Hyaluronic Acid Benefits for Skin and Joints
Numerous individuals dedicate extensive amounts of time utilizing detrimental beauty products in their pursuit of vibrant and youthful-looking skin. However, a superior alternative exists. Hyaluronic acid not only maintains your skin’s radiant glow but also provides benefits for your joints, all without the adverse effects associated with toxic skincare products.
Hyaluronic acid, also known as hyaluronan, is frequently suggested by dermatologists and other medical professionals due to its potential to enhance the texture and look of the skin, as well as alleviate joint pain and other aging-related symptoms. While hyaluronic acid is commonly recognized for being included in expensive anti-aging skincare serums, it is also utilized in formulas designed to support joint health, treat cold sores, and create eye drops and lip balms.
So what is hyaluronic acid exactly, and how does it work? Hyaluronic acid is a natural, clear substance that acts as a lubricant. It is produced by the body and can be found in high concentrations in various areas, such as the skin, joints, eye sockets, and other tissues. Its role includes retaining collagen, enhancing moisture levels, and contributing to the elasticity and flexibility of these tissues.
Initially, hyaluronic acid was obtained from rooster comb. Although this form is still accessible, it is recommended to utilize hyaluronic acid produced through a laboratory fermentation process. This hyaluronic acid is available in both liquid and powder formats. Liquid forms typically include preservatives, as well as potentially containing propylene glycol and alcohol. On the other hand, powder forms do not contain these additives and are considered preferable.
Currently, hyaluronic acid has become a common ingredient in various anti-aging beauty and healthcare products. You can easily find hyaluronic acid lotions, creams, serums, and supplements available in health food stores. Moreover, many dermatologists offer hyaluronic acid in the form of injections for certain treatments.
Bone broth is naturally rich in hyaluronic acid, making it an excellent source of this ingredient. By incorporating more bone broth or protein powder derived from bone broth into your diet, you can easily boost your hyaluronic acid intake.
Topically applied hyaluronic acid is unable to be absorbed by the skin. However, sodium hyaluronate, which is the salt form of hyaluronic acid, possesses a lower molecular size. This characteristic allows sodium hyaluronate to effectively penetrate the skin when applied topically. As a result, sodium hyaluronate is commonly found in creams and other skincare products.
Hyaluronic acid’s most notable benefit lies in its exceptional ability to retain water, whether it’s on the skin, in the eyes, or within soft tissues. As a glycosaminoglycan, hyaluronic acid possesses the unique capacity to hold a significant volume of water, coupled with its high viscosity.
Hyaluronic acid is widely distributed in various tissues throughout the body, with a particular concentration in the skin, where it plays a crucial role in providing moisture and structural support. In fact, the skin contains approximately half of the total hyaluronic acid present in the entire body.
Hyaluronic acid is also highly concentrated in various other parts of the body, such as tendons, joints, eye membranes, the umbilical cord, synovial fluid, skeletal tissues, heart valves, lungs, aorta, and prostate. Structurally, hyaluronic acid consists of long chains of interconnected carbohydrate molecules, which have the ability to retain water. This property enables fluid movement and facilitates the absorption of pressure in these tissues.
In recent decades, advancing research has unveiled a wide range of beneficial functions attributed to hyaluronic acid. These include its ability to provide hydration, lubricate joints, fill spaces within tissues and between cells, create a framework for cell migration, aid in tissue and wound repair, regulate inflammatory cell activation, boost immune responses, promote the healing of fibroblast injuries, and maintain the integrity of skin’s epithelial cells.
1. Hydrates Dry, Aged Skin
Yes, Hyaluronic acid acts as a hydrator, and numerous individuals have reported experiencing a “dewier” skin sensation, reduced under-eye bags, and smoother skin texture after using serums infused with hyaluronic acid.
The main mechanism by which hyaluronic acid enhances the appearance of “chronoaged skin” (skin aged due to sun exposure) is by minimizing water loss. Interestingly, hormone replacement treatments can also contribute to a more youthful and less sun-damaged appearance by increasing the concentration of hyaluronic acid in the skin.
As we age, the molecules in our skin gradually lose their capacity to effectively bind and retain water, leading to common signs of aging such as dryness, dandruff, drooping eyes or lips, and sagginess. This decline in water retention not only results in dryness but also reduces the volume of the skin. Skin aging is influenced by both intrinsic factors and extrinsic factors, including daily exposure to environmental pollutants and UV light, as well as the natural aging process itself. Research indicates that multiple sites within the skin play a role in regulating the synthesis, deposition, association with cells and proteins, and degradation of hyaluronic acid.
