Hyaluronic acid is well known for its skin benefits, especially alleviating dry skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and speeding up wound healing.
WHAT IS HYALURONIC ACID?
First of all, hyaluronic acid is already in our bodies naturally. It’s widely distributed through our connective tissue, skin, joints, brain, and other organs, and it gives our skin its natural plumpness. Essentially, hyaluronic acid acts as a cushion in our bodies and is necessary for skin to stay young and supple. Unfortunately, we slowly lose naturally-occurring hyaluronic acid over time due to aging and sun exposure (*shouting*: use sunscreen).
That’s why topical hyaluronic acid has so many benefits:
Plumps skin: First and foremost, hyaluronic acid, when applied topically, can restore lost plumpness. It does this by drawing water into the epidermis (up to 1 000 times its weight). This keeps the skin stable and plump. The catch? For hyaluronic acid to draw water into the epidermis, there needs to be water available for it to pull – that means drink plenty of water every single day.
Regulate cellular turnover: Desmosomes are the bonds that hold skin cells together. Sometimes (especially in the case of breakout-prone skin) desmosomes hold on too tightly to dead skin cells that need to flake off. For desmosomes to let go, they need free water. Hyaluronic acid draws free water to the desmosomes to aid in that process.
Protects against UVB: Hyaluronic acid can provide some extra protection against UVB rays (which are the rays responsible for superficial cancers like squamous cell and basal cell). That does not mean you get to forego your favourite sunscreen, however. This protection is simply supplemental.
Works as anti-oxidant: One of the most underrated skincare additives, anti-oxidants are essential for fighting free radicals. Free radicals cause inflammation and harm to the skin and can be found every day in pollution, smoke, UV radiation, and toxic personal care products. Hyaluronic acid, in addition to plumping and protecting, provides an extra boost of anti-oxidants to keep your skin safe.
SOUNDS GREAT! WHERE DO I GET IT?
Hyaluronic acid comes in many forms – cleanser, moisturisers, masks, creams, gels, and serums.