Hyaluronic acid: What is it and why is it good for your skin?

What is Hyaluronic acid?

Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a naturally occurring connective tissue found throughout our bodies with 50% found in the skin. It has a remarkable capacity to hold water, up to 1000 times its own weight, so put simply, it has an important role in keeping moisture in the skin. 

How is this important for my skin?

Hydrated skin is softer, plumper and fine lines and wrinkles appear less obvious. Dry, dehydrated skin appears dull and without that healthy ‘glow’ that we all want to see in our skin. If you think of a dry, brittle sponge versus a sponge hydrated in water, you get an idea of how dermal hydration affects your skin. As we age, the amount of HA our bodies produce decreases and recent studies have shown that supplementing HA has a positive effect.

The science bit

After 12 weeks of HA supplementation, the subjects of this recent Japanese study who had been taking the HA supplement showed significantly diminished wrinkles compared with the placebo group. The results suggesting that oral supplementation of HA inhibits skin wrinkles, improves condition and the lustre and suppleness of skin:

The above figure shows typical microscope images of each group.  

Notes: Microscope images of the outer corner of the eye prior to ingestion and after 8 weeks of ingestion are shows for each group.

HA is the abbreviation for Hyaluronic acid.

"Oral Hyaluronan relieves wrinkles: a double-blinded, placebo controlled study  over a 12 week period."  Mariko Oe, Seigo Sakai, Hideto Yoshida, Nao Okado, Haruna Kaneda, Yasunobu Masuda and Osamu Urushibata