Hyaluronic Acid (HA) has been a hero ingredient used in many skincare lines for a while now. The benefits of hyaluronic acid are most definitely plentiful. After all, it’s found naturally in abundance in the skin and holds up to 1,000 times its own weight in water. Therefore it’s important for skin hydration and volume.
However, there are limitations when used in skin care products. Thanks to clever marketing we can often be lead to believe it offers anti-ageing benefits, therefore worth paying more of a premium for. To understand the truths from marketing myths, we need to understand a little more of the role of hyaluronic acid in the skin and most importantly where it’s found!
What is Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic acid is a gel-like substance and the most abundant type of the Glycosaminoglycans found in the Dermis. It’s produced by the Fibroblast along with collagen and elastin and forms the Extra Cellular Matrix, a woven fibrous structure providing structure to the skin. HA is made up of polysaccharide and disaccharide chains to form a coiled structure. This gives the ability to hold up to 1,000 times its own weight in water and provides hydration and volume to the dermis. Hyaluronic acid is vital in maintaining healthy collagen and elastin. It’s important for cell growth, cell receptor function and adhesion within the skin. It plays a vital role in cell to cell communication and wound healing. So it’s clear to see how important Hyaluronic Acid is in maintaining healthy skin and preventing premature ageing.
Limitations of Hyaluronic Acid in Skin Care
So why use Hyaluronic Acid topically? Well despite it sounding like the ingredient that has been over-hyped in skin care, HA is a key ingredient for hydrating the skin topically. Thanks to its humectant / water binding properties. So it can definitely hydrate the skin and make it feel more comfortable. Just don’t be mis-lead that it’s providing any additional benefit other than hydration.
Hyaluronic Acid In Wound Healing
As already mentioned, Hyaluronic Acid plays an important role in cell to cell communication and wound healing, therefore the production of new collagen! Increasing the amount of HA in the Dermis also improves the skins ability to retain water. Improving hydration has been shown to help treat collagen glycation, a hardening of collagen proteins that have bonded with sugar molecules (glucose) and crystallised.
Hyaluronic Acid Supplements
So bearing in mind that Hyaluronic Acid is most beneficial to the skin when present in the Dermis BUT it’s too large to penetrate with the Epidermis (without micro needling). One alternative could be Hyaluronic Acid supplements. When taken orally, hyaluronic acid supplements can improve the smoothness of the skin.
Hyaluronic Acid found in the Extra Cellular Matrix in the Dermis is vital for skin health. Whether injected or used in conjunction with micro needling, HA can improve skin volume, assist in collagen synthesis and maintain healthy skin function.