If there’s one skin-care product that is a must have in your skin care routine, it’s hyaluronic acid! You need it because hyaluronic acid does an amazing job when it comes to moisturizing the skin and minimizing the signs of aging (fine lines and wrinkles).
What Is Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic acid is a group of sugar molecules called polysaccharides that work to cushion and lubricate the skin plus are naturally found in the body’s connective tissues. Your skin, eyes, and connective tissues all produce hyaluronic acid naturally. One way that it keeps the skin hydrated is due to hyaluronic acid attracting and binding to water molecules which increases the water content of the skin. When it comes to the skin, approximately 50% of the total hyaluronic acid exists in the skin.
When the top layer of skin doesn’t have enough water, it can become dry, rough, and flaky. Inadequate hydration in the skin can cause a broken skin barrier which can lead to leaving the skin more vulnerable to damage from external and environmental sources. Potentially bacteria can get in and cause an infection. A compromised skin barrier can be one of the root causes in many skin conditions such as acne, dry skin, atopic dermatitis, and rosacea. Hyaluronic acid is considered a postbiotic, which is an ingredient that naturally occurs as probiotics found in skin's microbiome break down. Basically, it strengthens and helps rebuild the unique microbiome on your skin.
As we age, the body’s stores of hyaluronic acid decline. Besides age, environmental factors like smoking and air pollution also accelerate the aging process with the decline of hyaluronic acid in the body. But quality topical products that feature hyaluronic acid, either in the list of ingredients list in a moisturizer or a standalone serum, can help rebuild the body’s depleted stores.
What are the Different Types of Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic acid is a natural complex ingredient that comes if different sizes and forms. Normally, the acid is labeled as sodium hyaluronate and doesn’t have the molecular weight of the product. Molecular weights matter because at different weights the product can penetrate the skin at different depths into the skin.
But first, let’s go over the three types of hyaluronic acid:
Hyaluronic acid also comes in various molecular weights, each offering unique benefits for the skin. These are some different forms of molecular weights:
What About Taking a Supplement with Hyaluronic Acid?
According to one study, the hypothesis was that by taking a supplement the levels of hyaluronic acid would cause steady and lasting effects. The researchers found that participants who took 120-150mg of hyaluronic acid daily for 12 weeks improved skin wrinkles and overall skin condition. The study is a great start, but more research needs to be conducted on taking oral hyaluronic acid.
What Are the Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid?
The key benefit of hyaluronic acid is hydration due to its ability to retain moisture. We recommend to start applying products with hyaluronic acid during the winter because the skin tends to be at its driest. But it is never too early to start adding hyaluronic acid into your skin-care routine. With a clearer understanding of the distinct advantages of different molecular weights of Hyaluronic acid, let’s further explore other remarkable benefits this ingredient offers for skin rejuvenation.
1. Deep Hydration- Honestly, having optimal hydration of the skin should be the foundation of any good skincare regimen because hydrated skin looks more plump, healthier, younger, and more vibrant. Hyaluronic acid stands out in this area because it binds to water molecules to the skin and can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water which causes long-ongoing moisture. One gram (or 0.03 oz.) of hyaluronic acid can hold up to 6 liters of water! That is incredible! Due to its moisture-retaining properties, it can also help improve skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis, and dry skin conditions.
2. Decreases Signs of Aging- Hyaluronic acid can drastically reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles making it a go-to ingredient for anti-aging skincare. Due to its hydrating properties, it can plump the skin which makes the signs of aging less visible. With consistent use over time, it can lead to noticeably firmer youthful skin.
3. Tightens Skin- Because hyaluronic acid has extremely hydrating properties it causes an increase in skin elasticity with a firmer more youthful complexion. The tightening result can be specifically beneficial for areas that can sag over time such as the jawline and neck. It's a way to invest in your skin and a non-invasive way to attain a lifted appearance without surgery. A study found that over a three-month period, over-the-counter anti-wrinkle creams that included hyaluronic acid showed a decrease the in depth of wrinkles around the lips and eyes by 10 to 20 percent plus, skin tightness showed a 13 to 30 percent improvement.
4. Improves Skin Texture- When hyaluronic acid is consistently used, it can fill in fine lines which leads to the skin having a smoother texture. Due to the hydration of the skin, this aids with balancing the skin’s oil production and prevents the skin from becoming too oily or too dry, which can be part of the cause of a more even texture of the skin.
5. Lowers Hyperpigmentation- Hyaluronic acid can help decrease hyperpigmentation by supporting an even skin tone, reduction of dark spots, fade scars, and marks overtime.
6. Repairs and Maintains the Skin Barrier- The skin’s barrier is so critical for maintain the skin’s natural defense against pollution and UV rays, keeping out bacteria, and maintaining moisture. Adding hyaluronic acid helps to strengthen the skin's barriers which help to keep moisture in and the skin hydrated.
7. Regenerates Skin Cells- With a low molecular weight hyaluronic acid, it promotes skin cell regeneration that helps with maintaining a youthful appearance, aids in the skin's natural healing process. Due to the accelerated cell turnover, hyaluronic acid is known to help reduce scars and improve the skin's overall condition, which makes it an effective asset to have in your skincare routine.
8. Promotes Healthy Skin- Hyaluronic acid supports the overall health of the skin because it gives the skin essential hydration and nutrients. If you have oily, dry, or combination skin, then you can truly benefit from adding this in.
9. Fighting redness- Hyaluronic acid as anti-inflammatory properties that it can help combat redness and inflammation in your skin.
Does Hyaluronic Acid Have Any Side Effects to Note?
Hyaluronic acid is a natural substance in our skin, and as a result, one should not expect any adverse reactions and is generally safe for all skin types. When there are rashes or other problems related to hyaluronic acid–containing products, it is often a result of a problem with another ingredient, such as one of the preservatives because they extend the life of a product. Some preservatives such as parabens, formaldehyde-releases, and isothiazolinones, can irritate the skin.
What Should I Look for in Products When Using Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic acid can be in serums, sheet masks, eye creams, moisturizers, cleansers, and even lip treatments. Before you purchase a topical product, take a thorough look at the ingredients. Here are some things you need to keep in mind:
What is the Best Way to Apply Hyaluronic Acid?
Even though hyaluronic acid can attract and retain moisture in the skin, it doesn’t necessarily keep that moisture from disappearing over time. Hyaluronic acid is safe to use alongside a many other skin products such as vitamin c serum and retinol. Here is how to integrate hyaluronic acid into your skincare routine:
Hyaluronic acid is a multifaceted skincare ingredient with a multitude of benefits with minimal to no side effects. From hydration to anti-aging, it addresses a broad scope of skin concerns. By integrating hyaluronic acid into your skincare routine, you're investing in a versatile ingredient that offers a range of benefits in maintaining healthy and youthful skin. Think of it as you’re elevating your skincare to an entirely new level of effectiveness. The results can be even more remarkable when combined with our advanced laser treatments and multiple skin care therapies at Be Whole Wellness Center. Before starting any new skin care product or treatment, we recommend having a consultation with our esthetician or nurse practitioner to get the best results for your specific skin care goals.