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Hyaluronic acid has several uses—from medicine to skincare—but how much do you know about this naturally-occurring substance? Would it surprise you to learn that your body is producing this gooey acid right now?
As researchers have come to understand more about this powerful acid, its applications in medicine have grown. Think hyaluronic medicine can help you? Check out our guide below for a complete run-down on what it is, where it comes from, and how it's used!
What is Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic acid is a compound produced naturally by the body. Found in large connective tissues, such as the skin, hyaluronic acid is one of your body’s most powerful weapons to retaining moisture.
In fact, that’s the entire reason it’s produced.
Unfortunately, several factors can influence the amount of hyaluronic acid being produced by the body—including aging. As hyaluronic acid levels fall, your skin’s sensitivity, moisture, and radiance all suffer—giving you a duller, older-looking appearance.
The good news is that there are ways to get more hyaluronic acid so that you can combat the natural aging process!
Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid
Using hyaluronic acid and adding more to your diet can improve your health in several ways. Most notably, the benefits of include improved skincare and even improved pain maintenance.
But how should you use the acid?
Hyaluronic Acid Uses
The acid has two main medicinal uses: skincare and pain management. The unique moisture-retaining properties of hyaluronic acid make it a powerful ingredient in skincare and in reducing the pain of those suffering from osteoarthritis.
Because its uses in skin care are vast, we’ll cover them more in-depth below. For those suffering from osteoarthritis, remember that hyaluronic acid injections can help provide greater lubrication to joints, making them an effective pain reliever.
Where is it Found in the Body?
Hyaluronic acid is found throughout the body, with the highest amounts being concentrated in the skin, eye fluids, and joint fluids. While these regions contain the largest volume of the substance, hyaluronic acid is found in every cell and tissue in the body.
What Does it Do in the Body?
So what does this ubiquitous substance do in the body? It’s actually pretty interesting. Hyaluronic acid works to keep the body hydrated. The chemical plays a large role in keeping the skin fresh while also facilitating skin repair and speeding up metabolic processes. For this reason, the chemical is important in effective wound repair and also increases cell migration and skin elasticity.
Hyaluronic Acid Uses for Skin
If someone recommended you put acid on your face for flawless skin, you’d probably run. And in most cases, you’d be right.
But hyaluronic acid—not to be confused with hydrochloric (stomach) acid isn’t corrosive to the skin. In fact, most hyaluronic acid in the body is found in connective tissues like the skin. There, it helps the skin maintain a youthful and healthy appearance.
For this reason, it has become a popular skincare alternative—and one that you should look into for more vibrant, picture-perfect skin! Later, we’ll see how hyaluronic acid’s natural properties translate into the field of skincare, but first, let’s take a look at what makes this naturally-occurring acid great for your skin, to begin with!
In short, hyaluronic acid works miracles for your skin by helping it maintain moisture. Because just one drop of this acid can retain six times as much water, it has proven to be incredible for the skin.
It may be easier to think of hyaluronic acid as a water magnet. The unique properties of this acid make it perfectly suited to maintaining proper levels of hydration in your skin. As we’ll see later, this makes it a powerful part of any skincare regimen for several reasons!
Is it Safe?
Before you get your hands on hyaluronic acid, you’ll want to make sure that it’s safe. Obviously, you don’t want to lather yourself up with something that could be harmful to your body—no matter how many people recommend it. But there’s no reason to worry: hyaluronic acid is found naturally in the body. Generally, the substance is found in the skin, eyes, and connective tissue and helps your body retain water (which in turn helps your skin stay younger-looking).
This means that you have nothing to stress over when using products that contain this chemical. With that being said, you should always consult your dermatologist if you have any concerns. Meeting with a physician can help you know what’s best for your body and for your skin so that you can make the most informed choice for you.
How Does it Work?
Understanding this, how exactly does hyaluronic acid work? It’s actually pretty simple. The gooey substance binds to water molecules, which helps them remain in your skin. When high amounts of hyaluronic acid are present in the skin (which contains approximately half of the body’s natural hyaluronic acid deposits), it helps prevent wrinkles by keeping the skin hydrated and smooth.
What Is it Derived From?
We know that hyaluronic acid is formed naturally in the body, but that’s not the only place you can find the substance. When the chemical is used in skincare and medicine, it’s obviously not extracted from the body. So, where do scientists get it? For the most part, this external hyaluronic acid is made from bacteria in the laboratory (which is safer than it sounds!) or is extracted from rooster combs.
Hyaluronic Acid for Skincare
We’ve already seen its incredible ability to hydrate the skin. But what benefits does this have for the skin, exactly? And what does this have to do with skincare?
For starters, let's take a look at some of the incredible benefits hyaluronic acid has on the skin!
1. Proper Hydration Reduces Wrinkles
Properly hydrated skin reduces the appearance of wrinkles. This makes hyaluronic acid a popular component of anti-aging skincare and great for those who want to appear younger.
Just how powerful is hyaluronic acid when it comes to reducing wrinkles? Get this—hyaluronic acid helps remove even deep wrinkles, taking years off your appearance!
