Believe The Hype about Hyaluronic Acid
Many skin care products aren’t actually that good for the skin – some are too harsh, too astringent or strip the skin of the natural oils and moisture that it needs. But some skin care products are absolutely worth the hype, and those products contain hyaluronic acid. This heroic, naturally-occurring compound can keep your skin glowing and your joints supple. Sounds good to us!
Hyaluronic acid molecules are capable of holding 1000 times their own weight in water; that’s a lot of moisture. The more hyaluronic acid we have in our skin, the more moisture it can retain – unfortunately, our natural levels of hyaluronic acid decrease as we age. That’s where skin care products come in. You’ll find it in lotions, creams, dragon’s blood serum and supplements. You could even ask your dermatologist for an injection.
Benefits of hyaluronic acid
Hyaluronic acid has tons of benefits for the skin, as well as other areas of the body. Let’s run down the list:
- It’s hydrating, which makes sense given how much moisture it can hold. Using skin care products that contain hyaluronic acid can plump and smooth the skin texture, give it a dewier appearance and even lighten the appearance of dark circles. As we get older, our skin loses its ability to retain moisture – a boost of hyaluronic acid provides the extra moisture skin needs to stay hydrated and smooth, and decreases water loss from the skin’s surface caused by environmental factors such as sun exposure.
- It helps reduce wrinkles, sometimes in as little as two weeks. Some people also experience increased cheek volume and lip fullness with regular use, and dermatologists now regularly use injectables that contain hyaluronic acids to treat signs of aging.
- It helps repair wounds and sun burns – hyaluronic acid can be used to treat cold sores, ulcers, burns, bites and other wounds by keeping the damaged skin moist. Many treatments for these ailments contain hyaluronic acid gel to speed healing and prevent the damaged skin from cracking or bleeding. It also helps necessary nutrients reach damaged tissues and reduces inflammation.
- It reduces dry eye. The fluid inside your eye socket, the fantastically-named vitreous humor, is almost entirely hyaluronic acid. Eye drops that contain it can provide relief for dry-eye, helping boost tear production and restoring the eye’s delicate fluid balance. These products are often used as post-surgical treatments after cataract repair, retinal reattachment or corneal transplant as this is when the eyes are most sensitive and dry.
- It soothes aching joints – as well as being a skin superhero, hyaluronic acid is found around the body in bones, joints and tendons. This makes it really useful in treatments for conditions such as arthritis, as it lubricates joints where cartilage has been worn away. It can also improve general joint stiffness.
It protects the bowel. Yes, hyaluronic acid really is everywhere! It also lives in particles found in the gut that are thought to protect against conditions such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.