Hyaluronic Acid The Miracle Moisturizer: Part I

hyaluronic acid

Hyaluronic Acid The Miracle Moisturizer: Part I

From fillers to serums, Hyaluronic acid seems to be everywhere in the cosmetic industry. But why? Hyaluronic acid has an impressive ability to hydrate and volumize. But is Hyaluronic Acid the really elixir of youth that many people claim it is, or is just another snake oil, trumped up in name but unable to deliver the benefits its marketed by?

In this three part series, SKINNEY Medspa examines Hyaluronic acid’s role in the function and health of your skin. Find out what it is, how it works, and most importantly, if skincare products containing Hyaluronic acid are worth buying.

Part II: Why Dehydrated Skin Makes Us Look Older>>

Part III: The Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid Serum >>

The Importance of Hydrated Skin

Proper hydration is critical to healthy skin. Hyaluronic acid helps skin rehydrate and maintain moisture, but to understand how, a basic understanding of skin anatomy is helpful. The skin is composed of three layers. The bottom layer is called the sub-dermis, which stores our subcutaneous fat. The middle layer, or the dermis, consists of proteins, like collagen and elastin and Glycosaminoglycan’s (GAGs) which provide our skin with its structural matrix. The dermis also contains blood vessels, which deliver water to cells, among many other things. The top layer of skin, or the epidermis, functions as a barrier protecting the body against external threats, such as bacteria. It also keeps vital moisture in.

The epidermis is avascular, meaning it has no blood supply. The epidermis depends on the lower layer of skin, the dermis, to provide it with its moisture.

Related Article: Salicylic Acid: 8 Reasons why the best acne products have it >>

What is Hyaluronic Acid?

Hyaluronic Acid is a natural occurring molecule found in the human body. It is characterized for its ability to attract and bind large amounts of water molecules to proteins. This gives hyaluronic acid a gel like composition that provides cushioning and lubrication for the joints and eyeballs. Hyaluronic acid is also the main Glycosaminoglycan (GAG) found in the skin.

Related Article: Why the best chemical peels contain glycolic acid >>

The Role of Hyaluronic Acid in Skin Health

Hydration is the foundation of healthy skin, and Hyaluronic acid is responsible for maintaining that hydration. Hyaluronic acid plays two important roles, one that affects the dermis (middle layer of skin) and the epidermis (outer most layer of skin.)

Hyaluronic acid in the dermis

Hyaluronic acid attracts water molecules from the blood supply within the dermis and binds those water molecules together.  GAGs then distribute this large collection of water molecules throughout the dermis to create ground substance, or the fluid that fills in space between structural proteins (collagen and elastin.)

GAGS are essential to the health and structural integrity of collagen and elastin proteins. Ground substance from GAGs keeps the various fibers of collagen and elastin in place and in proportion, providing turgidity, or bounce. GAGs also hydrate collagen and elastin, helping them remain soluble by remaining moist.

Hyaluronic Acid in the Epidermis

Hyaluronic acid (HA) also plays a role in the overall hydration of your epidermis. Water molecules bound together by HA diffuses upwards, hydrating the various layers of the epidermis as it migrates towards the surface of your skin.

Anything that is vital to your skin’s health also plays an influential role in your skin’s appearance. Children and young adults have plenty of hyaluronic acid in their skin. High levels of hyaluronic acid is one reason why young skin remains, taut, flexible, and plump. As we age, the body’s production of Hyaluronic acid begins to decline and skin starts to lose its moisture. This leads to visible reduction in firmness, plumpness, and flexibility of the dermis layer, and wrinkles, dull complexions, and on the sub-dermis level.

Part II: Why Dehydrated Skin Makes Us Look Older>>

Part III: The Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid Serum >>


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