Many people spend countless hours using harmful beauty products to keep their skin looking vibrant and young. Hyaluronic acid, also called also called hyaluronan, is often recommended by dermatologists and other physicians for its it s skin hyaluronic acid moisture cream to improve skin’s texture and appearance, along with reducing joint pain and other symptoms associated with aging.
So what is hyaluronic acid exactly, and how does it work? 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. Today, HA is incorporated into different anti-aging beauty and health care products — you can now find hyaluronic acid lotions, creams, serums and supplements sold in health food stores. There’s a good chance your dermatologist even offers HA in injection form.
When applied topically, hyaluronic acid cannot be absorbed. Sodium hyaluronate, however, is the salt of hyaluronic acid. Because it is a much lower molecular size, sodium hyaluronate can penetrate the skin when applied topically, and thus appears in creams and other potions. Hydrates Dry, Aged Skin Yes, hyaluronic acid is a hydrator. 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. 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. 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. Results from a 2014 double-blind, 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. 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. A separate study published in the The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology evaluated a new topical low molecular nano-hyaluronic acid preparation for wrinkles, skin hydration and skin elasticity in humans. Thirty-three women with an average age of 45 were studied over eight weeks to measure its anti-wrinkle efficacy of a new nano-hyaluronic acid.
Study results show statistically significant moisturizing effect, finer skin texture and improved skin elasticity. Sores, Sunburn and Wound Repair 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. 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. Lubricates Achy Joints Hyaluronic acid is found in all bones, connecting tissue, joints, tendons and cartilage structures throughout the body — especially a type called hyaline cartilage, which covers the ends of bones and provides cushioning. It’s also found in another important part of our joints called the synovial membrane, which forms a coating over two articulating bones and produces synovial fluid. Hyaluronic acid is now a popular substance used in supplements for treating osteoarthritis pain and injuries.
It’s also been approved by the FDA for treatment of osteoarthritis when administered in relatively high doses through injections given by a health care provider. Doctors commonly use lubricating HA formulas to treat eye injuries and disorders, including cataracts, especially at the time before or after surgery when the eyes are most sensitive and dry. Hyaluronic Acid Facts, Plus How It Works The biggest advantage that hyaluronic acid has to offer is that it has a very high capacity for retaining water, whether on the skin, in the eyes or within soft tissue. HA is considered a glycosaminoglycan, which gives it its capacity to hold a large volume of water along with its high viscosity. Other body parts where HA is concentrated include tendons and joints, the membranes of the eyes, the umbilical cord, synovial fluid, skeletal tissues, heart valves, lungs, aorta, and prostate. HA is basically a very long link of carbohydrate molecules bound together that hold water and therefore allow for fluid movement and pressure absorption. The size of different HA molecules is critically important for hyaluronic acid’s various functions.