You’ve probably heard of hyaluronic acid. Let’s dive in to what it is, what it does, and how to get more of it.
Hyaluronic Acid Structure
Hyaluronic acid, sometimes abbreviated HA, is a type of long-chain carbohydrate molecule that is present in many bodily tissues. Its chemical formula is (C14H21NO11)n.
HA and Skin Health
Hyaluronic acid plays a vital role in the health of skin and joints. It functions as a lubricant in connective tissues, and is a major component of the synovial fluid that allows joints like knees and elbows to bend smoothly and comfortably.
When it comes to skin, HA is involved in tissue repair and regeneration. As wounds (large or small) heal, hyaluronic acid allows necessary cellular components to move in and out of the wound area as needed. Medically, HA has been used in injection treatments for arthritic joints, in formulations of artificial tears, and as an active ingredient in lotions for the treatment of atopic dermatitis.
Safety of Hyaluronic Acid
There are some safety concerns when HA is used as an injectable filler. The Environmental Working Group rates hyaluronic acid as a 1, which is its safest rating. HA is not thought to be an environmental toxin, and there are no serious concerns around the ingredient with respect to carcinogenicity, developmental and reproductive toxicity, or allergies and immunotoxicity.
4 Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid in Skincare
What are some specific benefits of this molecule as observed in skincare usage?
1) Hydrates skin: “Skin HA accounts for most of 50% of total body HA” “The hydration of the skin critically depends on the HA-bound water in the dermis and in the vital area of the epidermis” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3583886/
2) Increases firmness & elasticity: “Measurement of skin roughness showed a significantly finer skin structure after two weeks of treatment, and skin elasticity showed a significant improvement after 2 and 8 weeks of treatment” (with nano-hyaluronic acid) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3970829/
3) Reduces wrinkles & smoothes skin:”Topical application of low molecular weight HA was demonstrated to improve skin moisturization and elasticity associated with significant reduction of wrinkle depth” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4371636/
4) Reduces inflammation: “A prescription hyaluronic acid based foam device offers an aesthetic formulation with excellent efficacy in patients requiring an environment for barrier repair with mild to moderate atopic dermatitis.” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21896129/
4 Ways to Incorporate HA into your Daily or Weekly Routine
- Increase broth intake – bone broth or meat stock has a high amount of hyaluronic acid that can nourish your skin from the inside.
- Use a moisturizer packed with HA that over time, will firm and brighten skin. The Countermatch Intense Moisture Serum is lightweight for easy layering, or use the Countermatch Recovery Sleeping Cream to amp up your skin’s nighttime repair processes.
- The best-seller Overnight Resurfacing Peel improves skin texture and boosts clarity without irritation or over-drying. Use a few times a week for a clearer complexion. Over 2000 5-star reviews can’t be wrong – give it a shot!
- Use a foundation high in HA that works on your skin all the day long. Beautycounter’s brand new Skin Twin Foundation sweeps the deck in performance and hyaluronic acid content, melding skincare and makeup into one fabulous product.