Hyaluronic acid is an essential addition to a daily skincare regimen. It’s a sugar found naturally in the skin that holds water and helps keep it hydrated — plumping up the skin and giving it that dewy and glowing effect. Hyaluronic acid increases the hydration in the skin by binding to collagen on one side and links to water molecules on the other. Its importance as it relates to wrinkles cannot be denied. Roughly half of the hyaluronic acid in your body is in your skin, where it binds to water to help retain moisture. The natural aging process and exposure to the sun, tobacco smoke, and pollution can decrease the amount of hyaluronic acid. As we age, we lose collagen and hyaluronic acid naturally, so the skin becomes dehydrated. Harsh weather, a bad diet, certain skincare products, and skin conditions can cause breaks in the skin, allowing water to escape. Hyaluronic acid helps alleviate dry skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and speeding up wound healing. When used in skincare products like creams and serums, hyaluronic acid brings moisture to the surface of your skin because of its ability to draw and hold water. It can effectively be used as a humectant, continually keeping skin moisturized throughout the day.
Similar to collagen and elastin, the hyaluronic acid in our bodies decreases as we get older. To stimulate the production of hyaluronic acid, we need to maintain the correct diet. Food affects the skin significantly. Including fruits and vegetables that contain lots of antioxidants will help protect your skin against inflammation. Foods that have the highest levels of antioxidants are blackberries, blueberries, goji berries, raspberries, plums, pomegranate, broccoli, artichoke, cauliflower, red cabbage, orange bell pepper, kale, beets, beans, and sundried tomatoes.
Hyaluronic acid can be used topically on the skin and can also be ingested in the form of supplements. Here are seven scientifically-proven benefits of hyaluronic acid:
1. PROMOTES HEALTHIER SKIN
Hyaluronic acid supplements can help your skin look healthy and feel smooth and supple by increasing the skin’s moisture. When applied topically to the skin, hyaluronic acid serums can reduce wrinkles, redness and dermititis.
2. SPEED WOUND HEALING
Even though there is hyaluronic acid present in the skin, its concentration increases when there is damage to the skin. Hyaluronic acid helps wounds heal faster by regulating inflammation levels and signaling the body to build more blood vessels in the damaged area. Applying hyaluronic acid to a skin wound has been shown to reduce the size of the wound and decrease pain faster than no treatment at all. It has also helped reduce the risk of infection. It’s also efficient at fighting gum disease and speeds up healing after dental surgery.
3. KEEPS BONES LUBRICATED
Hyaluronic acid is found in the joints, keeping the space between the bones lubricated, preventing them from grinding against each other. Hyaluronic acid supplements help with osteoarthritis, and taking supplements has been shown to reduce knee pain.
Hyaluronic acid pairs well with peels, retinols, vitamins and other acids. Glycolic acid is the exception. Because glycolic acid has low pH levels, it may degrade the hyaluronic acid and render it ineffective. It’s important to apply the hyaluronic acid first and then apply moisturizer on top. Hyaluronic acid is best used underneath a more occlusive moisturizer to trap in the water-binding effects of the acid.