It sounds sinister.
It sounds like something you’d use to clean tar off of your car’s undercarriage.
Maybe the contents of the vat that the Joker threatened to drop Batman into?
You’ve seen it on some skin care product labels, put the labels back on the shelf, and moved on to another product that doesn’t contain acid.
What if we told you that hyaluronic acid is actually a very beneficial skin care ingredient and is a cornerstone element to anti-aging skin care lines?
What is Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic acid (HA) is actually a natural substance found in the body. It is a lubricating, clear substance that’s produced by the body naturally. It’s found in the greatest concentrations in the skin, inside joints, within the eye sockets and in other tissues where it helps to retain collagen, increase moisture, and provide elasticity and flexibility.
HA is a glycosaminoglycan, which is a vital natural substance that’s a youth-supporting part of skin. It works to keep the skin stable, safe, and renewed.
It also has the superhero power of holding huge amounts of moisture. Crazy, mind-blowing amounts. One gram of HA can hold up to six liters of water! It also has the ability to regulate the moisture within the cells, so they don’t drown with too much water. Genius!
Hyaluronic Acid and Your Skin
Simply put, hyaluronic acid has powerful anti-aging properties and is safe for your skin. It doesn’t strip the skin like other acid ingredients. “It is different from other acids which are used to exfoliate,” says Zamani.
Thanks to its capacity to hold moisture, “HA is critical in maintaining skin hydration,” says Aesthetic Doctor, Maryam Zamani. “Topically applied, it helps to hydrate the skin and maintain this hydration as a humectant.” It works as a magnet for moisture, helping your cells retain as much of it as possible so that your skin feels and appears hydrated, plump, and healthy. It can enhance moisture content beyond comparison with anything else. “Hyaluronic acid acts as the ultimate drink for your skin,” says Dia Foley of Indeed Laboratories.
Why is all that important? Properly hydrated skin feels super-soft, plump, and pillowy and looks much more radiant. Because it’s more plump when hydrated, lines and wrinkles appear diminished – even the deeper ones. That makes it a great ingredient for those with aging skin. As we age, our skin loses the ability to maintain this vital, plumping moisture as well as it once did. The result is a visible loss of firmness, pliability, and diminished appearance of plumpness and suppleness.
Dehydrated skin can be peppered with lines and wrinkles and has the tendency to look dull. It also often feels rough, tight, and sensitive, which is where hyaluronic acid comes in.
Research is also now suggesting that HA has antioxidant properties, which means it can act as a shield against free radical damage from things like the sun, pollution, and other toxins.
“Hyaluronic acid works for any skin type,” says Foley, “even sensitive or breakout-prone skin, as well as those with an oily complexion.” Its calming, hydrating, and antioxidant properties are great, even for rosacea-prone and eczema-prone skin.
Other Uses For Hyaluronic Acid
HA has also been shown to be beneficial for treating cold sores and mouth sores, ulcers, wounds, bites, and burns due to how well it keeps damaged tissue moist. These tissue repair benefits also include sunburn relief. Many cold sore treatments are incorporating HA gel to speed up the healing process and prevent cracking and bleeding.
The fluid inside the eye socket (vitreous humor) is almost completely composed of HA. Eye drops incorporating it can be used to help people with chronic dry eyes by replenishing moisture within the eye socket, helping with tear production, and restoring fluid balance. Doctors commonly use lubricating HA formulas to treat eye injuries and disorders like cataracts, and around surgeries, when eyes are most sensitive and dry.
What is Sodium Hyaluronate?
As great as HA is, it can’t be absorbed through the skin when applied topically. But the salt of HA, sodium hyaluronate, can! It’s smaller in molecular size, so it can penetrate the skin easily. Only in the past decade have scientists been able to create technologically-advanced HA formulas that are capable of really seeping below the skin’s surface.
Because of this, HA serums can now improve skin moisture and lead to significant reductions in wrinkle depth within just several weeks.
When you see this ingredient listed in creams and serums, you know you’ll be getting the hydration help your skin needs.