Hyaluronic acid (HA or hyaluronan) is a sugar molecule that your body produces naturally in the skin, connective tissues, joints, and eyes. It is the primary material in the extracellular matrix, which is the gel-like substance that surrounds and protects your skin cells. Collagen and elastin – the proteins responsible for giving your skin shape and structure – are also found in the extracellular matrix.
HA is a powerful hydrating agent that binds to water and helps your body retain moisture in the skin, eyes, and joints. The molecule can hold up to one thousand times its weight in water. Most of your body’s hyaluronic acid is in the skin, where it draws moisture up from the dermis and transfers it to the epidermis to keep your skin properly hydrated.
During the aging process, your natural production of hyaluronic acid will decrease. Exposure to UV radiation, environmental pollutants, cigarette smoke, and free radicals also decreases the amount of HA your body makes naturally. As you get older, hyaluronic acid is a wonderful substance to start adding to your skin care routine. It will replenish hydration and help your skin retain its structure. HA can be found in oral supplements, topical creams, serums, and gels, and injectable fillers.
Here are three reasons why you should be using hyaluronic acid in your skin care routine.
1. It Hydrates Dry, Dull Skin
When applied topically, hyaluronic acid is a humectant – the molecule draws moisture from deep within the skin and from the surrounding air to bring it to the top layer of skin. And because HA molecules bind to water, they help the surface of your skin retain the new moisture.
Dehydration causes skin to sag, look dull, and feel uneven. Dry skin also highlights the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Replenishing your skin’s hydration with a topical hyaluronic acid can make it appear firmer, more supple, and brighter, while also smoothing out wrinkles and lines. HA fillers, which are administered via injection, can be applied to your nasolabial folds and around the lips and eyes to give structure and elasticity to your skin.
2. It Speeds Up Wound Healing
Hyaluronic acid plays an important role in the wound healing process. The molecule is a key regulator of all phases of tissue repair: new cell migration, inflammation, and signaling the body to build more blood vessels in the wounded area. HA also has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Throughout the healing process, it improves the size of the wound, reduces redness and inflammation, and protects the vulnerable area from infection.
3. It Works for All Skin Types
Because your body produces hyaluronic acid naturally, there are few side effects from using it to replenish your skin’s hydration. HA is gentle enough to be used for people with acne-prone and sensitive skin, as well as for people who have inflammatory skin conditions like dermatitis or rosacea.
Of course, you should treat new serums or creams with hyaluronic acid like you would any other skin product. Apply a skin patch test on your wrist or arm first, to make sure you do not have a reaction. If you currently use a hydrating product in your skin care routine, check your ingredients label – you may already be using a product that contains hyaluronic acid.
At Ageless Allure Medispa, you can add hyaluronic acid as an additional enhancement to any of our amazing facials. Contact our office today to schedule your next spa session with us.