Know Your Skin: What is Hyaluronic Acid?

Skin CareHyaluronic acid (HA) is a natural complex sugar found the connective tissue matrix of the dermis (the dense, inner layer of skin just beneath the epidermis or outer layer of skin) in humans and all other mammals. Hyaluronic acid is the major component of this matrix which is also made of two connective fibers called collagen and elastin.

HA has the ability to absorb and hold water up to a thousand times it weight, hydrating the skin and giving it density and volume. HA also helps transport essential nutrients to the skin’s viable cells.

As you age and your skin is exposed to sun rays and pollutants your cells gradually lose the ability to produce HA and the result is dehydration. The collagen and elastin fibers also lose their structure and the combined result is loss of skin volume and the formation of the facial wrinkles and folds we associate with aging.

Synthetic hyaluronic acid (also called Hyaluronan or Hyalronate) is the chief component of the US FDA-approved dermal fillers Restylane, Hylaform, Juvederm Ultra and Juvederm Ultra Plus, Elevess and Perlane.

Such injectable fillers, usually in gel form, must be expertly injected into the mid or deep dermis to restore lost HA, thus restoring skin volume and firmness.The effect is not permanent, but can last up to a year or longer.

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