Hyaluronic acid or HA is a substance naturally found in your skin. This is what keeps your skin stable and refreshed while encouraging the renewal of your skin cells. HA is a clear fluid responsible for the lubrication of your joints and eyes due to the ability to retain moisture and collagen. As your body starts to age, the ability of your skin for retaining water decreases. The result is the development of fine lines and a loss of firmness. Collagen consists of mostly water to help ensure your skin appears youthful.
HA provides your skin with more plumpness and minimizes the look of wrinkles and fine lines by rehydrating your skin. HA also has antioxidants to protect your skin from harsh chemicals, exposure to the sun and the environment. Since HA is both safe and natural, it is commonly used for beauty products to help your skin appear dewy and more youthful. HA is considered the ultimate in anti-aging treatments by many. HA is also used in products for eye lubricants, treatments for cold sores and supporting joint health.
Hydrating Aged and Dry Skin
HA serums provide your skin with a smoother texture, plumper appearance and can lighten the bags underneath your eyes. This is accomplished by decreasing the water lost by your skin. Aging skin is associated with drooping lips and eyes, dandruff and dryness. This is because age robs your molecules of the ability to retain and bind water. Not only will this cause dryness but it will also decrease the volume of your skin. The normal aging process can be accelerated by exposure to UV light, pollutants and the environment.
According to recent studies, there are numerous areas in your skin that help to control the deposition, synthesis and degradation of HA. Research has established a link between prolonged exposure to the sun, dryness and the formation of wrinkles and fine lines. These issues occur more in areas with low humidity as opposed to high humidity. This is because higher humidity decreases the ability of your skin to hold water in addition to the elasticity. HA reduces the water lost by your skin due to dryness and sun exposure. This effectively decreases the signs of aging.
Lubricating Aching Joints
HA is naturally found in all of the cartilage, tendons, joints and connective tissue throughout your entire body. This is especially true of a type of HA called hyaline cartilage. This provides cushioning by covering the ends of your bones. Since HA offers resistance for wear and tear while helping to buffer your bones, it is exceptionally useful for decreasing the tenderness and pain linked to degenerative joint diseases. HA is also located in another important area of your joints referred to as the synovial membrane.
The synovial membrane is responsible for your production of synovial fluid and coats two of your articulating bones. Synovial fluid is what helps your joints transport nutrients to your cartilage, remain elastic and absorb shock. HA is frequently being used in supplements for the treatment of the pain caused by injuries and osteoarthritis. The FDA has approved HA for treating osteoarthritis provided the administration is given by a health care provider. The injection must also contain a fairly high dosage.
According to research, lower doses of HA are often effective for the reduction of chronic pain and stiffness in the joints. HA is most commonly used for the treatment of joint pain in the knees and elbows.
The Reduction of Wrinkles
Once you begin using a topical HA product, you may see a visible difference in the hydration of your skin in about a week. Despite the fact the majority of studies have shown HA eye creams and serums for wrinkles require approximately six weeks to reveal an improvement in the appearance of your skin, other studies have offered different results. These studies have revealed only two to four weeks are necessary for HA eye creams and serums to begin decreasing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Some individuals have seen results within the first week.
To provide even better results, dermatologists have started using prescription formulas or injections containing HA. This includes products such as Allergan and Juvederm Ultra Plus. This will decrease sagging in the around the eyes and lips withing a period of a few months.
A randomized, double-blind clinical trial was conducted in 2014. The published results revealed products containing HA were able to effectively reduce skin sagging and the appearance of wrinkles within a period of thirty days provided the use of the product was consistent. Some of the participants stated they experienced an increase in the volume of their cheeks and fuller lips within the first month. Both of these traits are linked to a more youthful appearance. Forty adult women participated in the trial. All of them had mild to moderate signs of clinical aging before the study.
The participants showed alterations in the surface of their skin in addition to a decrease in the actual volume of their skin. Half of the participants were given a product containing six different types of hyaluronic acid. The other half received a placebo. The results were recorded after three hours, seven hours, and then fourteen and thirty days later. Although some of the results for the group being given HA could be seen after fourteen days, others required thirty days to become noticeable. The improvement in the volume and facial contours were significant.
The participants who were given placebos had the same baseline facial measurements after thirty days. The group receiving the actual treatment showed a decrease in facial sagging, a decrease in the volume and depth of wrinkles, an improvement in lip volume and better contours in the cheekbones. Another study focused specifically on the effect of HA on skin elasticity, skin hydration and wrinkles. This study consisted of 33 women. The average age of the participants was 45. The study lasted for eight weeks to determine the efficacy of HA as an anti-wrinkle treatment.
The results of the study determined HA had a significant impact on skin elasticity, the texture of the skin and demonstrated enhanced moisturizing capabilities. The conclusion was HA demonstrates a significant ability to decrease the depth of wrinkles as much as forty percent. Skin elasticity and firmness showed an increase as high as 55 percent with skin hydration improving as much as 96 percent. All of these results were noted at the end of the eight week period.
Helping Decrease Eye Discomfort and Dry Eyes
Your eye sockets contain a fluid called the vitreous humor. The majority of this fluid consists of HA. Eye drops containing HA help with the symptoms of chronic dry eye by replacing the moisture contained in your eye sockets. This helps restore the balance of fluids while assisting with tear production. Certain studies have shown HA is able to suppress oxidative damage within the cornea due to UVB light. Eye doctors and physicians often use a lubricating formula containing HA for the treatment of eye disorders and injuries such as cataracts.
HA is incredibly useful both prior to and after surgery because the eyes are at their most sensitive and driest at this time. HA drops are also extremely beneficial when eye surgery is being performed and during the recovery period. This includes after repairing a detached retina, a corneal transplant and the removal of cataracts.
Wound Repair, Sunburn and Sores
In addition to decreasing the appearance of dryness and wrinkles, HA is also beneficial for the treatment of burns, bites, mouth sores, wounds, ulcers and cold sores. This is because HA ensures the damaged tissue remains moist. Another benefit is the tissue repair also includes relief from sunburn. A lot of treatments for cold sores on your mouth or lips contain an HA gel. This increases the speed of your healing while preventing both bleeding and cracking. An important part of the structure of your lips and mount is HA.
Your lips and mouth are comprised of connective tissues containing both water and collagen. HA and collagen are what provide your lips with their shape and structure. Since HA will bind to water, it hydrates the tissues and skin of your lips and mouth, helps supply damaged tissues with important nutrients, helps waste be carried out by fluids, keeps the junctions of your skin tight and controls inflammation.
Protection from Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Your HA is produced naturally by your body. This is found in large particles important for the functioning of your gut. This may offer repair or protection from inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Isolated HA particles much smaller than what your body produces may increase the inflammation in your gut. This is the reason the majority of HA produced outside of your body is created to be as close to natural HA as possible. Supplements and foods rich in HA should be included in your diet.
Protein powder and bone broth help encourage the natural healing process of your gastrointestinal system. This may offer you some protection from leaky gut syndrome.