducing water loss. In fact, one reason that hormone replacement treatments sometimes cause the skin to look more youthful and less sun-damaged is because they increase the skin’s HA concentration.
Dryness, dandruff, drooping eyes or lips, and sagginess are associated with aging skin because as we get older molecules in our skin lose some of their ability to bind and retain water. This not only causes dryness, but also decreases skin’s volume. Skin aging is triggered by both intrinsic and extrinsic aging, meaning daily environmental exposure to pollutants and UV light, along with the “the normal process of aging.” Studies show there are multiple sites in the skin involved in the control of HA synthesis, deposition, cell and protein association and degradation.
Researchers have found that stratum corneum dryness caused from prolonged sun exposure plays an important role in wrinkle formation. It’s now been shown that wrinkles and fine lines are usually also more visible in low humidity compared to high humidity environments because they further reduce the water-holding capacity and elasticity of the skin. HA can help naturally reduce signs of aging by decreasing “epidermis water loss” associated with sun exposure, skin dryness or flakiness.
- Helps Reduce Wrinkles
Although most research shows that HA might take six weeks or more to improve skin’s appearance, some studies have found that anti-wrinkle HA serums and eye creams can sometimes start to work within just two to four weeks of use. For more substantial anti-aging results, dermatologists now use prescription injections or formulas containing hyaluronic acids (including Juvéderm Ultra Plus or Allergan) over the course of several months to reduce lip and eye sagginess.
Results from a 2014 randomized clinical trial that appeared in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology showed that products containing hyaluronic acid effectively decreased the appearance of wrinkles and reduced skin sagging within 30 days of consistent use. Some study participants also reported experiencing fuller lips and increased cheek volume by the end of one month (two traits associated with having a youthful appearance). The trial was carried out on 40 adult females who showed mild to moderate clinical signs of skin aging prior to the study, including decreased skin volume and alterations in the skin’s surface.
The active treatment group experienced reductions in sagging of both the face and the cheekbones contours, improved lip volume, and decreased wrinkle depth and volume, while the placebo group saw no such improvements.
- Treats Sores, Sunburns and Wounds
Aside from lowering the appearance of wrinkles and dryness, HA is beneficial for treating cold sores and mouth sores, ulcers, wounds, bites and burns due to how it keeps damaged tissue moist. It also provides sunburn relief. Many cold sore treatments for the lips and mouth contain hyaluronic acid gel to speed up the healing process and prevent cracking or bleeding.
HA is part of the structural component of the mouth and the lips, which are made up of connective tissues made partly from collagen and water. Collagen and HA help give lips their structure and shape. Because HA binds to water, it hydrates the skin and tissues within the mouth/lips and keeps skin junctions tight, helps bring nutrients to damaged tissues, controls inflammation and helps fluids carry out waste.