What is Hyaluronic Acid anyway?
Smooth, soft and youthful are words that are often used when describing what perfect skin should look and feel like. We start out life with plump and soft skin that has the natural glow of youth. As we age we begin to encounter skin issues such as acne due to hormonal fluctuations, then the minute fine lines that just start to become noticeable in our thirties and the dryness and loss of elasticity that are part of the natural progression of skin health through the years. Even those of us who are most comfortable in our own skin still look in the mirror and remember fondly the skin of our youth. The fact is that as we live, we change and so does our skin. This is a completely natural process and one that should be honored. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t help repair your skin from a lifetime of damage and even turn back that hand of time just a bit. You can do this naturally, without harsh or irritating chemicals, by including hyaluronic acid in your skincare regimen. Keep reading to learn the many skin benefits of hyaluronic acid!
Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring polysaccharide found in the body, primarily in the skin, connective tissue and synovial fluid, which is the fluid that cushions and lubricates the various joints in the body. You can think of it almost like glue that holds tissues together and provides the optimal viscosity and cushioning for joint health. It is found in great amounts between skin cells and it works along with collagen to keep your skin pillow soft and smooth. The main property of hyaluronic acid is that it has an incredible ability to retain moisture, more so than any other natural or synthetic polymer that is available today. Picture in your mind what six liters of water looks like. This is how much just one gram of hyaluronic acid is able to hold. Now, knowing its capacity, think of how very important hyaluronic acid must be for your body, including your skin.
Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid for Skin
Over fifty percent of the hyaluronic acid in your body can be found in your skin. Hyaluronic acid works with collagen to help maintain essential moisture and provide a healthy protective barrier for your skin. Hyaluronic acid also has a relatively short half life of one to three days, meaning that the body must constantly be working to replenish it on a regular basis. As we age, especially once we hit the fourth decade of life, our bodies lose the ability to produce as much hyaluronic acid as we were once able to. The result is a slow progression toward dry, less elastic skin. Those first tiny laugh lines appear on your face are most likely the result of less hyaluronic acid being produced. The cosmetic industry recognizes this and takes advantage of the fact that we are willing to spend billions of dollars on unnatural chemical substitutes, some of them actually quite harsh, in an effort to restore our skin to a more youthful appearance. Lucky for all of us, we can benefit from natural skin care products that contain hyaluronic acid to restore our skin gently.
For quite some time hyaluronic acid has been available in injectable fillers such as Restylane and Juvederm. These treatments are effective for filling in lines, but come not only with pain and swelling but other potentially serious side effects as well. In addition, they are costly and need to be repeated every few months to a year, depending on the type. While injections are an effective way of getting additional hyaluronic acid into your body, you can also find serums, lotions, and creams with hyaluronic acid that work wonderfully when applied topically to the skin. Here are some of the benefits from topical hyaluronic preparations.
- Hyaluronic acid is a humectant. When you apply it topically, it not only draws moisture to the skin, but helps maintain the soft, dewiness of more youthful skin.
- Hyaluronic acid is naturally occurring in the body, so it is suitable for all skin types. When you make a point of choosing a product with other natural ingredients that won’t irritate your skin, hyaluronic acid can help balance and moisturize any skin type. It is especially beneficial for people that have a combination skin type where they experience an oilier complexion in areas, yet still wrestle with the dry, fine lines that insist on appearing over time.
- Hyaluronic acid can help reverse free radical damage. This makes it an excellent skin care component for people who spend a lot of time outdoors and are exposed to greater amounts of ultraviolet rays.
- Hyaluronic acid gives the immediate appearance of smoother, softer skin. The hyaluronic molecule is small enough that it penetrates the skin more effectively than collagen. The moisture barrier that it provides on the skins surface immediately begins to fill in fine lines as it plumps and softens the skin. This also gives your skin a chance to heal and protects it from daily environmental elements.
- Hyaluronic acid can be used as a topical treatment for promoting the healing of skin injuries including burns and surface wounds.
- Hyaluronic acid accelerates the rate at which skin cells rejuvenate. This means that skin takes on a fresher, more vibrant and healthy looking glow.
- Hyaluronic acid will adjust how much moisture it absorbs based on climate and environment, making it a great alternative moisturizer for people who suffer from seasonal specific skin conditions.
As we age it is estimated that our bodies cut production of hyaluronic acid by as much as fifty percent. Let’s take a moment and put that into perspective. As adults, we suffer from ailments and conditions that simply were not an issue in our youth. You might wake up with stiff knees, back pain, dry eyes and a complexion that seems dull with little elasticity. Not only do an overwhelming number of adults suffer from these common ailments, it is possible that they all can, at least in part, be caused by the significant decrease in hyaluronic acid production. If the halt in production causes this much pain, discomfort and dissatisfaction with our appearance, what would happen if we were somehow able to reprogram our bodies into producing hyaluronic acid at greater levels as we age? It turns out that we actually can.
Current research has been looking into the effects of oral hyaluronic acid supplementation and the results have been very encouraging. Two studies in particular looked at groups of people that were suffering from arthritis or other joint pain conditions. In both studies, those that took oral hyaluronic supplements showed a greater improvement in their daily level of pain and quality of life. This improvement isn’t the same as you might get by swallowing a pain reliever or pharmaceutical that addresses only the symptoms of the condition, because you are actually addressing the root cause. Researchers believe that it isn’t the supplement itself that promotes the healing but rather that daily supplementation actually prompts the body to produce more hyaluronic acid on its own, naturally. This is an incredible discovery for people that suffer from arthritis, joint pain and skin conditions as a result of diminished hyaluronic acid production.
You can also ingest more hyaluronic acid, and therefore prompt your body to produce more on its own, by eating foods that are high in hyaluronan. These foods include dark, leafy greens such as spinach, kale and swiss chard and root vegetables. You can also find it in homemade bone broths and soy products.
Additionally, you can begin to treat your skin immediately by choosing a gentle, natural serum or cream that contains hyaluronic acid. Most preparations that you will find can be used alone or under a makeup or a secondary moisturizer. The key thing to keep in mind is that you want to heal, moisturize and protect your skin, not damage it further, and so always look first at the integrity of the ingredients in the products that you are considering. When researching which hyaluronic acid product to use, keep the following criteria in mind:
Your hyaluronic acid preparation should contain as few ingredients as possible. The more ingredients you have, the more likely the chance that you will experience irritation or a reaction to one of the chemical listed. If you’re looking for the best hyaluronic acid products, try to follow these simple pointers:
- Stick to natural, botanically derived sources of hyaluronic acid.
- Free or artificial fragrance additives.
- Free of parabens
- Free of phthalates
- Free of sulfates
There are very few of us who might admit to not having any desire to find the fountain of youth. We all want it, but we also know that more often than not, those things that attempt to restore our body to a more youthful state end up costing us our time, money and sometimes even our health. That is why when you find something so natural, something that the body already produces naturally on its own, that can help turn back the hands of time and restore you to not only a more youthful appearance, but also support overall wellness, it is worth standing up and taking notice. Hyaluronic acid, when combined with a healthy diet, a natural skin care regimen and other healthy habits can help you achieve a body that moves without pain, functions better and looks as if you never lost your radiant youthful glow. Hyaluronic acid is just one more example of how when we learn to respect nature, we can often find that what we are looking for already exists. Hyaluronic acid is already there, it always has been and all you need to do is provide it a little boost and you just might get a little glimpse into that elusive fountain of youth. If you’re on the market for the best hyaluronic acid serum, check out OZNaturals and discover why so many make the switch to our products.