Why Is Hyaluronic Acid Good for the Skin?

Why Is Hyaluronic Acid Good for the Skin?

In every skincare product, one of the most common ingredients topping the list is hyaluronic acid. With that, you may have been wondering if this very popular acid is really as good as what they say.

In this article, we provide you with everything you need to know about hyaluronic acid, its skin-related benefits for that youthful look, as well as its side effects.

What Is Hyaluronic Acid?

Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a type of complex carbohydrate found naturally in the skin, connective tissues, eyes, and joints. It helps give structure to the skin, repairs tissue, and lubricates the joints1. Specifically, the skin accounts for the highest HA, which is around 50% of the total body HA2.

Another important role of HA is to hydrate the skin due to its water-attracting properties3. It holds water molecules onto the surface of your skin to keep it nice and hydrated. However, as we age, the amount of HA in the body tends to decrease as our body cannot produce it as effectively as it used to. That is why, our skin may appear thinner and drier with age.

Other factors also contribute to HA decline such as smoking, UV rays, and air pollution.

Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid to the Skin

  1. Skin Hydration

    As mentioned above, the main purpose of hyaluronic acid is to hydrate the skin. Several studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of HA in improving dry skin.

    In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study, it was found that ingested HA increased skin moisture and improved treatment outcomes for patients with dry skin4.

    In another study among female participants, use of topical HA showed an increase of skin hydration of up to 96% after 8 weeks of use across the different types5.

  2. Wrinkle Reduction

    HA content in the skin is considered to be related to the factors that cause wrinkles. In particular, the degradation of collagen and HA by UV damage causes wrinkles6-7.

    In a study among 60 Japanese subjects showed significantly diminished wrinkles compared with the placebo group after 8 weeks of taking hyaluronic acid supplements8.

  3. Skin Elasticity

    Hyaluronic acid’s love for water not only hydrates the skin, but also improves its elasticity. This is because HA supports the formation and binding of elastin and collagen in the connective tissue and thus supports the elasticity of the skin.

    This was evidenced by a study among 10 female participants wherein significant results were seen in their skin elasticity after 4 weeks of treatment9.

  4. Wound Healing

    HA is a key component of tissue regeneration and anti-inflammatory response. This is why some wound creams have hyaluronic as one of its ingredients.

    A study of Litwiniuk showed that hyaluronic acid speeds up wound healing by controlling inflammation and redirecting blood vessels to areas of damaged skin10.

Side Effects of Hyaluronic Acid

Generally, hyaluronic acid is considered safe and doesn’t typically lead to any adverse reactions. This may be attributed to the fact that HA is naturally-occurring in the body, resulting in little risk of any allergic response.

Final Words

Hyaluronic acid is truly a holy grail of skincare as it provides numerous benefits to the skin. It is safe to use because it is naturally produced in the body.

References

  1. Mhs, K. L. M. (2020, January 23). The hype on hyaluronic acid. Harvard Health.
    https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/the-hype-on-hyaluronic-acid-2020012318653.
  2. Reed RK, Lilja K, Laurent TC. Hyaluronan in the rat with special reference to the skin. Acta Physiol Scand. 1988;134:405–11 doi: 10.1111/j.1748-1716.1988.tb08508.x.
  3. Masson F. (2010). Acide hyaluronique et hydratation cutanée [Skin hydration and hyaluronic acid]. Annales de dermatologie et de venereologie, 137 Suppl 1, S23–S25. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0151-9638(10)70005-3
  4. Kawada C, Yoshida T, Yoshida H, et al. Ingested hyaluronan moisturizes dry skin. Nutrition Journal. 2014;13(1). doi:10.1186/1475-2891-13-70
  5. 5. Jegasothy, S. M., Zabolotniaia, V., & Bielfeldt, S. (2014). Efficacy of a New Topical Nano-hyaluronic Acid in Humans. The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology, 7(3), 27–29 Efficacy of a New Topical Nano-hyaluronic Acid in Humans.
  6. Fisher GJ, Wang ZQ, Datta SC, Varani J, Kang S, Voorhees JJ. Pathophysiology of premature skin aging induced by ultraviolet light. N Engl J Med. 1997;337(20):1419–1428 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9358139/.
  7. Dai G, Freudenberger T, Zipper P, et al. Chronic ultraviolet B irradiation causes loss of hyaluronic acid from mouse dermis because of down-regulation of hyaluronic acid synthases. Am J Pathol. 2007;171(5):1451–1461 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17982124/.
  8. Oe, M., Sakai, S., Yoshida, H., Okado, N., Kaneda, H., Masuda, Y., & Urushibata, O. (2017). Oral hyaluronan relieves wrinkles: a double-blinded, placebo-controlled study over a 12-week period. Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology, 10, 267–273 https://doi.org/10.2147/CCID.S141845.
  9. Heusler, H. (2015). Efficacy of a Hyaluronic Acid Gel to Improve the Skin Properties. SOFW Journal, 141, 16–18. https://www.experchem.com/files/news/attachment/72c3f4f4-0c1b-4d05-ae74-29f3d9b8c196/0915-PDF-Expertchem-Haeusler-E-200dpi.pdf.
  10. Litwiniuk, M., et al. (2016). Hyaluronic acid in inflammation and tissue regeneration https://www.woundsresearch.com/article/hyaluronic-acid-inflammation-and-tissue-regeneration.
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