When it comes to skincare, there are certain compounds and chemicals that can be used to treat a variety of conditions, both medical and cosmetic. Hyaluronic acid is one of the hardest working substances in skincare and it appears in a variety of products and processes that can restore your skin’s natural beauty.
Hyaluronic acid occurs naturally within the body and is produced in the skin, eyes and joints. In the joints, it acts as a cushion and lubricant between joints and body tissue. It also acts as a lubricant in the eye and is a major component in keeping your eyes moist. In skin, hyaluronic acid helps maintain moisture, keeping it hydrated and full in appearance.
For medical purposes, hyaluronic acid is usually synthesized in laboratories using a fermentation process. Since hyaluronic acid is a natural acid, it’s a very safe substance to use in a number of medical treatments, including treatments for cataracts and osteoarthritis. It can be applied to the surface of the skin as an ointment or salve, injected, or taken as a pill depending on the condition it’s treating.
As is the case with many substances in our skin, hyaluronic acid production slows with age, contributing to joint disorders and causing skin to lose its moisture-maintaining capabilities. Thankfully, there are many products out there that can restore your body’s water-rich hyaluronic acid.
Hyaluronic acid is found in a number of wrinkle-fighting skincare products and cosmetic services that your dermatologist can provide. Juvederm® and Restylane® are two products used to treat face wrinkles. Both solutions contain hyaluronic acid as the primary ingredient. These treatments are called dermal fillers because they involve injecting a solution into the dermis, the second inner layer of our skin. BOTOX® is another popular dermal filler, but the procedure uses a different substance to temporarily freeze nerves and fill wrinkles. Hyaluronic acid injections produce visible results. Wrinkles are temporarily reduced or eliminated and the treatment’s effects can last up to a year.
Hyaluronic acid is also a key ingredient in facial creams and serums that target wrinkles. These products are available in many places, but it’s important to find a brand you trust and have previous experience with. Skincare should not be taken lightly and cheaper products tend to include lower quality ingredients. Though these topical solutions don’t involve needles or injections, the results are less pronounced and don’t last as long.
If you have acne scarring, dermal fillers containing hyaluronic acid are an excellent way to restore your skin’s natural topography. Hyaluronic acid fills in and rehydrates skin, smoothing away the indentations left by severe acne. As with wrinkle treatment, dermal fillers like Restylane® and Juvederm® produce noticeable results that can last one year.
If your skin is prone to dryness, cracking, and flaking, hyaluronic acid treatments can assist your skin in a number of ways. First, hyaluronic acid acts as a humectant, meaning it can help retain moisture on the skin’s surface. Also, hyaluronic acid promotes healthy skin regrowth and collagen production by acting as an artificial barrier against dryness. If your skin isn’t doing enough to protect itself, hyaluronic acid can step in and keep it protected. Your complexion will noticeably improve if you use products containing hyaluronic acid with the recommended frequency.
Hyaluronic acid is not a miracle – it’s a natural part of our bodies' chemistry. If you find that your skin can’t keep up, supplementing your skin’s natural production of hyaluronic acid with products like Juvederm® and Restylane® or the various serums and topical products offered can give skin the boost it needs. Don’t hesitate to try something new. Call your New England dermatologist today!