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Hyaluronic acid is a star when it comes to anti-aging skin care, for good reason. This multi-tasking, mega-hydrator provides a multitude of skin benefits – both short and long-term. As a result, it is a popular ingredient in some of the highest quality skin care products on the market, including serums, eye and face creams, and body moisturizers.

One of the biggest concerns when it comes to aging skin is hydration. As we age, our skin loses its elasticity. The dreaded sagging begins to occur, often around the eyes at first, but then all over the face.

Is there anything that can be done? Is there a way to replace the lost hydration and help rejuvenate skin’s own natural elasticity?

Yes. And that’s where hyaluronic acid comes into play.

Hyaluronic Acid: One-of-a-Kind

Hyaluronic acid sounds like something made in a lab, but it was only identified in one. It’s a molecule known as a mucopolysaccharide, or a kind of sugar molecule.1

The molecule is normally found in mucus and fluid around the joints in the human body. It’s more widely found throughout connective, epithelial, and neural tissues as well.2

Hyaluronic acid is a one-of-a-kind sugar molecule, because it can be very large (its molecular weight can reach into the millions) and it forms in the plasma membrane of cells instead of the Golgi complex like other sugar molecules.3

It’s widely known for its health benefits because it significantly contributes to cell division and migration. The molecule is easily soluble in cold water, and is used for a variety of applications from joint problems to skin care.4,5

The molecule is also considered to be immunologic, meaning it is considered to be a substance that augments, stimulates, or modulates immune response.6

It does so two different ways – nonspecifically or specifically, depending on the situation. When the molecule causes a non-specific immune response, immune responsiveness is increased across the board by affecting a variety of antigens. When it’s specific, it affects a restricted type of immune response to a small group of antigens.7

Because it already functions as a tissue lubricant, hyaluronic acid is believed to be important for maintaining interactions between adjacent tissues.8

With all this information, you’d figure hyaluronic acid would have a decent chance of being pretty beneficial when applied to the body in different ways. And you’d be right.

Down and Dermal: The Skin Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is suggested to have a variety of skin care applications. From reducing the appearance of wrinkles to helping to eradicate dark spots, its popularity in the cosmetic world continues to rise. Known as a powerful humectant (a substance used to reduce the loss of moisture), hyaluronic acid is believed to help a wide variety of skin care issues.

  • Wrinkles and Fine Lines

Hyaluronic acid is suggested to promote diminished wrinkles and fine lines, as it is known for its biological activities in the skin. It interacts with binding proteins to keep skin firm, helping it appear more youthful.9,10

It’s believed to play a huge role in the skin’s elasticity by keeping the skin hydrated and less susceptible to wrinkles.11

  • Inflammation

With it’s anti-inflammatory properties, hyaluronic acid may help stop inflammation and irritation to the skin.12 It’s also believed to penetrate the skin easily – something other substances can have a hard time accomplishing.13, 14

  • Hyperpigmentation

By keeping skin hydrated, hyaluronic acid is believed to be able to reduce the appearance of dark spots caused by previous sun damage.15

Rebuilding the skin’s appearance by binding proteins important to dermal tissue function plays a key role as well.16

Since hyaluronic acid is something already produced by and within our bodies, it makes sense that our skin would react well with the molecule. This could possibly make it easier for our skin to repair and replenish its appearance.

Hyaluronic Acid | Gundry

Hyaluronic Acid and Skin Care: Finding How and Why for What’s Next

Researchers are still studying the molecule’s effects – and why wouldn’t they? Hyaluronic acid has been linked to some incredible uses and effects.

But what’s up next?

While it can’t literally turn back time, research suggests that hyaluronic acid can help make you look younger. Naturally, scientists are still looking into why and how exactly HA affects the skin.

