Hyaluronic Acid, also known as HA, is no joke. Hyaluronic acid is a substance that naturally occurs throughout our bodies and has recently made it’s way into every type of health and beauty product on the shelf of your favorite store.
A gel-like substance that is found in the vitreous humor of the eye, the synovial fluid of joints, and the dermal cellular matrix, Hyaluronic acid acts as a lubricating and protective agent. A layer of HA protects cartilage, enables joints to glide smoothly, and also aids in cellular repair of skin and wound repair as it facilitates cell migration. It is also a significant part of the skin’s cellular matrix, therefore having a direct correlation with our health and appearance. Studies even suggest HA may also play a role in brain development. Modern medicine uses Hyaluronic acid in cataract surgeries, the treatment of osteoporosis, and cosmetic surgeries such as dermal fillers.
Hyaluronic acid is now the most common dermal filler on the market, think Juvederm, Restylane and Perlane, and due to this popularity, HA has made its way into many of the beauty products we see advertised today. Hyaluronic acid is being touted as the latest anti-aging miracle product, even though there is actually no scientific data to prove this claim. There is even a possibility that HA may actually contribute to the formation of malignant tumors due to the substance’s promotion of cell migration. However, due to it’s ability to increase elasticity and plump up the skin, the simple appearance of more youthful skin has certainly earned it a healthy reputation.
As we age, the levels of Hyaluronic acid naturally occurring in our bodies begins to decrease. Since HA is a major component of the skin’s structure, losing it causes lines and wrinkles. Lack of HA may also decrease moisture levels and the ability for the skin to allow healthier cells to regenerate and migrate fully. Simply put, your skin doesn’t do it’s job without HA. As we age, we lose HA. But do we still need it? And if so, how do we get more?
While HA may be injected for surgical cosmetic procedures and taken as a supplement for osteoporosis, many beauty products containing Hyaluronic acid are vying for your attention. Hyaluronic acid attracts water and the molecules bind together, creating even more plumpness of the skin while retaining higher moisture levels. Lotions, creams, serums, shampoos, conditioners and oils all exist touting HA as the anti-aging ingredient of the moment. When shopping for the latest youthful craze, look for it in the form of a serum. Since HA works best when consumed in liquid form, a serum is the closest thing to liquid HA that can be applied topically. Of course, supplements will also work better in liquid form versus capsules or pills.
Since scientific research is ongoing, look for new discoveries on Hyaluronic acid on the horizon.