What is hyaluronic acid? In layman terms, it is a sugary molecule in the body that helps our skin retain water. In fact, it’s one of the most incredible moisture absorbers on the planet- just one gram can hold up to six liters of liquid! So it does not require a lot in order to be highly effective in our bodies.
But as we age, the excess of hyaluronic acid within our skin cells is gradually expended. Although the body continues to replace it at much slower levels even into our 50’s and 60’s, the skin will begin to lose its oily appearance and start to form wrinkles.
It’s kind of ironic; as teens we did everything we could to fight oily skin…yet it was that very same oil that we need later in life to give us a youthful glow. Hyaluronic acid is responsible for locking in moisture, reducing inflammation and serving as the first line of defense against antioxidants and free radicals. It also helps to maintaining healthy joints when taken orally.
How Does Hyaluronic Acid Work?
Maybe a practical example would help illustrate why hyaluronic acid is so important in skin rejuvenation. Think of your skin as a sponge- like the kind you’d wash your car with on a warm summer day.
If you dip a sponge into a bucket of soapy water, the pores will quickly expand to evenly absorb moisture. The liquids stay locked in place because the oil within the soap works as a temporary barrier against heat and sunlight. So even as you wash your vehicle, the sponge remains damp inside and out.
But what happens if you leave the sponge sitting out in the sun for an extended period of time? It eventually dries out; much like our skin does over time as we age. And this process happens in a large part due to the loss of hyaluronic acid in our bodies.
Breaking Discoveries in Cosmetology
Cosmetologists have long understood that common skin blemishes, wrinkles and facial discoloration are a by-product of the skin losing its ability to retain moisture. But what they’ve failed to realize is that the so-called “miracle serums” that get released to the market every year can’t reverse signs of aging on their own- they need help from our skin cells to regenerate.
For instance, have you ever wondered how super glue works so much better than that good old Elmer’s we grew up using?
Regular glue makes two different items stick together, and the more similar the two things are, the better the bond. Super glue, on the other hand, bonds at the chemical level and makes the two items become one…much like a scientist does with fusion.
Hyaluronic acid works exactly the same way. It’s the bond that allows the skin to absorb healthy nutrients and heal naturally over time. So for your skin serums to work properly, it is a great idea to lay the foundation for success by using hyaluronic acid.
Understanding Product Strengths & Weaknesses
Take something like Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair, for example, which is one of the highest rated anti-aging moisturizing sunscreens on the market at this time. It uses accelerated Retinol SA to deliver smoother, fuller skin and I can personally attest that this is a good product if you’re looking for an anytime sunscreen. Take a look at the directions and ingredients label below-
See the sodium hyaluronate about halfway down in the “active ingredients” section? Sodium hyaluronate is a salt derivative that made from hyaluronic acid. The benefit is that it’s microscopic in size so it penetrates skin cells easily, but it’s nowhere near as powerful as concentrated hyaluronic acid.
That’s okay though since we are talking about a sunscreen here. But you’ll also see that this product contains things like cetyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol, and fragrance- these ingredients dry out the skin and counter-act the benefits of sodium hyaluronate.
I provided the above example for one simple reason; do not assume that serums containing sodium hyaluronate or hyaluronic acid are all created equal. They definitely are not.
What to Seek in Quality Hyaluronic Acid Serums
To see the full benefits of hyaluronic acid, it should be listed as one of the first ingredients in any type of serum; preferably in the top three. The reason why is because the lower it is on the ingredients list, the less is actually present within the formula. In fact, very few products include enough hyaluronic acid to give your skin maximum regenerative benefits.
For instance, Amara Organics Hyaluronic Acid Serum is 98% naturally derived and complimented with Vitamins C, E, and many other natural ingredients like aloe, with hazel and jojoba oil. It is intended to be used before a moisturizer to allow your skin to gain the greatest possible absorption levels from treatment, and it only requires a few drops in a concentrated form like this one to get the job done.
Now, there are plenty of other great hyaluronic acid serums on the market that can deliver equally impressive results, and you are now equipped with all the necessary information to use this amazing product to enhance your existing skin care essentials.
Be sure to let me know about your experiences!