Hyaluronic acid is a substance that is naturally present in our body. It is found in the highest concentrations in fluids in our eyes and joints.
People take hyaluronic acid for various joint disorders, including osteoarthritis. It can be taken by mouth or injected into the affected joint by a healthcare professional.
The FDA has approved the use of hyaluronic acid during certain eye surgeries including cataract removal, corneal transplantation, and repair of a detached retina and other eye injuries. It is injected into the eye during the procedure to help replace natural fluids.
Hyaluronic acid is also used as a lip filler in plastic surgery.
Some people apply hyaluronic acid to the skin for healing wounds, burns, skin ulcers, and as a moisturizer.
There is also a lot of interest in using hyaluronic acid to prevent the effects of aging. In fact, hyaluronic acid has been promoted as the newest skin care product to include in your daily regimen.
How does it work?
Hyaluronic acid works by acting as a cushion and lubricant in the joints and other tissues. In addition, it might affect the way the body responds to injury.
The lips are a core of skeletal muscle covered by skin tissue. The dermal layer of the lips is composed primarily of connective tissue and its components hyaluronic acid and collagen that give the structure (shape) and plumpness to the lips. The Hyaluronic Acid binds to water creating a gelatinous fluid that hydrates the surrounding tissue and keeps the collagen (responsible for keeping the skin tight) nourished and healthy. The result is healthy well hydrated and plump lips that are well protected from the environment.
Although Hyaluronic Acid (HA) can be found naturally in most every cell in the body, it is found in the greatest concentrations in the skin tissue. Almost 50% of the bodies HA is found here. It is found in both the deep underlying dermal areas as well as the visible epidermal top layers. Young skin is smooth and elastic and contains large amounts of HA that helps keep the skin stay young and healthy. The HA provides continuous moisture to the skin by binding up to 1000 times its weight in water. With age, the ability of the skin to produce HA decreases.
This is where the addition of topical Hyaluronic Acid comes into play. Adding HA to your skin is extremely beneficial to plumping the skin. As we grow older, the body loses its ability to maintain this same concentration in the skin. With decreasing levels of HA in the skin, so goes the ability of the skin to hold water. The result, the skin becomes drier and loses its ability to maintain it’s hydration. Hyaluronic acid acts as a space filler by binding to water and thus keeping the skin wrinkle-free.
Unlike collagen, Hyaluronic Acid is able to penetrate the skin’s upper layers to improve and benefit the skin when applied topically. Hyaluronic acid is a major component of skin, where it benefits tissue repair and protection. When applied in an HA cream or serum, hyaluronic acid forms an air permeable layer and penetrates into the dermis, thus boosting the elasticity and hydration of the skin. The protective barrier on the skin locks in moisture, which gives the skin a youthful appearance.
Caution Regarding Hyaluronic Acid Serums and Creams
In choosing an HA serum or cream, there are a couple attributes to look for:
- • Hyaluronic Acid from a vegan source is preferred.
- • Avoid HA serums that also contain alcohol, parabens, sulfates, or other ingredients that are harmful to the skin.
More often than not, a “pure hyaluronic acid” serum will contain alcohol or preservatives that counteract the benefits of hyaluronic acid as a topical. Avoid these products.