What is Hyaluronic Acid and Why you Need More

I’ve been paying attention to trends in the dietary supplement industry for over 20 years…and there’s one thing that never seems to change. The only thing that never changes is that there is a trendy new supplement that takes the stage every few years.  Recently, one of the products that has stepped into the spotlight in both mainstream and alternative medicine is “HA”…also known as hyaluronic acid. This article by my team at UpWellness gets past the hype and tells you everything you need to know about whether HA is right for you.  

Be Well, 

Dr. Josh 

Hyaluronic acid has become a buzzword in the skincare world recently, with seemingly every company capitalizing on the fact that their product contains this beneficial molecule. But is it really that great? The truth is, this multifaceted ingredient may actually be worth the hype (and the steep price tag) when used in the proper way. So what exactly is this skincare holy grail, and how can you get more of it? Read on to find out. 

What is hyaluronic acid?

Hyaluronic acid, or HA, as it is more commonly known, is a naturally occurring polysaccharide in the human body. While it is most prevalent in the skin, it also acts as a cushioning and lubrication agent for the joints, nerves, hair, and eyes. It retains water and helps keep your skin looking and feeling hydrated, tight, and plump. And it does its job really well, with each molecule holding about a thousand times its weight in water to keep it locked in your skin and prevent it from evaporating. 

Don’t let the word “acid” throw you off; this nourishing substance won’t dry you out or exfoliate dead skin like alpha or beta hydroxy acids. It simply acts like a sponge to lock in moisture and keep your skin glowing. 

Why do you need HA?

It decreases as you age

Since HA is one of the main components of vibrant, wrinkle-free skin (along with collagen and elastin), it makes sense that its natural production would decrease as you age, leading to wrinkles, sagging skin, increased dryness, and fine lines. Therefore, it is important to supplement your skin with this substance to give it a boost and keep your youthful glow well into middle age. 

Soothes dry skin

We all suffer from dry skin at some point. Whether you have a skin condition such as eczema or merely suffer from bad bouts of dry skin in the harsh winter months, you could surely use a little extra moisture. HA can deliver just that. Since it is a humectant, meaning it draws moisture from the environment, it is incredibly effective at soothing dry, cracked, irritated skin. Some experts claim that it isn’t the best moisturizer as it can be expensive and may end up achieving the opposite effect in incredibly dry environments where there is no moisture to pull from the air. However, it does work well to create a protective barrier against harsh elements like drying wind and keep your face smooth. Remember, healing always comes from the inside out, so be sure that you are drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated to keep your skin and the rest of your body happy. 

It is good for all skin types

Finding a good moisturizer or face serum that works for you can be incredibly difficult if you have finicky skin. One minute you’re struggling with an oily forehead, and the next, you’re slathering lotion on dry skin patches. HA is excellent because it helps hydrate oily skin (yes, oily skin needs to be moisturized too), and it isn’t so thick that it will clog your pores or create breakouts. Plus, it feels weightless on the skin but can help lock in moisture for even those skin types that suffer from severe dryness. 

How to get more HA?

Eat fresh foods

Eating a rainbow of fresh, colorful fruits and veggies that are loaded with antioxidants is one of the best, most natural ways to protect your skin and help lock in HA. Because these antioxidants help fight off free radicals and reduce inflammation, they can also help preserve HA in your skin since inflammation is one of the main reasons this molecule will dissipate.

Topical products

Most skin care products contain some form of HA. However, there are masks, creams, and serums specifically formulated to deliver the molecule in the right way and hydrate and refresh your skin. Always be sure that you are buying organic beauty products with no nasty chemicals. Do your research before using anything on your skin, as it will soak in whatever you apply to it. 

A note on injections:

While many people choose to have HA injected into their face via face fillers, this can be a risky procedure and isn’t necessary to receive many of the benefits of HA. Stick to topical application to avoid potential complications while still helping your skin look great. 

-The UpWellness Team