Need to Know About Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is a common skin care ingredient. It’s in cosmetic products you might find over the counter — and hyaluronic acid is the primary ingredient in some facial injectable fillers, like Restylane.1 So why all the hype?

While scientists are still learning all the reasons hyaluronic acid is so essential for healthy-looking skin, they know it seems to help fight signs of aging.2 Some things to know:

1. You Already Have Hyaluronic Acid in Your Skin
Hyaluronic acid is a molecule that’s made up of sugars. It already exists in your skin, as well as connective tissues throughout your body. It’s a slippery substance that helps keeps skin plump and moisturized and joints moving smoothly.3,4

2. Hyaluronic Acid = Mega Moisture
One reason why hyaluronic acid is such an amazing ally for your skin: It can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water.5 That means when it sits on top of your skin, it fills up with moisture and keeps skin feeling hydrated. But there’s a downside: Hyaluronic acid molecules are large and, therefore, can’t penetrate deeply into the skin.6 The benefits are superficial and temporary — but you can prolong them.

3. Hyaluronic Acid Can Restore & Enhance Your Facial Features
One bummer about hyaluronic acid? With age, our natural stores of this face-plumping substance begin to diminish.4 Fortunately, a qualified doctor can inject fillers like Restylane, which is a gel formulation of hyaluronic acid, 1 to help improve the appearance of the face in numerous ways. Restylane can be used to help fill in the folds around your mouth (known as laugh lines, or more officially as nasolabial folds) or can be injected in the forehead to soften horizontal lines.1,7,8 But hyaluronic acid injections don’t just smooth wrinkles. Restylane can also be injected to create the appearance of more defined cheeks, a contoured jawline or fuller lips.1,9-11

4. Hyaluronic Acid Injections Can Be Tailored to You
Unlike using creams or lotions, injecting hyaluronic acid allows a doctor to tailor treatment to each person’s unique needs. For instance, if you have lines on your forehead and around your eyes, the right HA filler, like Restylane, can be used in just these areas to help add volume and smooth wrinkles.8

5. Hyaluronic Acid Supplements
Looking for another way to reap the benefits of hyaluronic acid? It’s available as a dietary supplement in capsule form, which some patients use for joint pain.12 While there’s evidence to suggest that taking hyaluronic acid supplements promote collagen production,12 it’s hard to say how much of the hyaluronic acid is broken down in your digestive tract before it delivers on these claims. As with all supplements, proceed with caution.