In the quest for a more youthful appearance, you have likely seen hyaluronic acid (HA) everywhere, from topical serums to dermal fillers to supplements. Its great ability to hold water fits perfectly in the anti-aging skincare world, as aging and pre-mature aging in the skin are marked by a loss of hydration and volume. It’s not uncommon for a woman to lose 75-90% of dermal moisture as she ages.
Found in our connective tissue, HA retains water in order to lubricate and cushion. Often referred to as “a magnet for moisture,” HA is reputed to hold 1000 times its weight in water. Our skin contains half of the hyaluronic acid in our bodies, with a significant majority in our dermis, the layer of skin just below the outermost layer. Starting in our late 20s, our natural production begins to decrease. This decrease causes dryness, with noticeably less volume contributing to pre-mature aging of the skin with wrinkles and sagging.
Scientifically, HA is a large molecule, too large to penetrate the skin. Therefore, when applied topically, all its work is done on the external layer of skin, the epidermis. Topically applied HA draws moisture from your skin, or other products used, to temporarily hydrate and plump, resulting in the appearance of fewer wrinkles. Interestingly, if you live in a dry climate, a topical HA serum has the potential to pull the moisture from your skin, bringing that moisture into the dry air. That counteracts what you are trying to achieve, making your skin even drier. To prevent this, it is recommended to apply the HA serum on damp skin and follow with a moisturizer.
Ingestible hyaluronic acid is available as a nutricosmetic, a nutritional supplement taken to achieve beauty benefits. Working from the inside out, a beauty from within approach, supplementing with HA targets the root of the dryness, rather than temporarily fixing it. It has the potential to have beneficial effects as you are supporting what your body should naturally be producing. By consistently replenishing your internal stores that have been depleted, you can experience an increase in radiance and fullness, along with other healthy skin improvements. Although we lack the digestive enzymes to break down hyaluronic acid, microbes in your colon break the molecules down into small fragments that are readily absorbed. We are therefore reliant on intestinal microbes for the absorption of hyaluronic acid.
Aging and pre-mature aging in the skin are marked by a loss of hydration and volume. When HA is internally supplemented, with at least 100mg a day taken consistently, dryness decreases and volume increases, allowing your skin to have the radiance of younger years. The glow returns.