Hair, Skin & Nails 6 MIN READ 129 VIEWS September 18, 2022 Read in Hindi

Hyaluronic Acid: Why is It the Most Sought After Product in the Skincare Industry Today?

Written By HealthKart

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is naturally present in the skin. Its molecules bind to water to make the skin hydrated and appear healthy. It is the science behind hyaluronic acid that makes it a staple for the skincare routine. Read through to learn more about the hyaluronic acid serum benefits and hyaluronic acid uses

What is Hyaluronic Acid?

Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring glycosaminoglycan present in the body’s connective tissues. It is a simple, long, and unbranched sugar molecule, also known as polysaccharides, that helps bind water to collagen and traps it within the layers of the skin. This keeps the skin hydrated and nourished and confers a plump, full and fresh look. Hyaluronic acid aids in the wound healing process.

Outside the body, hyaluronic acid is produced by fermenting certain types of bacteria.

How Does Hyaluronic Acid Work?

Hyaluronic acid belongs to a class of polymers. They are long, chain-like molecules with adequate free spaces that allow other molecules to cling on. This allows water molecules to bind with hyaluronic acid, making it a great humectant.

Being abundantly present in the body, hyaluronic acid transports water-carrying molecules throughout your body. The chain-like structure of hyaluronic acid also aids in tissue growth. This helps in faster wound healing and recovery.

Types of Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is available in three forms:

1. Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid – The molecule of hydrolysed hyaluronic acid is small in size and can penetrate through the skin layers easily. While it assists in moisturising the skin, it’s not the most potent option. The hydrolysed hyaluronic acid serum is thus best for people with oily or combination skin.

2. Sodium Hyaluronate – The second form of hyaluronic acid, sodium hyaluronate, has the potency to go deeper within the skin. While it delivers good results, they are not long-lasting. This variant of hyaluronic acid is best suited for people with normal skin as there is not much that is required apart from keeping the skin well-hydrated.

3. Sodium Acetylated Hyaluronate – Sodium Acetylated Hyaluronate promises all benefits of sodium hyaluronate with longer-lasting results. It works best for people with dry skin. It helps keep the skin well moisturised and nourished in all weather conditions.

Causes of Low Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is produced naturally within the body. However, several causes are associated with its dropping levels. these are:

  1. Natural ageing process
  2. Exposure to ultraviolet sun rays
  3. Tobacco smoking
  4. Increase pollution levels

Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid for Skin

The main use of hyaluronic acid is in cosmetic products. Hyaluronic acid’s ability to bind to water and increase moisture content makes the skin well hydrated, supple and plump. These attributes help delay premature ageing. The topical application of the best hyaluronic acid serum helps reduce wrinkles, skin redness and dermatitis. The many benefits of hyaluronic acid for the skin include:

  1. Moisturises and hydrates the skin
  2. Potent anti-ageing serum
  3. Stimulates wound healing
  4. Possesses anti-wrinkle attributes
  5. Increases skin elasticity
  6. Helps treat eczema
  7. Effective in treating facial redness and inflammation

Other Hyaluronic Acid Uses

Water retention, the primary function of hyaluronic acid, makes it an effective and powerful ingredient for several body functions. Based on this science, the important hyaluronic acid uses apart from skincare include:

1. Assists Wound Healing

Hyaluronic acid is vital for regulating the body’s inflammation levels. They signal the body to develop more blood vessels in the wounded area. This expedites the skin’s healing process. Hyaluronic acid also possesses antibacterial properties that cut down the risk of infection in open wounds. Both topical application of hyaluronic acid serum and ingestion of hyaluronic acid oral supplements aid in the skin’s recovery process.

2. Relieves Joint Pain

Hyaluronic acid is present in all joints across the body. Optimal levels of hyaluronic acid ensure that the joints are well-lubricated. This reduces the risk of osteoarthritis, a painful degenerative joint disease. A combination of oral hyaluronic acid supplements and hyaluronic acid injections administered directly into the joints prove beneficial in relieving joint pain.

3. Alleviates Acid Reflux Symptoms 

Episodes of acid reflux send contents of the stomach up into the throat. Apart from causing pain, it damages the inner lining of the oesophagus. Studies show that hyaluronic acid supplements help heal the esophageal lining. Hyaluronic acid, when used in combination with chondroitin sulphate, also helped reduce acid reflux symptoms by almost 60%.

