What Is Hyaluronic Acid?
Technically, it’s a group of sugar molecules called polysaccharides, according to a past study. According to the Cleveland Clinic, these molecules work to cushion and lubricate and are naturally found in the body’s connective tissues.
Over time, your body’s stores of hyaluronic acid decline. According to one previous study, age is one reason, but environmental factors such as smoking and air pollution also accelerate this process. The bad news is that
The good news is that topical products that feature hyaluronic acid, whether as part of the ingredients list in a moisturiser or as the star of a serum, can help rebuild those depleted stores, says Bonnie Gasquet, MD, an internal medicine physician at Studio Health medical centre in Belle Chasse,
“Hyaluronic acid attracts and binds to water molecules and increases the water content of the skin,” says Shari Marchbein, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in private practise in New York City. It can absorb more than 1,000 times its weight in water, Dr. Marchbein says.
What Are the Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid?
The key benefit of hyaluronic acid is hydration and that unbelievable ability to retain moisture. To understand how important moisture is for the skin, Marchbein says that dehydrated skin — when the top layer of skin lacks water — appears dry, rough, and flaky.
It’s not just a matter of aesthetics. Dry skin can be dangerous. “ Poorly hydrated skin is unable to maintain an appropriately intact skin barrier, leaving the skin more vulnerable to damage from external and environmental sources,” Marchbein says. According to a study published in BMC Research Notes, when the skin barrier is compromised, bacteria can enter and cause infection. According to a study published in the Journal of Allergy & Therapy, compromised skin barriers can contribute to a variety of skin conditions such as dry skin, atopic dermatitis, rosacea, and acne.
Hydrated skin, then, is what you want. “Skin hydration is essential because hydrated skin appears more plump, healthier, and vibrant,” Marchbein explains. And younger, if that’s one of your objectives. According to some research, skin ageing is associated with loss of skin moisture, and hyaluronic acid is the key ingredient when it comes to combating or reversing these signs. “Hyaluronic acid can refine and age-rewind in those dry, sunken, or ‘crepe’ areas because of its water-pulling qualities,” Dr. Gasquet says. Over-the-counter anti-wrinkle creams containing hyaluronic acid reduced the depth of wrinkles around the lips and eyes by 10 to 20% over a three-month period, according to a small study published in MMW Fortschritte der Medizin in May 2016. Skin tightness improved by 13 to 30 percent as well.
Gasquet recommends applying products with hyaluronic acid during the winter especially, when the skin tends to be at its driest. Even those who do not suffer from dry skin will benefit from adding hyaluronic acid to their skin-care regimen. Kenneth Rothaus, MD, a board-certified plastic surgeon with Rothaus Plastic Surgery in New York City, says it’s responsible for giving the skin a healthy glow. Marchbein recommends a moisturiser with hyaluronic acid for people of all ages. “It is never too early to start a good skin-care routine,” she says.