Hyaluronic Acid Benefits in the Skin
Keeping your youthful appearance longer
Edited By:Raja Sivamani , MD, MS, AP
The skin is the largest organ in our body that we are constantly working to maintain. Washing, exfoliating, moisturizing, and protecting our skin should be part of everyone’s to-do list for preserving the part of the body that barricades our insides from the rest of the world. However, all of these tasks do not prevent the natural decline of youthfulness and elasticity in our skin. One ingredient that has been used to maintain suppleness and a youthful appearance is hyaluronic acid.
What is Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic Acid is a substance that is naturally made in the body known for its ability to retain a large amount of water. It is not actually an acid, but a linear sugar based chain known as a glycosaminoglycan. It is a key molecule that retains skin moisture and contributes to its youthful appearance. Its presence in the skin naturally declines with age. It also helps act as a shock absorber for the joints. As the amount of hyaluronic acid in the skin decreases, skin sagging and wrinkles become more noticeable due to a loss of firmness and hydration.
One of the ways that the skin can be rejuvenated from years of aging is to get hyaluronic acid back into the skin. This can be done in two ways. One way is to apply it topically on the skin, and the second is to inject it into the skin, known as hyaluronic acid fillers.
Injections of Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic acid fillers are commonly injected to increase the volume of the skin to give it a more youthful appearance. A popular place to get fillers is in the lips to enlarge them and make them plumper for cosmetic purposes. They can also be injected to diminish laugh lines, necklines, and to create the illusion of higher cheekbones. There are many different types of hyaluronic acid filler products with different longevities. Over time, the hyaluronic acid is naturally broken down and typically last from 6 months to approximately one year.
Topical Hyaluronic Acid
Apart from injections, a different formulation of the acid can be applied topically as well. Topical hyaluronic acid formulas are different than injectable forms because the molecules need to be smaller in order to seep into the skin barrier. One of the questions with topical hyaluronic acid is whether it can truly get into the skin past the skin’s barrier. A group of researchers showed that smaller sizes of hyaluronic acid were able to penetrate past the skin barrier and into the skin.
Several clinical studies have looked at how topical hyaluronic acid can help the skin. A study involving topical application of nano-sized hyaluronic acid claimed increased skin hydration, higher elasticity, and a decrease in the wrinkle depth, although it was not clear how the statistics were performed in this study. Another study with topical hyaluronic acid products being applied to the lips showed an improvement in texture, color, and hydration, as well as a decrease in wrinkles. For anyone hoping to revitalize their skin, hyaluronic acid can be a solution to replenish their skin’s elasticity and youthfulness.
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