4. Resolves Dry Eye Issues

Dry eye is a condition marked by reduced tear production or tears evaporating too quickly, leading to itchiness and deterioration of eye health. Hyaluronic acid’s ability to retain water makes it an effective addition to eye drops. Hyaluronic acid uses are also common during eye surgeries to reduce inflammation and improve the wound healing process.

5. Helps Maintain Bone Strength 

Depleting levels of hyaluronic acid in the body is linked to osteopenia, stage 1 of bone loss that escalates to osteoporosis. Intake of high doses of hyaluronic acid stimulates the activity of osteoblasts, the cells pivotal for building new bone tissue. This helps improve bone loss and promotes bone strength. 

6. Relieves Bladder Pain

Interstitial cystitis, or painful bladder syndrome, is common in women. In severe cases of interstitial cystitis, the insertion of hyaluronic acid directly into the bladder through a catheter helped relieve symptoms. Hyaluronic acid helps repair the damaged bladder tissue which makes it less sensitive to pain.

Ways to Use Hyaluronic Acid for Skin

There are several ways in which hyaluronic acid supplements can be used. Each method can be used exclusively or in combination to reap better results. 

Hyaluronic acid supplements are available in the following forms:

1. Dietary supplementsHyaluronic acid that comes in the form of dietary supplements is available in the form of pills, tablets and capsules. Hyaluronic acid supplement for oral consumption is also available in liquid form.

2. Topical application products– Used as an active ingredient in shampoos, lotions, creams, gels, ointments, patches, and serums, hyaluronic acid is widely used in cosmetic products for topical application.

3. InjectionsHyaluronic acid injections are administered directly into the joints to relieve joint pain. Hyaluronic acid fluid is also given through IV to treat bladder pain. Hyaluronic acid, in combination with collagen, is used in the form of skin fillers. 

How to Choose the Best Hyaluronic Acid?

Almost every anti-ageing skincare formula contains hyaluronic acid. And with markets flooded with innumerable products, each claiming to be better than the other, choosing the best hyaluronic acid can be difficult. Here’s a checklist that can help you pick the better one:

  1. Check for Allergens – Read the product label for all ingredients. Watch out for ingredients you are allergic to. 
  2. Opt for Vitamin C Add-on – Skincare products with Vitamin C yield better results. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that accelerates the production of collagen and elastin and helps improve skin quality.
  3. Check Molecular Weight – Hyaluronic acid with a lower molecular weight will penetrate easily into the skin. Go in for skincare products that contain a lower molecular weight hyaluronic acid.
  4. No Added Alcohol – Alcohol is a diuretic. It removes water from the body and leads to dehydration. Therefore the presence of alcohol will counteract the hyaluronic acid serum benefits. 
  5. Avoid Fragrance – Added fragrance in skincare products can cause irritation and breakout. Avoid products with added fragrance.
  6. Go for Water-Based Products – Water-based products make hyaluronic acid more effective. Avoid cream and oil-based products.

Side-Effects of Hyaluronic Acid

The use of hyaluronic acid is safe and not associated with many side effects. Furthermore, the reported side effects are typically associated with the flawed administration process rather than the product itself. For instance, there are several problems associated with injecting hyaluronic acid. Also, as molecules of hyaluronic acid penetrate deep into the skin, topical application on compromised skin can take surface impurities into the skin, leading to breakouts and infections. Ideally, the hyaluronic acid serum must be applied to clean and dry skin.

Also, the use of hyaluronic acid in any form other than dietary supplements must be under complete medical guidance and supervision.

Precautions of Hyaluronic Acid

The use of hyaluronic acid is not recommended in pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers. Also, hyaluronic acid stimulates cancer cells, helping them grow faster. Hyaluronic acid use must therefore be avoided in cancer patients.

Conclusion

Hyaluronic acid naturally occurs in the human body. Its long chain structure allows water molecules to latch on it. This makes it a perfect humectant. Furthermore, its low molecular weight enables it to penetrate deep into the skin. Within the skin layers, it binds water to collagen, conferring younger-looking, radiant and supple skin.

While hyaluronic acid uses are broadly sans side effects, the reported after-effects are often due to faulty administration. Therefore, the use of hyaluronic acid other than dietary supplements must be under complete medical supervision.

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