Skin Care Ingredients: Highlight on Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic acid is a powerful ingredient around which many of the common dermal fillers we use have been developed. Often referred to as HA, hyaluronic acid is an organic carbohydrate molecule, meaning the body makes it naturally. The primary function of hyaluronic acid produced by the body is to lubricate the joints, eyes, connective tissue, and the skin. Nearly 50 percent of the HA in the body resides in the skin. As we age, the production of this carbohydrate declines, which is one reason the skin becomes less resilient and supple.
How Hyaluronic Acid Benefits the Skin
You may realize that hyaluronic acid can smooth lines and wrinkles. Additionally, HA is an excellent source of:
The very mechanism that is behind wrinkle-reduction, lip plumping and cheek contouring with dermal fillers is hydration. When injected beneath the skin or placed on the epidermis, hyaluronic acid holds on to as much as 1,000 times its weight of water. This is why only a small amount of product is needed to achieve noticeable results. On the surface, HA stays put to hold moisture so it can be absorbed.
The water molecules held on the epidermis are also vital to the integrity of the lipid barrier that seals hydration into the skin. This layer is essential to fighting pollutants and free radicals that cause premature aging. With HA on the skin, the harmful effects of UV light are limited, and the skin’s natural ability to heal and regenerate is supported.
The hydrating and protective properties of hyaluronic acid make this ingredient especially beneficial for individuals with chronic skin conditions such as rosacea and eczema. The ingredient can be used proactively to avoid flare-ups or therapeutically to treat them.
People with acne may feel like they are fighting a never-ending battle with their skin. Hyaluronic acid is an excellent weapon against breakouts because it fosters the hydration that inhibits the overproduction of oil in the skin. When acne medication or products are used, HA can prevent the excessive dryness that often occurs as a side effect of other ingredients like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide.
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