Hyaluronic Acid in Skin Care
Touted as ‘nature’s moisturizer’, Hyaluronic Acid in skin care has the ability to attract and hold water, increasing hydration levels within the layers of the skin, maintaining a plump and youthful appearance. Its unmatched hydrating ability rejuvenates the skin resulting in an increased smoothness, firmness, and elasticity.
What is Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a water-binding substance that is formed naturally in the body. It functions to lubricate joints, eyes, and muscles, and is found throughout connective tissues. Half of the body’s HA is found in the largest organ of the body: skin.
Hyaluronic Acid Naturally in the Skin
Deep in the layers of the dermis where collagen and elastin fibers form the cushion and base structure of skin, naturally occurring HA can be found in the gel-like substance that exists between the fibers, plumping the tissues and continuously bathing the fibers in hydration to keep them stretchy and resilient.
Hyaluronic acid also exists throughout the upper layers of skin, contributing to tissue repair and wound healing, as well as playing a vital role in the transport of nutrients and waste and the formation of natural moisture within the skin barrier system.
Young skin is smooth and elastic because it has a high concentration of HA. Hyaluronic acid decreases with age, leading to dehydration, surface roughness, flaking and fine lines.
Hyaluronic Acid in Skin Care Formulas
Topically, hyaluronic acid (HA) is often found in deep-absorbing treatment serums, hydrating masks, and moisturizers. HA formulas provide volume and density and contribute to a decreased appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Hyaluronic acid is often used in injectable dermal fillers, including those approved for severe wrinkles and folds. It can be easily and evenly distributed into creases and folds, has a lower risk of allergic reactions and lasts longer than collagen, making it the first choice for many doctors.
Hyaluronic Acid vs. Sodium Hyaluronate
Hyaluronic Acid has a fairly large molecular size, meaning it is not able to absorb very deeply into the skin when applied topically. This ability to stay near the surface helps to hydrate and protect the vulnerable outer layers of the skin and replenish fluids that are often depleted due to transepidermal water loss (TEWL), where water essentially evaporates out of the body through unhealthy skin layers.
Sodium Hyaluronate is a modified form of HA (actually a salt derived from it) and provides the same hydrating benefits through a smaller molecule. This allows it to be absorbed much more easily into skin, carrying the water-binding abilities deeper into the layers where they can provide nourishment to cells earlier in their life cycles.
Both forms have a purpose. A formula with both high- and low-molecular weight hyaluronic ingredients will provide a variety of preventative and anti-aging benefits.
Sources of Hyaluronic Acid in Skin Care
In the past, hyaluronic acid was derived most commonly from rooster combs as a by-product of the poultry industry. As concerns about animal-derived ingredients grew, a method was developed to extract HA from plant sources using a fermentation process. Both sources are still readily available on the market, so if you have concerns about how your products are manufactured, consider an organic or vegan product line that clearly states how they source their ingredients.
Hyaluronic acid is used in all of our treatments. For a mega-dose of ElaSpa Organics Hyaluronic Acid 2 in 1, consider our Hydration FX – Ultrasonic Rehydrating Facial.
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