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Hyaluronic Acid- The Secret to Glowing Skin

Hyaluronic Acid- The Secret to Glowing Skin

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:

  1. Hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid is hyaluronic acid that has been broken down into elements small enough to penetrate the skin. But it is not the most moisturizing option and is best for people who have oily or combination skin because these people want to avoid over-moisturizing.
  2. Sodium hyaluronate is the ingredient you will most likely find in serums. It goes deeper into the skin with even better results, but it isn’t very long lasting. This type is best for those who have normal skin because it will permit moisture to seep in but doesn’t need an intense long-ongoing effect.
  3. Sodium acetylated hyaluronate is the long-lasting one plus all the benefits of sodium hyaluronate. This is the acid for those who need moisture, for example people with dry skin, live in dry climates, or are looking for a product for the dry winter months.

Hyaluronic acid also comes in various molecular weights, each offering unique benefits for the skin. These are some different forms of molecular weights:  

  • Low Molecular Weight (LMW): Due to LMW smaller molecular size, this allows it to penetrate deeply into the skin and improving its overall effectiveness. Deep absorption plays a crucial role in improving skin elasticity and firmness by promoting the production of elastin fibers. It is recognized for its cellular activation properties, specifically its capability to activate fibroblasts, which are the critical cells responsible for skin repair and production of collagen. Also, LMW has antioxidant properties that protect the skin from damage from free radicals and oxidative stress.
  • Medium Molecular Weight (MMW): MMW is versatile for various skin types because it offers balanced hydration in combination with deep penetration of the skin. It helps with smoothing out the skin’s texture which gives a soft and elastic feel. It also enhances the skin’s natural protective barrier which contributes to moisture retention, helps decrease skin inflammation, and promotes a glowing complexion.
  • High Molecular Weight (HMW): HMW is the leader when it comes to hydration because of its beyond comparable capacity to retain water molecules. Because of its larger molecular size, it acts as a protective shield, inhibiting water loss, and shielding the skin from pollutants and UV rays. It has great calming and anti-inflammatory properties that soothe skin redness or irritation. HMW improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. But is also great for wound-healing capabilities in helping with tissue repair and reducing inflammation.

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:

  • Check for Allergens- Watch out for any ingredients you’re allergic to or that have caused you irritation in the past.
  • Vitamin C- Look for a hyaluronic acid product that also lists vitamin C as an ingredient because these two ingredients work together to boost effectiveness.
  • Molecular Weight- This might not always be listed but acids with lower molecular weights (50 kilodaltons versus 2,000, for instance) can more easily penetrate the skin. Lower molecular weight has been shown to be more effective at fighting wrinkles, increased hydration and elasticity.
  • No Alcohol- Certain alcohols such as isopropyl alcohol can counteract the ingredient’s moisturizing benefits which causes dry skin and leaves you vulnerable to cracking, allowing skin break and possibly irritants and bacteria to enter where they do not belong. If it is one of the first six ingredients, the product has the potential to be drying.
  • Avoid Fragrance- If you have sensitive skin, it is important to avoid products with added fragrance because they can cause irritation (contact dermatitis) or breakouts.
  • Water- Often water will be the first ingredient in a hyaluronic acid product. Many people think that it is a useless ingredient that is diluting the product, but it in reality water helps make the hyaluronic acid more effective in penetrating the skin.

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:

  1. Apply hyaluronic acid serum to a damp face. If you’re using a hyaluronic acid serum, use it right after you wash your face with a gentle cleanser and don’t dry your face after cleansing. Apply a couple of drops of the hyaluronic acid serum to your damp face and rub in. Wait a moment for it to absorb before using your moisturizer.
  2. Moisturize with a hyaluronic acid-infused moisturizer. If you don’t want to use a hyaluronic acid serum, you can use a moisturizing lotion with hyaluronic acid in it. Do your typical skincare routine and then use your hyaluronic acid moisturizer last.
  3. Use it twice a day. For the best results, apply your hyaluronic acid moisturizer or serum to your face twice a day (morning and night).

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.