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Hyaluronic Acid: What is it? What are the benefits?
Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a naturally occurring glycosaminoglycan (GAG) found throughout the body’s connective tissue. Glycosaminoglycans are a family of carbohydrates, or sugars, called polysaccharides that help with the maintenance and support of collagen and elastin fibers.
Almost 50% of the body’s HA is found in the deep and surface layers of the skin, providing continuous moisture to the skin by binding up to 1000 times its weight in water. Young skin is smooth and elastic and contains large amounts of HA that helps keep the skin stay young and healthy-looking. As we age, the ability of our skin to produce HA decreases making us more susceptible to sagging and wrinkles.
Hyaluronic acid is also a humectant, which is a category of skincare ingredients that are hygroscopic, meaning they draw moisture from their surroundings. Humectants are often found in water-based moisturisers and serums because of their ability to boost hydration for all skin types.
Hyaluronic acid benefits include:
- Moisturising, plumping effect
- Helps reduce visibility of fine lines & wrinkles
- Increases skin elasticity
- Improves skin tone & texture
The benefits of hyaluronic acid on the skin are tied to its molecular weight and concentration, so size matters. Scientists have developed low molecular weights of hyaluronic acid that are small enough to absorb into the skin’s surface layers, helping to hydrate and plump wrinkles and firm the appearance of sagging skin as well as helping to prevent dehydration due to seasonal changes or cold, dry conditions.
Hyaluronic acid is ideal for all skin types, even sensitive, acne- and redness-prone skin.
- Narukar VA, Fabi SG, Bucay VW, et al. Rejuvenating hydrator: restoring epidermal hyaluronic acid homeostasis with instant benefits. J Drugs Dermatol. 2016;15(1 Suppl 2): s24-s37.
- Papakonstantinou E, Roth M, Karakiulakis G. Hyaluronic acid: A key molecule in skin aging. Dermatoendocrinol. 2012;4(3):253-8.
- ŠMejkalová, Daniela & Huerta Angeles, Gloria & Ehlova, Tereza. (2015). Hyaluronan (Hyaluronic Acid): a natural moisturizer for skincare. pp 605-622.