We all know that glowing, plump, youthful skin is the holy grail of skincare.
To help us achieve this, hyaluronic acid hits the mark every time.
The reason why it is on the beauty industries radar lies in its seemingly magical ability to retain moisture.
To find out more were going to deep dive to determine whether this clever tiny molecule does live up to the hype.
What exactly is hyaluronic acid?
First, it’s essential to understand the skin science behind hyaluronic acid, and there’s a lot to learn.
First things first, it’s an essential water-holding ingredient found in the skin’s connective tissues and even the eyes, where it acts as a lubricant, helping to prevent everything from drying out.
A superstar hydrator, hyaluronic acid pulls moisture from the air, holding 1000X times its weight in water, helping to keep your skin moist, plump and youthful.
Sadly just like collagen and elastin, the amount of naturally-occurring hyaluronic acid in your body decreases with age, but wait, all is not lost. It is possible to top up what Mother Nature has already given us in the form of a hyaluronic acid serum, cream, supplement and even injection.
This is why we consider it the essential anti-ageing elixir that keeps on giving.
The top 7 benefits of Hyaluronic acid?
- Anti-ageing: A lack of hyaluronic acid in your skin is one of the main culprits of ageing. Hyaluronic aids in water retention plumping your skin, reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles by boosting collagen and elasticity.
- Healing: It is involved in granulation tissue formation – it can speed up granulation recovery, repairing tissue damage in wounds and skin damaged by UV.
- Barrier restoring: It provides a protective barrier on the surface of your skin, sealing the gaps between the cell walls, that if left untreated, can cause inflammation and infection.
- It can reduce breakouts and acne: Hyaluronic acids barrier restoring properties extend to healing and soothing pimples, papules and pustules.
- Rehydrating and skin-plumping: It’s a valuable humectant that binds water to your skin, pulling it from deep within the dermis, locking moisture close to the skin’s surface, so it is plump and hydrated.
- The gold standard for fillers: It acts as a bio-signal moderating inflammation within your skin’s tissues, which is why it is considered one of the safest ingredients for fillers.
- Multitasking: It is used in many personal care products, used topically as a hyaluronic acid serum or cream; it can be used as a supplement for the care of joints and even in sheet masks.
Let’s look at some of these benefits in more detail:
1. It can make your skin instantly look dramatically younger and hydrated
Because supplies of natural HA dwindle with age, your skin becomes drier and more susceptible to signs of wear and tear. This clever molecule is an essential element in tissue repair; it’s a soft, jelly-like substance that helps fill the gaps between collagen and elastin fibres, helping to give your skin its suppleness.
Chronic dehydration is also a significant factor of premature ageing; infact, one of the effects of dehydrated skin is a visible loss of firmness (hello, lines and wrinkles). Hyaluronic acid spheres work by grabbing onto any water molecules it touches from the skin and the air, this swelling effect hides these lines, so your skin looks more youthful and less tired – a big part of the battle at any age.
Research carried out in 2014 studied women applying hyaluronic acid every day over eight weeks. What was found was a 40% decrease in lines and wrinkles and over 50% improvement in skin density, elasticity and firmness compared to those who did not apply the acid.
2. Hyaluronic acid can help reverse some of the damage done by the sun
If you have been a sun worshipper all your life, chances are your skin may be drier and thicker than someone who has never been exposed to a lot of suns. Fortunately, Hyaluronic acid has multiple biochemical roles in both minor and more disruptive wounds, even in the presence of sun damage, where wound-healing mechanisms can occur. It also provides a physical protective barrier that restores, soothes, and calms inflamed, sun-damaged skin.
One 2016 study suggested that applying hyaluronic acid regularly to your skin can help to regulate tissue repair and calm inflammation.
3. It is an essential component in the repair of your barrier function
A damaged barrier function is the culprit in many common skin irritations leading to premature ageing. This protective barrier function is critical for your skin’s health. It locks in moisture, keeps the acid mantles microbes healthy and deters unfriendly pathogenic bacteria. It traps essential nutrients, growth factors, and anti-inflammatories close to the surface of your skin which you can read in our article here.
When you apply HA topically, it creates an interlinked network of molecules that increase the moisture levels of damaged skin, including a hydrated visco-elastic film that is permeable to the air, creating a barrier until your skin can build its own or supplemental barrier. Our H2O hydrating complex contains a pure form of high molecular HA that can’t penetrate your skin barrier.; instead, it creates a film with your skin’s keratin upon evaporation, which keeps your skin moisturized, improving elasticity.
4. Hyaluronic acid can help to reduce the severity of acne
Controlling excess sebum production can help prevent pore blockage and acne. Hyaluronic acid can help to control the overproduction of sebum.
Disruption in your skin’s barrier function can cause breakouts and acne; gaps in this protective wall allow bacteria to increase, which can also cause inflammation. Because the primary role of hyaluronic acid is to prevent water loss, when combined with other essential ingredients like ceramides and lipids, it can help repair a compromised barrier.
5. It plays a crucial role in skin hydration
Hyaluronic acid should be included in your skincare routine if you have dry, mature, dehydrated skin. Found naturally in the skin, it depletes with age. by replenishing hyaluronic topically, you’re keeping your skin dewy, youthful and healthy and helping to ward off premature ageing.
6. The ingredient of choice for Injectables
Collagen injectables of yesteryear didn’t stand up to the test of time, so they were replaced with hyaluronic injection. Because your body already produces hyaluronic, it is considered safe for use in all types of injectables.
Fillers with hyaluronic acid such as Restylane or Juvéderm add volume to the skin’s dermal layer. It can help plump out any hollow areas, smooth fine lines, and even help to decrease shadows; once in the skin, it will slowly dissolve over a year. The hyaluronic acid helps create volume; this it does by drawing water to the area, creating a filling effect.
7. Hyaluronic acid can be taken in pill form?
Possibly, maybe but we don’t think so. Whilst hyaluronic acid supplements are readily available, research has found that a small amount does get filtered into areas such as the joints, eyes, etc., and may even make it to the skin. However, about 90% is lost through urine. — certainly not enough compelling evidence to convince us that it helps your skin.
The best hyaluronic acid supplement we suggest is to get it from bone broth and gelatine, and the like. But in skincare, the best hyaluronic acid is when it sits on top of your skin.
So as we can see, hyaluronic does have a vast amount of benefits when applied topically.
Hyaluronic acid filler can be used to address a multitude of cosmetic concerns, including lifting your cheeks, hyaluronic acid for lips, softening deeper folds and creases around the chin and mouth that come from ageing and improving the look of dark, hollow, undereye circles. Hyaluronic acid injections for the knee. Injecting an HA filler in a gel form through a syringe into the various areas of our face, eyes, or other areas is accepted and remains with the body and is used like our other cells as a ‘partner’ filling volumizing that area,” Douglas says.
So if your goal is to improve volume loss of the skin naturally with ageing, injectable HA and topical can go a long way to keep your skin young and beautiful.