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What are the Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid?
What is Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is a molecule that is found throughout our bodies in our fluids and tissues. What can hyaluronic acid be used for? Most of it is concentrated in the skin, eyes, and joints. HA is a group of polysaccharides that are technically just a group of sugar molecules. Their particular makeup is what works to cushion and lubricate our skin and joints.
Unfortunately, as we age the amount of HA in our body declines. Factors like smoke and air pollution have also been shown to speed up the process of the decline. But, HA can be made artificially and can be found in many different skincare products like HA serums, moisturizers, and cleansers. There are three different types of HA that are found in topical products and have different functions and abilities:
- Hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid: This form of HA has been broken down into elements that are small enough to penetrate the skin but do not go too deep. Hydrolyzed HA is found in a skincare product that is for those with oily skin or combination skin. These skin types do not need too much hydration, but still need a protective layer.
- Sodium Hyaluronate: This form penetrates the skin more deeply than hydrolyzed HA, but the results do not last too long. It is typically found in a Hyaluronic acid serum that should be used by those with normal skin. So again, they will be moisturized, but the effects won’t last too long and will not interrupt the skin’s barrier.
- Sodium Acetylated Hyaluronate: The last form of HA is called sodium acetylated hyaluronate and it has all of the benefits of sodium hyaluronate. But yes, you guessed it: it has the longest lasting results. It’s best for those that have very dry skin or live in a dry climate who need all of the moisture they can get.
What are the benefits of Hyaluronic Acid on the Skin?
You might ask, “is hyaluronic acid good for skin” and “when should I use Hyaluronic acid? HA is such a great molecule to moisturize the skin because it is attracted to water molecules within the skin and binds to them. Therefore, it increases the water content of the skin, keeping it hydrated. HA can hold up to 1000 times its molecular weight in water. Below is a list of all of the different Hyaluronic acid benefits on the skin.
- Humectant: Humectants act exactly like sponges. They not only attract and draw in water, but they hold in the moisture after it is collected. It provides long-lasting hydration.
- Enhances Lipid Barrier: Our skin is the organ that has to combat our environment. It experiences pollution, dirt, UV rays, and other toxins. Our skin has what is called a lipid barrier to protect itself from these different toxins. But again, over time, it can be worn down. HA can help with this by fortifying the skin’s natural lipid barriers.
- Increases Resilience: When the lipid barrier is made stronger with HA, it can better defend itself against the environment. Keeping skin resilient to these toxins and looking brighter and healthier.
- Skin Tone: As we age, our skin begins to sag and lose skin elasticity. Unfortunately, aging in the skin is a natural process that occurs within everyone. However, using HA to help fill in the moisture can create a bouncier, tighter, more youthful look.
- Reduces Fine Lines and Wrinkles: HA can reduce the look of fine lines and facial wrinkles within the skin. Because it can fill these crevices with moisturization and fluid, it evens out the texture of the skin helping to make fine lines and facial wrinkles less visible.
- Stimulates Skin Cell Generation: Again, because HA protects your skin barrier and adds in extra hydration, it encourages new skin cell growth. New skin cells are always healthier and brighter and can help with complexion.
- Pigmentation and Clarity: Because HA encourages new skin cell growth, it can help to get rid of the skin cells that have been damaged by the sun or other pigmented skin cells and replace it with new, healthier cells. In addition to helping with pigmentation, HA also helps with skin clarity. HA keeps a proper skin moisture balance and helps control oil production. This, in turn, can help reduce breakouts, keeping skin clear.
Other Benefits of HA
While hyaluronic acid is typically used for the skin care purposes mentioned above, it also can have other surprising benefits within the body, including:
- Increases speed of wound healing: HA regulates inflammation levels and signals the body to send more blood cells to wounded areas of the skin. More blood cells = increased healing time.
- Relieve joint pain: HA supplements are especially effective in relieving joint pain. It brings more moisture to the joints and keeps the space well lubricated.
- Help acid reflux symptoms: Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid regurgitates up into the throat and esophagus. New studies show the HA can help soothe the damaged lining in the esophagus, relieve the pain, and speed up the recovery time of the esophagus.
- Relieves dry eyes: Because of its moisturizing properties, eye drops containing HA are very effective in relieving dry eyes and encouraging them to stay hydrated.
- Preserve bone strength: Although these studies are in the beginning stages, HA is starting to show that it can help preserve bone strength in the body. It is shown that it slows the rate of bone loss by increasing the activity of osteoblasts. Osteoblasts are the cells in the body that are responsible for building new bone tissue
The bottom line is that hyaluronic acid is incredibly beneficial to include in your skin care, and overall health routine. If you have questions about what form and type of hyaluronic acid can best benefit you specifically, contact your local Apotheco pharmacist today to get all of your questions answered!