June 30 2021 – Talya Cayce
Acid applied to the skin might sound like a terrifying idea. For most of us, it’s something we would be reluctant to do. One such acid is the ever-trending Hyaluronic Acid. It is indeed one of the front-runners in the world of skincare. It is touted as a champ in the hydration and anti-aging department. With ads slapping us left and right with slogans and rows of skincare isles carrying Hyaluronic Acid products, there is a strong curiosity towards Hyaluronic Acid skincare. The big question then is how safe is Hyaluronic Acid. Moreover, what exactly are the benefits of applying Hyaluronic Acid to the skin?
What is Hyaluronic Acid?
Similar to Collagen and Elastin, Hyaluronic Acid is naturally present in our bodies. Hyaluronic Acid is largely found in the eyes, the connective tissues, and the skin. A naturally occurring sugar molecule, Hyaluronic Acid help attract and hold water to collagen and keeping them trapped in the skin. It helps keep the skin plump, bouncy, and younger-looking.
And just like the former two, the Hyaluronic Acid content in the body decreases as time goes by. One way to replenish Hyaluronic Acid with a diet rich in antioxidants, such as berries and greens. Another way is by using Hyaluronic Acid topically, delivering it to the surface of the skin where is it needed.
Skin Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid
1. Provides Lasting Hydration
Hyaluronic Acid is a humectant. It will collect moisture by bonding hydrogen to water. It is like a super sponge that holds moisture of up to a thousand times its molecular weight in water. It will continue to draw moisture from the environment and infuse the layers of the skin with lasting hydration.
2. Boosts the Lipid Barrier
The skin is the frontline for defending the insides of our bodies (organs, muscles, bones, etc.) from potential toxins and other harmful substances from the outside world that we are exposed to daily. Skin and general health aggravators can come from everything and is present everywhere, from lifestyle habits like smoking, unhealthy diets to UV rays and other environmental pollutants.
Skin lipids are the two layers of fat in the skin that play a serious role in how our skin looks and how effective the skin is able to provide protection. Like all essential, natural components of health and beauty, the skin lipids thin over time. Moisturisers with humectants such as Hyaluronic Acid can boost the skin barrier function of the skin lipids by locking in moisture so that the skin lipids stay plump and able to do their guarding job better.
3. Tone and Tighten the Skin
As skin loses elastin when we age, it loses the ‘snap-back’ ability - skin becomes saggy and dull. While not able to replace elastin, Hyaluronic Acid still helps improve the skin to appear toned, tight, and firm. Immersing shrunken skin cells in Hyaluronic Acid makes plumper with long-lasting hydration. The skin then appears more youthful.
4. Smoother, Less Wrinkly Skin
Just as Hyaluronic Acid makes the skin appear tighter and lifted by plumping the skin cells, it also smooths fine lines and wrinkles. Hyaluronic Acid straightens out wrinkles as well as making the skin smooth to the touch.
5. Speed Wound Healing
Hyaluronic Acid applied to a wound can help heal wounds faster. And it even helps decrease the pain associated with the wound. Skin lacking in Hyaluronic Acid tends to heal slower in comparison.
Hyaluronic Acid also helps reduce the surface wound size, as it helps hastens the recovery process. Minor skin maladies such as acne, insect bites, etc., should benefit from Hyaluronic Acid application. Of course, wound first aid protocols should be followed first to avoid infection.
Besides youthful skin…
Applying acid on your face is scary? How appealing does pouring them into your eyes sound?
Hyaluronic Acid is naturally present in the eyes. Eye drops containing around 0.2% Hyaluronic Acid have been known to relieve dry eyes condition and improve general eye health. There are contact lenses solutions formulated with slow-release Hyaluronic Acid to combat dry eyes and discomfort. Turns out Hyaluronic Acid is not only essential for dewy skin; it also makes our eyes sparkle.
There is insufficient information, however, on the effectiveness of oral Hyaluronic Acid supplementation with regards to eye conditions.
Who should use hyaluronic acid?
People with dry skin types will benefit greatly from products formulated with Hyaluronic Acid. The drier the skin, the more it needs a long-lasting hydrator like Hyaluronic Acid. Those with maturing skin should also look into using products with Hyaluronic Acid because age depletes the amount of Hyaluronic Acid levels normally present in the skin. Replenishing topically, along with an antioxidant-rich diet is the most efficient way to boost Hyaluronic Acid.
Possible Side Effects and Precautions
Safety. Topically applied Hyaluronic Acid is very safe to use. The body naturally makes Hyaluronic Acid making allergic reactions to it rare. Generally, it is non-irritating and won’t trigger rosacea, acne, or allergic reactions. Spot testing is always a good idea.
Pregnant/Lactating. Effects of application or supplementation during pregnancy or breastfeeding periods have not been researched. Caution or avoidance is an apt precaution when it comes to the use of Hyaluronic Acid.
Application. Hyaluronic Acid needs water to draw from. If you apply it on the skin’s surface and there are not enough hydration sources, it might pull water from the deeper layers of the skin. Thankfully, it is easy to counter this possible ‘side-effect’. Simply apply Hyaluronic Acid serum on top of damp skin and cover with moisturiser. Products formulated with Hyaluronic Acid like creams, toners, and cleansers are most likely already water-based or moisture-rich.
Exfoliate. Regular skin exfoliation is recommended to allow Hyaluronic Acid to permeate the skin effectively. Without exfoliation, the creams and serums won’t be able to go past the dead skin cells. Also, look for micronized Hyaluronic Acid. It is the best choice when shopping for HA-infused products because with its size, absorption into the skin easy. Molecules of active ingredients are sometimes too big to effectively penetrate the deeper layers of the skin.