Hyaluronic acid is generating a lot of interest in the beauty industry. This acid has been approved by the FDA for various treatments including procedures relating to the eyes, and osteoarthritis, apart from healing wounds and skin ulcers. In fact, the human body produces this acid in small quantities.
Nature of Hyaluronic acid:
For starters it is a carbohydrate. It has the unique ability to bond with water and form a gel like substance. It is this gel like composition, which is a non-fatty composition, which is effective as a lubricating compound in different parts of the body especially the eyes, muscles, joints, etc. The compound is also tissue friendly, which is also the reason why the cosmetic industry has developed special interest in it. The molecule of this acid also resists excessive compression. Effectively, this acid is used for providing the desired support to the otherwise sagging skin.
Skin and Hyaluronic acid
Though hyaluronic acid is present in different parts of the body, it is present more in the skin. Studies suggest that almost 50 percent of the human body’s hyaluronic acid can be found on the skin. But this percentage shifts with age. It comes down as one gets older, and thus needs to be supplemented.
What can hyaluronic acid offer to the beauty industry?
Hyaluronic acid is being promoted as an anti-aging compound because of its properties. This acid is an effective-
Function (1) Moisturizer
This property of the acid is useful for treating burns and wounds.
It is the same property that is being exploited by the cosmetics industry for reducing aging. Hyaluronic acid molecule’s ability to attract and attach itself to the water molecule plays a crucial role in the process.
As age increases, the skin starts losing its moisture and is unable to retain much. Therefore, supplementing it from external sources is one solution. By adding innocuous hyaluronic acid on the skin it is possible to retain moisture as well.
Function (2) Lubricates skins layers
This is another age related issue. The skin layers tend to shrink and move away. But by lubricating the layers, and behaving like a cushion between the layers, hyaluronic acid makes the skin feel smoother and softer. The reason for this is of course the structure of hyaluronic acid and its ability to give the desired level of support.
Function (3) Works as anti-oxidant
Free radicals attack other parts of the tissue, and disrupt them. The collagen in the skin becomes the victim of such attack from oxidants. With the collagen damaged, the skin has no structure to be firm on or a damaged structure to spread on. So the skin sags.
Therefore, free radicals need to be annihilated, and antioxidants do exactly that. But it is difficult to direct anti-oxidants to the desired locations. Antioxidants that can penetrate the skin are as necessary as other antioxidants that can be supplied by the body through its circulatory system. Hyaluronic acid is one of the few compounds that can be used as a topical serum as well as oral capsules. Moreover, it is also more effective when compared to many of the antioxidants, natural or otherwise.
Plastic Surgeons use Hyaluronic acid?
Plastic surgeons have already started using this acid. FDA’s approval of its usage for different purposes has helped in getting it the desired recognition. Because the compound is safe it is found in many over the counter oral and topical medications.