One study suggested that hyaluronic acid acts uniquely and exhibits as distinct profile in intrinsic skin aging. (Intrinsic skin aging is another term for genetic or chronological aging.)17

It is believed that hyaluronic acid operates differently in the deeper layers of skin as opposed to the upper, more exposed layers. The molecule was reported to reduce in size as a result of chronological aging, meaning it lost its ability to bind and retain water molecules.18

Regardless as to how it works, hyaluronic acid is believed to be tolerated well as a topical application. That’s great news for anyone who wants to give it a try, be it in skin care products or cosmetics.19

Another study confirmed that hyaluronic acid’s moisturizing properties were effective in all kinds of cosmetic forms, from creams to serums to lotions.20 In combination with mannitol, a diuretic, its hydration was suggested to be even more effective, with reduced roughness seen in skin as well.21

Conclusion

Hyaluronic acid acts as a moisture magnet for our skin. Studies show it delivers impressive amounts of moisture deep into the dermis, helping to diminish signs of aging like fine lines, wrinkles and even dark spots.

Science supports the use of hyaluronic acid in many different ways, so there’s no need to hesitate the next time you see it listed on an ingredients label. Finding different ways to add it to your daily life is even easier, with anti-aging creams, lotions, pill supplements, and more.

All skin needs moisture and balance. As we age, our skin loses its water content as well as its ability to retain moisture. This can result in dryness and, in some cases, sagginess. Studies suggest that hyaluronic acid, with its star status as a powerful humectant, may help to plump skin up, giving a more youthful, dewy appearance while also fighting against the formation of new wrinkles.

For more health and beauty tips, keep reading:

The Anti-Aging Powers of Progeline (+ how it helps fight wrinkles!)

Secret Wrinkle Fighting Weapon: The Benefits of Polyphenols

Sources:
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5. JR, Laurent. “Hyaluronan. – Pubmed – NCBI”. Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. N.p., 1992. Web. 8 Mar. 2017.
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9. Pavicic T, et al. “Efficacy Of Cream-Based Novel Formulations Of Hyaluronic Acid Of Different Molecular Weights In Anti-Wrinkle Treatment. – Pubmed – NCBI”. Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. N.p., 2017. Web. 8 Mar. 2017.
10. Weindl G, et al. “Hyaluronic Acid In The Treatment And Prevention Of Skin Diseases: Molecular Biological, Pharmaceutical And Clinical Aspects. – Pubmed – NCBI”. Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. N.p., 2017. Web. 8 Mar. 2017.
11. F, Masson. “[Skin Hydration And Hyaluronic Acid]. – Pubmed – NCBI”. Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. N.p., 2017. Web. 8 Mar. 2017.
12. Todd Schlesinger, Callie Rowland Powell. “Efficacy And Safety Of A Low-Molecular Weight Hyaluronic Acid Topical Gel In The Treatment Of Facial Seborrheic Dermatitis”. PubMed Central (PMC). N.p., 2017. Web. 8 Mar. 2017.
13. Witting M, et al. “Interactions Of Hyaluronic Acid With The Skin And Implications For The Dermal Delivery Of Biomacromolecules. – Pubmed – NCBI”. Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. N.p., 2017. Web. 8 Mar. 2017.
14. Essendoubi M, et al. “Human Skin Penetration Of Hyaluronic Acid Of Different Molecular Weights As Probed By Raman Spectroscopy. – Pubmed – NCBI”. Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. N.p., 2017. Web. 8 Mar. 2017.
15. F, Masson. “[Skin Hydration And Hyaluronic Acid]. – Pubmed – NCBI”. Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. N.p., 2017. Web. 8 Mar. 2017.
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17. Papakonstantinou, Eleni, Michael Roth, and George Karakiulakis. “Hyaluronic Acid: A Key Molecule In Skin Aging”. N.p., 2017. Print.
18. Papakonstantinou, Eleni, Michael Roth, and George Karakiulakis. “Hyaluronic Acid: A Key Molecule In Skin Aging”. N.p., 2017. Print.
19. SA, Brown. “Hyaluronic Acid: A Unique Topical Vehicle For The Localized Delivery Of Drugs To The Skin. – Pubmed – NCBI”. Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. N.p., 2017. Web. 8 Mar. 2017.
20. S. Manjula Jegasothy, Stephan Bielfeldt. “Efficacy Of A New Topical Nano-Hyaluronic Acid In Humans”. PubMed Central (PMC). N.p., 2017. Web. 8 Mar. 2017.
21. Taieb M, et al. “Hyaluronic Acid Plus Mannitol Treatment For Improved Skin Hydration And Elasticity. – Pubmed – NCBI”. Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. N.p., 2017. Web. 8 Mar. 2017.

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