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Hyaluronic acid may seem like a miracle cure for skincare and wound healing conditions. It can help the body heal faster, delivers moisture to joints, bones, and skin. It can even help fight inflammation and infection. Discover all of hyaluronic acid’s benefits, where to find it, and how to use it.
What is Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic acid is a clear gel-like substance found naturally in the body (mostly in the skin, joints, eyes, and bones). This sugar helps organs retain and attract hydration and protects them from irritants, bacteria, and dehydration.
Though our bodies make this substance on their own, we can increase our hyaluronic acid levels through food, supplements, and topical products.
Conditions Treated by Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic acid is used to treat both medical and cosmetic conditions. Since it’s a naturally-occurring substance already found in the body, it has very few side effects.
Medical conditions treated by hyaluronic acid include:
Low bone density
Skincare conditions treated by hyaluronic acid include:
Since hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance found in joints, too little of this substance can lead to joint conditions and subsequent pain. Without enough of this sugar, the bones can rub up against each other at the joints.
Doctors may inject this substance into the joints to ease pain and lubricate the area. Some patients also take hyaluronic acid in supplement form.
Hyaluronic acid can also aid in wound treatment. It fights inflammation and is a known antibacterial, so it can both ease the pain of the wound while protecting it from bacterial infection.
It works by helping the body to create more blood vessels in wounded areas, speeding up recovery and lowering inflammation levels.
It’s also used to treat gum disease and ulcers.
Acid reflux is a condition that is caused by damage to the lining of the esophagus. The stomach acid travels up the esophagus (which it isn’t meant to do) and erodes the lining.
While part of acid reflux treatment is preventing stomach acid from reaching the esophagus, the other part is treating the damaged lining.
Hyaluronic acid may aid in healing the lining, so patients are often given this sugar supplement to speed up recovery.
Hyaluronic acid is a sticky substance that coats the eye and eye socket, acting as a lubricant.
If your body doesn’t make enough of this sugar to send to your eyes, you may experience dry eye and eye irritation.
Doctors often prescribe patients hyaluronic acid to help ease these symptoms and restore the balance of fatty acid in the eyes.
Since hyaluronic acid is the substance that helps with bone health, it’s no surprise that a loss of hyaluronic acid can lead to weak bones.
Doctors often prescribe hyaluronic acid supplements to patients that suffer from weak bones. Studies also show that it can increase bone mineral density.
Hyaluronic acid may also aid in several symptoms related to the bladder, including bladder pain and pressure and frequent urination.
Cosmetic Skincare Conditions
Last but not least, Hyaluronic acid is used to treat myriad skincare conditions. These conditions range from cosmetic to medical, and they can be treated topically and with supplements.
Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid
When it comes to skincare, the benefits of hyaluronic acid are (almost) immeasurable. This sugar almost seems like a panacea when it comes to treating premature aging, breakouts, and dehydration.
Some of the most common benefits of hyaluronic acid in skincare include:
Acts as a lipid barrier
Aids in cell regeneration
Breaks up pigmentation
Fights free radicals
Increases and retains hydration
Regulates sebum production
Smooths fine lines and wrinkles
Acts as a Lipid Barrier/Fights Free Radicals
Hyaluronic acid is a humectant. Meaning it not only helps to draw moisture to the skin, but it also helps the skin retain its moisture.
Lipid barriers are sebaceous substances that sit on the surface of the skin, protecting skin from outside irritants or bacteria.
Hyaluronic acid helps protect skin from dehydration, sun damage, free radicals, and the elements.
Aids in Cell Regeneration
Wound healing plays a major role in cell regeneration. Hyaluronic acid can help fight inflammation and infection that may slow down wound healing, and it protects the skin from outside irritants.
This allows the cells to focus on regenerating — instead of fighting off infection — leading to healthier, smoother skin.
Breaks Up Pigmentation
Not only does hyaluronic acid increase hydration and help skin retain moisture, but it can also evenly distribute that moisture along the surface of the skin. This allows the skin to regenerate more evenly.
While hyaluronic acid does aid in breaking up pigmentation, it’s not necessarily the best product to do so — which is why you’ll find this ingredient used with other skin-lightening ingredients.
Increases and Retains Hydration
Hyaluronic acid’s main benefits are increasing and retaining hydration. This sugar coats the dermis and helps skin pull hydration outward from the body and inward from the air. It can also help the skin retain more moisture from hydrating lotions and moisturizers.
Without enough hydration, the skin cannot regenerate or heal properly.
Regulates Sebum Production
Sebum is the oily, waxy substance that lubricates the hair follicles as they grow through and out pores in the skin.
We need sebum, but sometimes our bodies can produce too much of it. An overproduction of sebum can clog pores and lead to inflammation and breakouts. This overproduction is often caused by dehydrated skin.
Hyaluronic acid can balance the skin’s pH balance and prevent too much sebum production.
Smooths Fine Lines and Wrinkles
Fine lines and wrinkles are caused (and exacerbated) by dry skin. Collagen (the protein that firms skin and allows it to bounce back) needs water to reproduce. If collagen can’t reproduce, the skin will look dull, crepey, and wrinkled.
Using hyaluronic acid can help skin retain its moisture, aid in collagen production, and keep skin looking dewy and fresh — all while minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Pores appear larger when they’re dehydrated. That’s why using hyaluronic acid can help tighten and shrink open pores.
When skin is moisturized and supple, pores appear smaller. When it comes to most skincare issues, it’s all about hydration — and hyaluronic acid seems to be the cure for practically every dehydration issue under your dermis.
