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Hyaluronic Acid and its Effect on the Skin

Dr. Morrell
Medically reviewed by Dr. Robert Morrell, MD

Hyaluronic Acid is a powerful but common ingredient often used in a moisturizer. So, why do people love it so much? Well, it increases topical drug application efficacy, anti-aging, and as a solution to dry skin. And it has many functions within the human body! Impressively, its high water retention means you can use HA by itself or in combination with other ingredients with a high level of effectiveness.

What is Hyaluronic Acid and where does it come from?

Hyaluronic Acid is a high molecular weight carbohydrate bound together by sugar molecules. What is it responsible for? HA helps with skin hydration, joint lubrication, filling space within the skin, and creating the framework for cells to migrate.

People love HA because of its unique capacity to retain water within a state between solid and liquid called viscoelasticity. The higher the molecular weight of Hyaluronic Acid used, the more effective it is in water retention. What is the most unique part of HA? Well, it can attract and retain water molecules that’re about a thousand times the weight of its own molecules. How? HA has some pretty impressive hygroscopic properties, meaning it attracts moisture, and it also has hydrophilic properties, meaning it loves water!

How does Hyaluronic Acid work?

Overall, your skin’s hydration depends on how much water is bound to Hyaluronic Acid molecules within the dermis and epidermis. Moisture is maintained out of the continued survival of the stratum granulosum, which is the waterproof layer of the epidermis that prevents water loss during the shedding of dead skin cells.

The loss of water in the epidermis, prevented by the presence of HA in the stratum gransoleum barrier, leads to a loss of collagen and elastin. The good news? Hyaluronic Acid present in the dermis allows for better regulation of water volume regulation, pressure, and ion flow. Also, it stabilizes the different structures of the skin using electrostatic properties. When we age, the dermal HA remains, but the epidermal HA significantly decreases.

Moreover, the topical application of Hyaluronic Acid inherently allows its, and other ingredients’, absorption into keratin, epidermal, and dermal layers which allow the stratum granulosum layer to rebuild. This leads to increased production of collagen and elastin! Your skin absorbs HA through three key functions of the skin. Specific HA receptors place the absorbed HA into the correct locations, the structure of HA allows it to penetrate, and it hydrates the surface area of your skin. Overall, these functions allow the epidermis to better retain Hyaluronic Acid.

What are its benefits for aging?

Overall, this powerful ingredient effectively treats visible signs of skin aging and dryness. As aging is signified by a thinning of the skin and a loss of elasticity from intrinsic and extrinsic sources. Just what does that mean? Simply put, intrinsic sources are natural and unpreventable, while extrinsic sources include photoaging or other kinds of skin damage.

With increased skin damage and aging comes elevated levels of degraded collagen synthesis. Hyaluronic Acid can directly increase collagen levels in your skin. Bonus: it treats superficial wrinkles. HA is fantastic at collagen restoration, water binding, moderating tissue hydration and healing wounds within the skin.

What are its benefits for dry skin?

Did you know that dry skin tends to occur from the decrease of Hyaluronic Acid? It does! And it leads to reduced dermal hydration and redness. A popular cosmetic ingredient for improving tissue hydration, HA can accelerate the healing process of dry and damaged areas.

One of the more common types of dry skin is actinic keratoses. What’s that? Keratoses is simply scaly spots or patches induced by sunlight. But with regular and consistent use of Hyaluronic Acid, you can observe a significant decrease in severity within 60 to 90 days.

When you use Hyaluronic Acid on your skin, it increases the hydration of the stratum corneum. In turn, this creates a soothing protective film that helps prevent further damage to the functioning of the skin. It also actively reduces inflammation. Additionally, it assists with different forms of dry skin including xerosis, atopic dermatitis and ichthyosis. Clinical studies recorded 78.5% improvement in the treated areas!

Is it safe?

Yes! Hyaluronic Acid occurs naturally in the body. Plus, there are no major adverse reactions. There are no issues of biocompatibility, where the body rejects a new ingredient. Additionally, this limits the likelihood of allergic or systemic reactions upon application.

Skin Care Products with Hyaluronic Acid

Discover the amazing power of hyaluronic acid for yourself by trying one of our hydrating skin care products. Our Hydrating Face Mask, delicate Eye Cream, Hydrating Booster, Moisturizer and Hydrating Lip Plumper all contain this powerful ingredient.


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