Hyaluronic acid is a commonly used and highly effective ingredient in various skincare and anti-aging products. It is used in moisturizers, sheet masks, and is an important part of a regular skincare regimen. Also referred to as HA, the molecule occurs naturally in your skin. It is responsible for giving your skin a plump and glowing look and feel. So, what is this uniquely named ingredient, why is it important for anti-aging and other skincare treatments, and what are its benefits? Find out in this guide.
What is Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic acid or HA is a glycosaminoglycan that occurs naturally in the body’s connective tissue. It is a sugar molecule or long unbranched carbohydrate known as polysaccharide. It is the primary component that adds structure to the skin. It also provides a hydrated and plump appearance. It works by binding water to collagen.
It is the collagen in the dermis that gives structure to the skin. Naturally occurring HA gets bound to collagen and creates the link with water molecules.
Importance of Hyaluronic Acid
When you age, the skin starts losing both collagen and Hyaluronic acid in a natural way. This allows the skin to easily get dehydrated. There are many factors that can contribute to skin dehydration. This includes:
- Skin conditions
- Heating systems during winter
- Harsh weather conditions
- Certain skincare products
The use of skincare products containing hyaluronic acid can help restore your skin’s appearance and feel.
Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid
With time, your skin can show various signs of aging. Hyaluronic acid is used in a wide range of treatment options including serums, injections, and topical creams to improve and enhance your skin in different ways.
1. Hydrating Skin
Hyaluronic acid helps hydrate the skin. It can be taken as a supplement or a topical cream. HA has been found to improve moisture content in skin and improve the quality of life in people who have dry skin problem.
2. Healing Wounds
Besides assisting the skin in maintaining moisture, HA also helps with tissue regeneration. This helps in healing wounds and even improving scars. According to studies, application of the substance to the skin helps with:
- Regulating tissue repair
- Providing relief from inflammation
3. Anti-Aging Properties
Almost half of the hyaluronic acid in the body is present in the skin. Many factors, including UV exposure, can affect this content and create wrinkles. The anti-aging benefits of HA help fight off wrinkles in 2 ways:
- Decreasing the depth of wrinkles
- Increasing skin elasticity & firmness
According to a 2014 study, the topical application of HA twice a day for 2 months helped reduce the depth of wrinkles by 40% and increase skin elasticity and firmness by 55% compared to the subjects that didn’t apply it.
4. Smoother Skin Texture
Hyaluronic acid can also help smoothen out your skin. It reduces the signs of roughness that may develop due to aging or external factors. The emotional impact of aging has been widely studied and recorded. When someone experiences skin changes due to aging, it affects their self-esteem and their perception of their looks.
5. Reduced Dermatitis
HA has also been found effective in fighting off the symptoms of mild or moderate eczema. Studies show that when this naturally occurring sugar is used in specific forms, it works better against eczema. According to a 2011 study, it was found to be more effective when used in foam form than in emulsion cream form.