Hyaluronic Acid Side Effects
Hyaluronic acid is considered extremely safe. Doctors believe that it bears few side effects because the substance is already present in and produced by the body. Few patients suffer from allergic reactions to hyaluronic acid.
That being said, there aren't many studies that specifically focus on the effects of hyaluronic acid on pregnant and breastfeeding women, so doctors recommend that women falling into these two categories avoid using this substance.
Some research also suggests that hyaluronic acid may speed up cancer cell production, so those with cancer, a family history of cancer, or a medical history of cancer are advised to avoid it.
Patients taking hyaluronic acid injections also sometimes report side effects, including joint pain and/or irritation. Yet, most doctors believe that this is the result of the injection itself — and not the hyaluronic acid.
How to Increase Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic acid is available in supplement form and topically. Yet, it’s also present in many of the foods we eat.
If you’re suffering from a medical or cosmetic condition, you may want to use one or a combination of the above methods to increase hyaluronic acid in the body. (Yet, we always recommend consulting with your doctor and/or dermatologist first).
The most common way to treat skin conditions with hyaluronic acid is to use it in its topical form.
Eat Foods High in Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic acid naturally occurs in many foods (in addition to our own bodies!). Adding these foods to your diet may naturally increase levels of this sugar in your body.
Such foods include:
Is it any surprise that bone broth contains this sticky substance? Since we know it’s present in our own bones and joints, it really shouldn’t be too shocking! Most foods that boost collagen production can also help boost hyaluronic acid levels, too.
It’s also important to note that if your body is seriously lacking this sugar, you may need to take a supplement or topical form of hyaluronic acid to absorb enough to reap its benefits.
Use Topical Hyaluronic Acid
If you’re suffering from skincare and other cosmetic conditions related to low levels of hyaluronic acid, you may want to skip the supplements and injections and just head straight for the topical products instead.
This sugar is present in skincare products sold in big-box and department stores as well as drugstores.
Yet, the most concentrated levels of hyaluronic acid can be found in prescription skincare. These products must be prescribed by a dermatologist, and they contain higher levels of active ingredients than most over-the-counter products.
The best part? Your dermatologist can prescribe just the right amount of active ingredients to solve your skincare issues.
Best Topical Hyaluronic Acid Products
Looking for topical hyaluronic acid and antioxidant products to help retain skin’s moisture and reverse the signs of aging? These products contain prescription-strength levels of this ingredient; they also contain other active ingredients known to reduce inflammation, smooth wrinkles, and fight breakouts.
The formulation of these products is specific to each skin type.
Musely’s Skincare Regeneration Set
Musely’s Skincare Regeneration Set is a skincare routine formulated to fight all-over face issues, including wrinkles, fine lines, acne, scarring, and hyperpigmentation. It’s an all-in-one skincare kit that contains everything you need for healthy skin.
The best part about a skincare set is that its products work together to treat skin care issues. Should one product tout any side effects, the other products are formulated to counteract any negative effects.
Musely’s skincare regeneration set comes with a cleanser, day cream, and night cream.
The only product with hyaluronic acid is the night cream, which increases cell turnover, balances sebum production, and hydrates skin while you sleep.
The cleanser balances the hyaluronic acid and other active ingredients of the night cream while reducing irritation and inflammation. The day cream protects your skin from any further sun and free radical damage.
The Night Cream
This hyaluronic acid prescription cream has been formulated by dermatologists to treat visible signs of aging. It includes niacinamide and tretinoin to help brighten and hydrate the skin.
Rory’s Nightly Defense Cream
Rory’s Nightly Defense Cream is somewhat similar to Musely’s Night Cream. The biggest difference is that Rory’s night cream is a powerhouse of all the active ingredients you need to fight wrinkles and skin irritation — right in one nighttime formula.
It also contains:
Azelaic acid (to break up pigmentation)
Ceramides (to hydrate the skin)
Niacinamide (to help skin retain moisture)
Tranexamic acid (to brighten and lighten skin)
Tretinoin (to unclog pores and smooth wrinkles)
Musely’s Spot Treatment
Spot treatments generally target dark spots, but they also treat other skin conditions, like wrinkles and crepey skin.
This skin bleaching agent breaks down the melanosomes in your pigment and breaks up dark spots.
This cooking agent prevents skin irritation that is sometimes caused by hyaluronic acid and hydroquinone.
Azelaic acid is used to break up melanosomes in the pigment of people that suffer from sensitive skin.
Some dermatologists may prescribe higher levels of some active ingredients and less of others. If you suffer from sensitive skin, your dermatologist may recommend an alternative ingredient or a lower dose of some ingredients.
Musely’s Neck and Chest Cream
Musely’s Neck and Chest Cream contains hyaluronic acid to moisturize each layer of the skin. It’s specially formulated to be used on the delicate skin of the neck and chest and works to fight wrinkles and crepey skin. Other active ingredients break up pigmentation and spot-treat hyperpigmentation.
Other active ingredients in this neck and chest cream include:
Tretinoin encourages skin cell turnover and also helps to boost collagen production.
Hydroquinone aids in breaking down melanosomes in pigment to banish dark spots.
Hyaluronic Acid smooths fine lines and wrinkles while hydrating skin.
If you suffer from dehydrated skin, poor cell turnover, or conditions related to slow wound recovery, anti-aging products and supplements with hyaluronic acid may help correct these issues while increasing the connective tissue’s elasticity and skin moisture. They’re easy to use and much less invasive than heading to a dermatology office for plumping fillers and injectables — and they still work much faster than OTC products containing moisturizing skincare ingredients like retinol.