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* Read TIA's article on Sodium Hyaluronate and Hyaluronic Acid
* Famous for being the key component in the longevity of residents in a Japanese village featured on ABC. The segment was called "The Village of Long Life: Could Hyaluronic Acid Be an Anti-Aging Remedy?"
* Also known as Hyaluronan or Glycosaminoglycan
Hyaluronic Acid is a cushioning, lubricating chemical naturally created in the body. Many physical problems, such as hereditary connective tissue disorders in the joints, heart valves and eyes, result from low levels of Hyaluronic Acid, so it is natural to assume that reintroducing higher levels of it may improve these issues.
The effect of Hyaluronic Acid on the skin is at the level of promoting the formation of collagen, the fibers that firm the skin. Hyaluronidase, an enzyme that breaks down collagen fibers, is produced by free radicals and UV radiation. This breakdown of collagen fibers can cause premature wrinkles and sagging of the skin. Therefore, reducing the free radicals is a major key to reducing the Hyaluronidase enzyme and promoting normal levels of Hyaluronic Acid in the skin (Source). Hyaluronic Acid also exhibits water-binding and water-attracting attributes fill up the spaces between the connective fibers collagen and elastin in the dermis. This allows skin to say supple and prevents wrinkles from forming in dry skin.
Hyaluronic Acid is also being injected into skin much like Botox, in the form of Restylane. Since Hyaluronic acid is what gives skin its volume and fullness, Restylane is injected into wrinkled skin to add fullness and reduce the prominence of the wrinkles. Hyaluronic acid also attracts and binds water, and this also helps maintain fullness in the area of injection (Source). Restylane was approved by the FDA in 2003 for this use.
Safety Measures/Side Effects:
Hyaluronic Acid can be drying to skin in very dry climates due to its ability to absorb water and moisture. Although it is generally considered safe and often used as a skin soother, it could possibly be drying rather than moisturizing in specifically arid climates.
Recommended Products w/ Hyaluronic Acid:
Blistex Deep Renewal, Juice Beauty Green Apple SPF 20 Antioxidant Body Moisturizer, Adorage Anti-stress Serum and Moisturizing Cream