Thursday, December 20, 2012

Intense Moisturizing for the Winter: Hyaluronic Acid

Just about everyone who has come in for treatments in the last few weeks has complained of dry skin. As we enter into the dry winter months, this becomes a problem, especially here in Colorado, and there is one ingredient you can add to your daily regimen to kick your hydration up a notch.

You might have heard of an ingredient called “hyaluronic acid” that is often included in skincare moisturizers, eye creams and lip gloss and is even used as an injectible filler. Here’s an excerpt from an LA Times article that sums it up nicely:

“Hyaluronic acid is a viscous, gooey substance that’s a key component in connective tissues. It lubricates joints and even sustains the shape of the eyeballs. Dr. Nowell Solish, a cosmetic dermatologist, says it’s important to understand that all hyaluronic acid is the same. ‘In fact, so much so that your hyaluronic acid is identical to mine and identical to any species even. Originally before they started making it synthetically, they used to get it from a rooster.’”

And from another article in

Hyaluronic acid is the key for maintaining water substances in human skin. Due to aging, natural hyaluron concentration in the skin decreases at any alarmingly increasing rate throughout time. Accordingly, the skin’s ability to maintain moisture is weakened and it gives the appearance of being dry and rough. When hyaluronic acid is applied back to the skin, it penetrates the dermis, combines with water, and promotes microcirculation and nutrient absorption. It forms an air-permeable layer to help keep the skin moist and smooth. The result is rapid skin rejuvenation, diminishing the appearance of wrinkles, crow’s feet and other cosmetic signs of age around the eyes caused by sun exposure, smoking stress and other common factors.”

Hyaluronic acid is a large molecule so it has the ability to hold 1000 times its weight in water. It is a natural key component of the dermis. It effectively binds water to cells and is responsible for the elasticity and resiliency of the skin. The most effective way to use it topically is as an injectible filler, because it naturally occurs in our skin and the body doesn't see it as foreign, but when applied manually and massaged into the skin, there is a percentage of concentration that absorbs into the skin. When added to your moisturizer daily, it helps moisturize, plump and soften as well as helps stimulate more collagen production at the cellular level.

Hyaluronic acid is also very effective to take internally to hydrate skin and lubricate joints.