2. It’s Great for Everyone
Because hyaluronic acid is a naturally-occurring substance common to all humans, it works for all skin types. That’s right—unlike some products that have to be designed especially for certain types of skin, hyaluronic acid works well for everyone.
This makes it one of the most powerful skincare supplements on the market.
3. Skin Is More Vibrant
Hydrating your skin does more than just reduce wrinkles. In fact, with proper hydration, you can restore your skin’s natural glow for a more vibrant and youthful appearance.
Not only that, glowing skin is soft skin. With proper hydration, your skin can be as soft as a baby’s bottom.
And hyaluronic acid makes it incredibly easy to achieve these great results.
For this reason, several skincare products contain hyaluronic acid. Generally speaking, hyaluronic acid can be bought and used in two ways. It can either be purchased in its pure form or in a product that contains it.
To know if a product has hyaluronic acid, simply look at its ingredients list. This will ensure that your skin is getting maximum hydration!
HA for Skin Side Effects
Despite its benefits, hyaluronic acid has been shown to have a few negative side effects. Some of these side effects, however, are more commonly found in products that simply contain hyaluronic acid. This may suggest that other ingredients contribute to these side effects—such as dryness.
Others have reported that certain uses of hyaluronic acid can give the skin a bumpy appearance when it's used as a dermal filler. Other studies have shown no long-term negative side effects for those using hyaluronic acid as a natural skincare supplement.
Hyaluronic Acid Foods
Want a more natural way to boost your hyaluronic acid intake? Consider eating foods that are high in hyaluronic acid!
That’s right—just as food can be a great source of calcium potassium and other vital nutrients, it can also provide your body with more of the wonderous acid. This leaves you with fresher, healthier skin.
So, what foods should you look at to start getting more hyaluronic acid in your diet? Check out these options below!
Foods that contain citrus—such as oranges contain a compound that will aid your body in getting more hyaluronic acid.
It’s important to understand, however, that citrus fruits don’t actually contain more hyaluronic acid. Instead, they provide the body with naringenin—a compound that prevents your body from breaking up hyaluronic acid in your body.
So what does this mean? It means that your body maintains higher acid concentrations—leaving your skin more hydrated and vibrant.
Examples of common citrus fruits include oranges, lemons, and key limes. By adding these fruits to your daily diet, you can start to see healthier, sexier skin!
Unlike citrus fruits and other non-animal foods, bone broth provides the body with a direct source of hyaluronic acid. This means that by eating bone broth, you can directly boost the concentration of hyaluronic acid in your body.
This is because, like humans, hyaluronic acid is found and produced in the bodies of certain animals. It’s important to note, however, that not all parts of an animal have enough hyaluronic acid to matter. For example, chicken cartilage will do little to help you if you’re looking for better, more moisturized skin.
For this reason, bone broth proves to be one of the best sources of hyaluronic acid. It’s also one of the easiest to digest because the broth contains hyaluronic acid and other nutrients that have been boiled out of the bone. This makes it a great source of nutrition for people of all types!
If the thought of eating animals makes you uncomfortable, don’t worry. There are some non-plant options for getting more hyaluronic acid in your diet!
Specifically, fish proves to be a great source of this naturally-occurring acid. Both the heads and the bodies of fish are high in hyaluronic acid, making it a great addition to your diet!
If you’re in need of an even more vegetarian or vegan option, we’ve got good news for you! Soybean products that have been fermented also prove great in boosting hyaluronic acid content.
Those looking to intake more of this beneficial compound can do so by adding more fermented soybeans to their diets.
Don’t know where to find more soy products? Consider looking Eastward to more Asian cuisine. Many East Asian foods have a high concentration of fermented soybeans, including popular cooking ingredients such as Korean red pepper paste (gochujang) and Japanese miso. In this way, you can spice up your diet with new and exciting dishes while boosting your body’s concentration of hyaluronic acid!
These products work to provide the body with more estrogen, which many believe boosts the production of hyaluronic acid in the body.
Want to get the benefits of hyaluronic acid without having to change your diet? Consider getting your hyaluronic acid intake in with supplement pills!
That’s right—just as you can get other vitamins and nutrients in tablet form, you can ingest hyaluronic acid, as well! This proves to be a convenient way for those looking for healthier, more radiant skin without the hassle of a huge diet change.
Just be careful—if you do decide to take hyaluronic acid supplements, take them only as directed. And, as always, if you’re not sure if hyaluronic acid supplements are right for you, speak to your doctor or dermatologist!
The Bottom Line
Hyaluronic acid has proven to be one of the most effective ingredients in modern skincare. Because of its ability to retain moisture, this naturally-occurring substance helps give skin a radiant, glowing look.
Best of all, because it is naturally produced in the body’s connective tissues, it’s safe for nearly everyone!
If you’re ready for flawless skin, it’s time to make a change! Consider adding more hyaluronic acid to your diet for the best skin of your life. We’re sure you won’t regret it!