Are The Health Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid Really True?
Hyaluronic Acid, also known as Sodium Hyaluronate or HA, is one of the most popular and most effective ingredients in skin care and is found naturally in your body.
There are a number of key benefits of hyaluronic acid, but as an ingredient in skincare products it is unsurpassed. Hyaluronic acid has come to the attention of dermatologists and skincare manufacturers, because it is considered a super hydrator – holding more than 1000 times its own weight in moisture.
This capacity to draw moisture to itself is the reason why it is included in so many different skin care products; hydration is one of the key requirements of all good skincare products.
Have you ever wondered why babies and young children have wonderful soft skin? It’s because their cells are just bursting with hyaluronic acid – making their skin super hydrated, plump and fabulously young.
Unfortunately, as we become older, our body’s capacity to manufacture hyaluronic acid decreases, which is one of the reasons why our skin becomes dry and tough as we age. All is not lost however, because we can replace the hyaluronic acid by using serums and moisturizers that contain this ingredient.
Apart from restoring moisture to your skin, smoothing its texture and reducing your wrinkles – there are also other significant benefits of hyaluronic acid that are worth mentioning.
Hyaluronic Acid lubricates your joints
One of the benefits of hyaluronic acid is that it is found naturally in your bones, joints, tendons and connective tissues. In particular, hyaluronic acid is found in hyaline cartage that protects and cushions the ends of your bones and in synovial fluid to help reduce friction in some of the major weight-bearing joints of your body.
As you can imagine, a lack of hyaluronic acid can have profound effects on the functioning of your joints. In fact, hyaluronic acid has been shown to significantly improve the pain associated with degenerative joint diseases, such as osteoarthritis.
Hyaluronic acid reduces dry itchy eyes
You might be surprised to learn that the fluid inside your eyes (vitreous humor) is almost completely made up of hyaluronic acid. Eye drops that are designed to treat dry itchy eyes usually contain a large percentage of hyaluronic acid, which is why these drops are so effective at treating dry itchy eyes.
Hyaluronic acid aids in wound healing
Hyaluronic acid not only provides a super-pulse of hydration to your skin, but it also plays an important role in healing wounds. As one of the main components of your body’s cells, hyaluronic acid is one of the key players in tissue regeneration and wound healing.
Hyaluronic acid is used in cosmetic surgery
Did you know that more than 50% of the hyaluronic acid in your body is concentrated in your skin?
Cosmetic surgery, specifically dermal fillers, is one of the areas where hyaluronic acid is increasingly being used in the beauty industry to replace what is lost as we age.
Dermal fillers are temporary fixes (usually lasting for 6 to 12 months) that help to reduce lines and wrinkles on your face, giving your face a more youthful and smooth appearance.
Essentially, as we age, we lose much of the subcutaneous fat and collagen that helps to keep our faces looking youthful. Dermal fillers soften these lines and wrinkles, giving your face more volume and smoother looking skin.
Examples of dermal fillers that contain hyaluronic acid include Restylane, Juvederm and Hyalform.
Foods that contain hyaluronic acid
Apart from including serums and moisturizers in your daily skincare routine to plump and smooth your skin, research has shown that foods high in hyaluronic acid can also be effective at increasing your skin’s moisture and elasticity and reducing wrinkles; including foods that are high in this ingredient in your daily diet is therefore a sensible idea.
These foods include fish and meat, because all animal tissues contain hyaluronic acid (particularly the skin). A bone broth is also helpful, because the long cooking time helps to release the hyaluronic acid from the bones into the broth.
Soy based foods, because they provide oestrogen that helps your body produce hyaluronic acid; starchy root vegetables (potatoes, sweet potatoes and artichokes), because they also help your body to produce hyaluronic acid.
You should also include lots of leafy green vegetables in your diet, because these contain magnesium (as do almonds, cashews and dark chocolate) which is another necessary ingredient for your body to produce hyaluronic acid.
In fact, all citrus foods (as well as tomatoes and bananas) are a great way to increase the amount of hyaluronic acid in your body because they contain ‘naringenin’ which inhibits the breakdown of hyaluronic acid in your body.
Any foods that contain vitamin C, zinc or magnesium will also be beneficial, as these are all needed to produce hyaluronic acid. Some people also include hyaluronic acid supplements in their diet, just to make sure that they keep their HA meter topped up!