Hyaluronic acid has been called a “hydration miracle”, a “moisture magnet”, and even “the fountain of youth” by beauty and skincare experts, but what exactly is it? And how does it benefit the skin? Today the spotlight is on hyaluronic acid, so read on to learn how this superstar ingredient can give you a rejuvenated, youthful appearance.

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What is hyaluronic acid?

Hyaluronic acid is a glycosaminoglycan (GAG), which is a sugar molecule that can naturally be found throughout the body. It is most abundant in our skin, which accounts for 50% of the body’s total content of hyaluronic acid. Specifically, hyaluronic acid is found in the extracellular matrix (ECM), a layer directly underneath the epidermis that also contains the structural proteins collagen and elastin. Hyaluronic acid is also present in all tissues and fluids of the body, such as skeletal tissues, heart valves, the lungs, the fluid surrounding the eyes, etc. Hyaluronic acid has many functions throughout the body, including hydration, lubrication of joints, wound healing, and providing the framework through which cells migrate.
Hyaluronic acid is a negatively charged molecule, which means it will attract positively charged sodium and potassium ions. In turn, the molecule will easily absorb and hold onto water. Thus, hyaluronic acid plays an important role in regulating the water and electrolyte balance of tissues. In fact, hyaluronic acid is the key molecule involved in skin moisture since it is capable of holding up to 1,000 times its weight in water.

Skincare benefits of hyaluronic acid

When the skin is hydrated it can maintain its turgor, resilience, and flexibility. As the skin loses moisture due to both internal and external factors, it begins to show signs of aging, such as lines, wrinkles, sagging, and flaking skin. Since hyaluronic acid is the key molecule involved with skin moisture, many topical anti-aging products incorporate hyaluronic acid into their formulations. Hyaluronic acid can help naturally reduce signs of aging by decreasing epidermal water loss associated with sun exposure, low humidity, and other external factors associated with skin dryness.

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Hyaluronic acid fillers

If you’re bothered by the appearance of lines, wrinkles, or sagging skin, a hyaluronic acid filler can produce more noticeable and long-lasting results than a topical product. Hyaluronic acid fillers can restore your youthful appearance by filling out wrinkles and skin folds, as well as replacing lost facial volume. The results can last from several months to over a year. Dermal fillers that contain hyaluronic acid include Restylane®, Juvederm®, and Perlane®.

If you would like to learn more about hyaluronic acid fillers, schedule a consultation with board-certified dermatologist Dr. Jessica Krant located in New York City.

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