What is Hyaluronic Acid?
In the recent, hyaluronic acid (HA) has been hitting the shelves in a variety of products, from serums and moisturizers to sheet masks, night creams, and lip products.
So, what is HA? What benefits does it offer? And what are the most effective ways of using this ingredient?
HA is a humectant – a substance that retains moisture – and it is capable of binding over one thousand times its weight in water. Basically, hyaluronic acid increases hydration in the skin which can keep your skin looking fresh, full, and bouncy. Natural hyaluronic acid is bound to collagen on one side and links to water molecules on the other, giving skin its plumpness.
Hyaluronic acid is naturally found in many areas of the human body, including the skin, eyes, and synovial fluid of the joints. Its main function is to retain water to keep your tissues well lubricated and moist. HA can be taken as a supplement, but it’s also used in topical serums, eye drops, and injections.
Benefits of Hyaluronic acid in the body
- Promotes healthier, more supple skin
- Can speed wound healing
- Relieve joint pain by keeping bones well lubricated – it is available as supplements that are effective at reducing joint pain in people with osteoarthritis. Injections can also be used but may come with risks.
- Relieve dry eye and discomfort – It is therefore a common ingredient in eye drops for relief of dry eyes.
- Soothe acid reflux symptoms
- Preserve bone strength
Why do we need Hyaluronic acid?
As we age, we lose collagen and hyaluronic acid naturally. As a result, our skin loses volume, hydration, and plumpness. Also, harsh weather, heaters during the wintertime, certain skin-care products, and underlying skin conditions can cause tiny breaks in the protective skin barrier, allowing water to escape. That’s why creating a tailored skin-care regimen with moisturizing products can be beneficial.
Who needs Hyaluronic acid?
Although Hyaluronic acid has the word acid in the name, it’s generally a safe ingredient and is well tolerated by all skin types even those with sensitive skin. In general, hyaluronic acid is non-irritating and does not trigger acne, rosacea, or allergic skin reactions.
There are no known side effects of Hyaluronic acid, however in case of any reaction kindly consult with your dermatologist or skincare expert. Those with dry and/ more mature skin will benefit the most from using hyaluronic acid.
Hyaluronic acid is lightweight, and its watery nature and ability to lock in moisture from the environment and deeper dermis to fully hydrate the skin.
HA is also used in dermal fillers, in an injectable gel form. HA fillers add volume by physically filling the area where they are placed, as well as by drawing water to enhance the filling effect. HA fillers can be used to: lift the cheeks, soften deeper folds and creases around the mouth and chin, and improve the look of sunken, dark, undereye circles, hydrate and enhance the lips, and rejuvenating the hands and earlobes.
Products containing Hyaluronic acid
Topical Hyaluronic acid is found in:
- Eye creams
- Sheet masks
Other Humectants found in skincare products include:
Glycerin, colloidal oatmeal, urea, propylene glycol, and sorbitol all act as humectants that attract water to the skin in an effort to hydrate it.