Studies have revealed that prolonged sun exposure can lead to dryness in the outermost layer of the skin, known as the stratum corneum, which significantly contributes to the formation of wrinkles. Additionally, research indicates that wrinkles and fine lines tend to be more pronounced in low humidity environments compared to high humidity environments. This is due to the fact that low humidity further diminishes the skin’s ability to retain moisture and maintain its elasticity.
Hyaluronic acid has the natural ability to diminish signs of aging by reducing the loss of water from the epidermis, which is often linked to sun exposure, skin dryness, and flakiness.
2. Helps Reduce Wrinkles
rolyzed Keratin Benefits)
After a few weeks of using a topical hyaluronic acid product, you can expect to observe a noticeable enhancement in skin surface hydration. While most studies indicate that it may take six weeks or more for hyaluronic acid to visibly improve the skin’s appearance, certain research has found that anti-wrinkle hyaluronic acid serums and eye creams can exhibit initial effects within a shorter duration of two to four weeks.
To achieve more significant anti-aging outcomes, dermatologists currently employ prescription injections or formulations that incorporate hyaluronic acids like Juvéderm Ultra Plus or Allergan. These treatments are administered gradually over several months with the goal of reducing sagging in the lips and eyes.
A double-blind, randomized clinical trial published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology in 2014 demonstrated that the use of hyaluronic acid-based products led to a significant reduction in the appearance of wrinkles and skin sagging within 30 days of regular application. Moreover, some participants reported experiencing fuller lips and increased volume in the cheeks, which are attributes associated with a more youthful appearance, by the end of the one-month period.
The trial was carried out on 40 adult females who showed mild to moderate clinical signs of skin. Before the study, participants exhibited signs of aging such as reduced skin volume and changes in the skin’s texture. The study involved the application of either Fillerina, a product containing six different forms of hyaluronic acid, or a placebo. The effects were measured at intervals of three hours, as well as seven, 14, and 30 days after application.
The research revealed that participants using Fillerina exhibited significant improvements in facial contours and volumes compared to both the placebo group and the initial measurements, with some improvements starting as early as 14 days. The active treatment group experienced reductions in sagging of the face and cheekbones, enhanced lip volume, and reduced depth and volume of wrinkles. In contrast, the placebo group did not experience any such improvements.
In a distinct study published in The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, the effectiveness of a novel topical low molecular nano-hyaluronic acid preparation was assessed for reducing wrinkles, improving skin hydration, and enhancing skin elasticity in human participants. The study involved thirty-three women with an average age of 45, who were observed over an eight-week period to evaluate the anti-wrinkle efficacy of the new nano-hyaluronic acid formulation.
The study findings indicate a notable and statistically significant moisturizing effect, as well as improvements in skin texture and elasticity. The conclusion states that the new nano-hyaluronic acid formulation exhibited a significant reduction in wrinkle depth (up to 40 percent), a substantial increase in skin hydration (up to 96 percent), and a significant enhancement in skin firmness and elasticity (up to 55 percent) after the eight-week period.
3. Sores, Sunburn and Wound Repair
In addition to its effectiveness in reducing the visibility of wrinkles and alleviating dryness, hyaluronic acid offers benefits in the treatment of cold sores, mouth sores, ulcers, wounds, bites, and burns by maintaining moisture in damaged tissue. Hyaluronic acid’s tissue repair properties extend to providing relief for sunburns as well. Numerous cold sore treatments designed for the lips and mouth incorporate hyaluronic acid gel to accelerate the healing process and prevent cracking or bleeding.
Hyaluronic acid is an integral component of the structural makeup of the mouth and lips, which primarily consist of connective tissues composed of collagen and water. The presence of collagen and hyaluronic acid contributes to the structure and shape of the lips. By binding to water, hyaluronic acid effectively hydrates the skin and tissues within the mouth and lips, promoting tight skin junctions. It also facilitates the delivery of nutrients to damaged tissues, regulates inflammation, and aids in the removal of waste through fluid transport.
4. Lubricates Achy Joints
Hyaluronic acid is present in various parts of the body, including bones, connective tissues, joints, tendons, and cartilage structures. It is particularly abundant in hyaline cartilage, which acts as a protective covering for the ends of bones and provides cushioning. Due to its role in buffering bones and offering resistance against damage, hyaluronic acid is beneficial in reducing pain and tenderness associated with degenerative joint diseases.
Hyaluronic acid is also present in the synovial membrane, a crucial component of our joints. The synovial membrane covers the surfaces of articulating bones and is responsible for producing synovial fluid. This fluid, known for its viscosity, plays a vital role in cushioning joints, maintaining their elasticity, and delivering essential nutrients to the surrounding cartilage.
