Thanks to the forces of evolution, our bodies are capable of so many things. In fact, most of us come equipped with a natural supply of hyaluronic acid (HA), a substance that retains water, aids in bodily repair, and provides support to the joints, skin, eyes, and more. Younger individuals tend to produce plenty of HA on their own, but we tend to produce less and less of this substance as time goes on. The good news is that HA can be synthetically produced and delivered to the body. If you’ve never heard about this skin care superstar, here’s everything you should know about hyaluronic acid.
We tend to associate the word “acid” with substances that cause deterioration, but hyaluronic acid achieves quite the opposite. In fact, HA is technically a type of sugar, making its nomenclature somewhat confusing. The ultimate point to remember, however, is that HA is a healing substance and naturally occurs in the body.
If you need help remembering what HA is all about, take the first two letters, “hy,” and think, “hydration.” Indeed, HA molecules easily and strongly bind to several water molecules, meaning that even a small amount of HA retains large amounts of water by comparison. As a result, maintaining adequate HA levels helps keep the skin hydrated and healthy.
A lack of HA in one’s body causes the skin to age; smaller amounts of HA means the skin will dry out quicker, become thinner, and lose its elasticity. But while the forces of aging are inevitable, there are ways to slow down the process and/or mitigate its visible signs (i.e. wrinkles, lines, age spots, etc.). And if a lack of HA contributes to visible aging, it only makes sense that an abundance of HA has the opposite effect. Another way to memorize the benefits of HA, then, is to tell yourself it also stands for “halt aging.” Thanks to hyaluronic acid’s moisture-sealing qualities, bringing more HA into the body helps keep the skin flexible, hydrated, and younger-looking overall.
If your body and/or skin could use an increase in HA, there are several ways to do so. There are over-the-counter and prescription-strength lotions, serums, creams, and pills containing varying levels of HA. Additionally, hyaluronic acid can be injected directly into the skin via dermal fillers injection. Injectable dermal fillers such as Juvederm and Restylane target specific areas of the skin that require an enhancement in hydration, volume, and/or support. It’s worth noting that there are also dermal fillers that do not contain HA but achieve similar goals via other substances such as polylactic acid and polymethyl-methacrylate microspheres.
Hyaluronic acid is undoubtedly a superstar in the realm of cosmetic dermatology -- that said, HA also yields benefits beyond skin hydration, support, and repair. More specifically, HA has been shown to mitigate acid reflux, reduce inflammation of various sorts, relieve joint pain, strengthen bones, promote healing, diminish eye dryness and discomfort, and more.
In short, hyaluronic acid helps us maintain healthy, youthful skin while also keeping our bodies in good shape overall. As such, it’s important to maintain proper levels of HA and act accordingly if your levels are lacking. If you want to know even more about HA and what it can do for your skin, the experts at Premier Dermatology Partners are happy to help. To learn more about our team and all the services we provide, contact us.