What is it? Where is it found?
Hyaluronate or hyaluronic acid is an organic substance produced by our body’s cells. Large amounts are produced by the articular cartilage, the eyeballs, brain, heart valves, saliva and skin. More than half of all hyaluronate found in the human body resides in the skin.
What it does for the skin
Hyaluronic acid ensures elasticity and normal functioning of tissues allowing better retention of water and improving structure. It literally maintains the balance of fluids in all body tissues. This allows for hydration of cells helping them preserver their youth and function. Additionally, hyaluronate promotes cell proliferation and restoration.
The most important characteristic of hyaluronic acid is its ability to retain water with one molecule able to able to absorb a thousand times its own weight. This characteristic protects connective tissues from dehydration.
But if our body is capable of producing hyaluronic acid on its own, why do we add more?
Our body contains only about 0.2 grams of hyaluronate per kilogram, so a 65kg human body only contains about 13 grams of hyaluronate (about one teaspoon) and a third of that (about 4.3 grams) is broken down and synthesized daily.
The break down of hyaluronic acid is accelerated by ultraviolet light. Skin exposed to prolonged sun will use up its hyaluronate and become dry and dehydrated. We know this as sun damage.
The natural production of hyaluronic by the body can decrease because of bad habits, malnutrition, stress, pollution, poor-quality water, traumas, health problems and other negative external factors.
The most significant and inevitable result of reduced hyaluronate is ageing. Peak bodily hyaluronate production occurs around the age of 25 years. After 25 years, the synthesis of hyaluronate slows down, and after the age of 40 the body starts to be deficient in hyaluronate, hence it cannot synthesize collagen in sufficient quantities, the aging process becomes irreversible. As a result of not enough hyaluronate in the body, the first signs of aging appear - dry skin, wrinkles and a dull complexion.
So, by replenishing hyaluronic acid, we slow down the aging process.
This is why hyaluronic acid has become so popular in the beauty industry.
What can we do to replenish the amount of hyaluronic acid, thereby slowing down the process of skin aging?
· Lead a healthy lifestyle (eliminating bad habits such as smoking and drinking alcohol)
· Drink enough clean water (aim for 35 ml of water per 1 kilogram of body weight per day)
· Consume foods containing hyaluronic acid (for instance, meat cartilage and broths, bananas, legumes, soybeans, cereals, potatoes, beets and other starchy vegetables)
· Use HA in Skincare at home (moisturizers and serums and UV protection)
· Have salon skin treatments that help boost skin hydration
Hyaluronic Acid at home
There is a misconception that topical application of hyaluronic acid is ineffective, because the diameter of its molecule is many times greater than the distance between skin molecules. However, research suggests otherwise. Hyaluronic acid, which is on the surface of the skin for a long time, enters both its upper layers and the dermis, giving the necessary moisture to the cells, thereby moisturizing them and preventing premature aging. Thus, to moisturize the upper layers of the skin, it is enough to apply the substance to the surface.
Please, if you feel that your skin needs hydration add a Hyaluronic Acid Serum to your skincare regime.
Use it AM and PM after cleanse (or double cleanse) and before using moisturiser or any oil-based products.
Hyaluronic Acid in salon treatments
Hyaluronic acid has gained immense popularity in cosmetology, because not a single cosmetic product will solve the problem of nourishing the skin in the same way as cosmetic procedures do.
In the products that only professional therapists and aesthetics can use HA is fragmented and the concentration of it in the product is much higher than in topical serums.
For deeper hydration, to smooth out wrinkles or change the shape of the cheekbones, lips and other parts of the face, mesotherapy or bio-revitalisation injections and various hardware techniques using hyaluronic acid can be used. These treatments give more effective, visible and often instant results.
Tell your beauty therapist about your skin concerns. And if you feel that your skin lacks hydration your therapist will advise you what treatment you could benefit from.