Hyaluronic acid has gained popularity as an ingredient in supplements intended to alleviate osteoarthritis pain and injuries. Additionally, the FDA has approved its use for the treatment of osteoarthritis when administered through injections in relatively high doses under the supervision of a healthcare provider.
Several studies suggest that lower doses of hyaluronic acid may also be effective in reducing joint stiffness and chronic pain, although the outcomes can vary. Hyaluronic acid is commonly used to treat joint pains, particularly in the elbows and knees.
5. Helps Reduce Dry Eyes and Eye Discomfort
The vitreous humor, the fluid present within the eye socket, consists predominantly of hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid eye drops, like Hyalistil, can provide relief for chronic dry eyes by restoring moisture within the eye socket, promoting tear production, and balancing fluid levels. Additionally, research indicates that hyaluronic acid has the potential to mitigate oxidative damage caused by UVB light in the cornea.
Physicians frequently utilize hyaluronic acid-based lubricating formulas to address eye injuries and disorders, including cataracts, particularly during sensitive and dry periods before or after surgery. Hyaluronic acid drops can provide benefits during various eye surgeries or recovery processes, such as cataract removal, corneal transplant, or repair of a detached retina.
6. Protects Against Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Naturally occurring hyaluronic acid, which is produced by the body and can also be found in chicken collagen, exists in large particles that have a role in gut function. These particles may have the potential to protect against or aid in the repair of inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Excessive use of isolated hyaluronic acid, which consists of smaller particles compared to naturally occurring ones, may lead to heightened inflammation in the gut. However, incorporating hyaluronic acid-rich foods and supplements into your diet, such as bone broth or bone broth protein powder, can support the natural healing process of the gastrointestinal system and potentially provide protection against leaky gut syndrome.
Hyaluronic acid for your skin and eyes
Hyaluronic acid injections are exclusively administered by medical professionals, typically dermatologists. If you are considering using hyaluronic acid for your lips, eyes, or skin, it is advisable to consult with a dermatologist to discuss recommendations and guidance.
Hyaluronic acid creams, serums, and lotions come in different brands with varying concentrations and types of hyaluronic acid molecules. The effectiveness of these products can be enhanced by including multiple sizes of hyaluronic acid molecules, as each size functions differently. Research has shown that regular application of serums containing approximately 0.1 percent hyaluronic acid can yield notable improvements in skin hydration, reduction of wrinkles, and enhancement of elasticity.
To address dry eye symptoms, hyaluronic acid can be applied as liquid eye drops, typically three to four times per day, over a span of three months. It is recommended to select eye drops with a concentration of hyaluronic acid ranging from 0.2 percent to 0.4 percent. However, it is crucial to carefully read and follow the provided instructions for proper usage.
Hyaluronic acid supplements for joint pain
As stated by the Arthritis Foundation, there are multiple hyaluronic acid treatments that have received approval for knee osteoarthritis in the United States. These treatments include Hyalgan, Orthovisc, Supartz, and Synvisc. They are commonly derived from sources such as rooster or chicken combs, and in some cases, bacteria.
For adults aged 18 and above, a recommended oral dosage of 50 milligrams of hyaluronic acid is suggested to be taken one to two times per day, preferably with meals.
Research suggests that for individuals with osteoarthritis, a daily dosage of 80 milligrams of hyaluronic acid containing 60 percent to 70 percent hyaluronic acid content may be effective in alleviating symptoms. This dosage regimen is typically followed for a duration of eight weeks to achieve optimal relief.
Consulting with your doctor regarding hyaluronic acid injections is advisable. In some cases, healthcare providers may administer direct injections of approximately 20 milligrams of hyaluronic acid into the affected joint on a weekly basis for a few weeks. This approach can help manage pain and reduce inflammation.
Final Thoughts (Hyaluronic Acid)
Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring lubricating fluid present in various parts of the body, including the skin, eyes, joints, and connective tissues. It plays a crucial role in maintaining hydration, lubrication, and structural support in these areas.
Due to its exceptional water-holding capacity, hyaluronic acid is utilized in various forms such as supplements, lotions, eye drops, and serums to provide structure and moisture to damaged tissues. These products aim to replenish and retain moisture, promoting hydration and supporting the health and integrity of the tissues.
Some forms of hyaluronic acid possess anti-inflammatory properties and contribute to the restoration of collagen and cartilage, reversing their depletion.
The advantages of utilizing hyaluronic acid encompass the firming of aging skin, alleviation of joint discomfort, moisturization of wounds, and rehydration of dry eyes.