It’s no surprise that your relationship with your skin will change once the chillier weather sets in. Skin may appear drier and duller due to the lack of sun and the increased wind chill. That’s exactly why it's important to start preparing and protecting your skin (or body!) with hyaluronic acid before temperatures turn cooler. But what is hyaluronic acid? Here's our beginner's guide to the ingredient you're seeing everywhere. Say hello to your new BFF: hyaluronic acid.
What is hyaluronic acid?
Hyaluronic acid is a substance found naturally in the body. It has a high concentration in the skin, joints, and eyes, where it provides lubrication and sustains tissue hydration. The HA within our bodies holds a thousand times its weight in water to not only retain all that moisture in our skin and joints, but also prevent all that moisture from evaporating into the air. However, just like collagen and elastin, the amount of naturally occurring hyaluronic acid in our bodies decreases as we get older.
HA in your skincare routine
When used in skin care products like creams and serums, hyaluronic acid brings moisture to the surface of your skin. Due to its ability to draw and hold water, it can be used as a humectant in your skin care routine and it continually keeps skin moisturized throughout the day.
But picking the right hyaluronic acid product is tricky. The molecule is often times too large to effectively deliver hydration deep into skin layers. That is why ingesting HA might be worth a try! Hyaluronic acid is available as a dietary supplement using synthesized forms of the compound.
Health BenefitsThe first and most well-known benefit of HA is its "anti-aging" properties that can improve skin tone and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. According to a 2017 study in Clinical, Cosmetic, and Investigational Dermatology, 60 women and men with crow's feet wrinkles experienced a reduction in wrinkle depth and volume, as well as improved skin luster and suppleness, after 12 weeks of treatment with oral hyaluronan.
But hyaluronic acid doesn’t only keep our wrinkles under management, it is also known to treat and manage osteoarthritis (also known as "wear-and-tear arthritis").
Hyaluronic acid is a viscous fluid that, among other things, helps lubricate the joint space. A 2015 study published in Rheumatology International reported that a three-month course of an oral hyaluronic supplement offered relief to adults with knee osteoarthritis. Among those given HA, a steep reduction in inflammatory proteins as well as an increased concentration of hyaluronic acid in joint fluids was reported.