Table of Contents
Hyaluronic acid is found naturally in humans and makes up the bulk of their joint fluid. Its most famous function is to lubricate joints, but it also boosts collagen production, helps regenerate skin cells, and has anti-inflammatory properties. However, there are some side effects to using this product, so it’s important to know what you’re getting into before trying it out. Learn more about this miracle molecule with our guide to hyaluronic acid!
Many individuals spend numerous hours keeping their skin looking youthful and bright by utilizing damaging cosmetic products. There is, however, a better approach. Hyaluronic acid (HA) can keep your skin looking young and healthy while also helping your joints – all without the negative side effects of hazardous cosmetic products.
Dermatologists and other clinicians often suggest hyaluronic acid, also known as hyaluronan, for its potential to enhance skin texture and look while also lowering joint discomfort and other aging symptoms. HA is most often found in high-end anti-aging skin serums, but it’s also found in joint-supporting formulae, cold sore treatments, eye drops, and lip balms.
So, what exactly is hyaluronic acid, and how does it work? Hyaluronic acid is a transparent, lubricating material generated spontaneously by the body. The skin, within joints, inside eye sockets, and other tissues in the human body have the highest quantities of hyaluronic acid, which helps preserve collagen, boost hydration, and offer suppleness and flexibility.
Hyaluronic acid lotions, creams, serums, and supplements are now available in health food shops, and HA is used in various anti-aging cosmetic and health care products. In addition, it’s possible that your dermatologist may prescribe HA injections.
Because hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring constituent in bone broth, increasing your HA consumption by adding additional bone broth or bone broth protein powder to your diet will automatically boost your HA intake.
Hyaluronic acid cannot be absorbed when administered topically. Sodium hyaluronate, on the other hand, is hyaluronic acid’s salt. Because sodium hyaluronate has a significantly smaller molecular size, it may enter the skin when applied topically, which is why it’s included in creams and other cosmetics.
6 Hyaluronic Acid Advantages
1. Nourishes Dry, Aging Skin
Hyaluronic acid is a hydrator, to be sure. After using hyaluronic acid serums, many individuals say that their skin feels “dewier,” that the bags under their eyes are lighter, and their skin texture is smoother. The main method that HA aids in improving the look of “chronoaged skin” (skin that has aged due to sun exposure) is by lowering water loss. Increasing the skin’s HA content is one of the reasons hormone replacement therapy may make it seem younger and less sun-damaged.
Dryness, dandruff, drooping eyelids or lips, and sagginess are all signs of aging skin because our skin’s molecules lose their capacity to bind and hold water as we age. This not only causes dryness but also reduces the volume of the skin. In addition, intrinsic and extrinsic aging, or everyday environmental exposure to contaminants and UV radiation, as well as “the regular process of aging,” cause skin aging. According to studies, multiple locations in the skin are involved in the modulation of HA production, deposition, cell and protein interaction, and degradation.
According to researchers, long-term sun exposure causes the stratum corneum to dry up, which contributes to wrinkling development. In addition, it’s recently been shown that low humidity surroundings cause wrinkles and fine lines to appear more prominently than high humidity situations since the skin’s water-holding capacity and flexibility are reduced. By reducing “epidermis water loss” caused by sun exposure, skin dryness, or flakiness, HA may minimize the effects of aging naturally.
2. Assists in the reduction of wrinkles
You may see a noticeable improvement in skin surface moisture after only a few weeks of utilizing a topical HA treatment. Although most studies suggest that HA takes six weeks or more to enhance skin’s look, certain studies have revealed that anti-wrinkle HA serums and eye creams may start working as soon as two to four weeks after use. Dermatologists are increasingly using prescription injections or formulations containing hyaluronic acids (such as Juvéderm Ultra Plus or Allergan) over many months to minimize lip and eye sagginess for more significant anti-aging outcomes.
Within 30 days of regular usage, products containing hyaluronic acid successfully reduced the appearance of wrinkles and reduced skin drooping, according to the findings of a double-blind, randomized clinical research published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology in 2014. In addition, by the end of one month, several research participants reported larger lips and increased cheek volume (two traits associated with having a youthful appearance).
The research included 40 adult females who had mild to moderate clinical symptoms of skin aging, such as reduced skin volume and changes in the skin’s surface, before the investigation. Results were assessed after three hours, seven, fourteen, and thirty days after using either Fillerina (which includes six types of hyaluronic acid) or a placebo product.
Researchers discovered that individuals who used Fillerina had substantial “improvements in face shapes and volumes” after 30 days (and some after 14 days) as compared to the placebo group and baseline measurements. The active treatment group improved drooping of the face and cheekbone contours, enhanced lip volume, and reduced wrinkle depth and volume, but the placebo group did not.
Separate research published in The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology looked at the effects of a novel topical low molecular nano-hyaluronic acid formulation on wrinkles, skin hydration, and skin elasticity in people. Thirty-three women, with an average age of 45, were tested for eight weeks to see whether a novel nano-hyaluronic acid might reduce wrinkles.
The findings reveal a statistically significant moisturizing effect, enhanced skin elasticity, and finer skin texture. “The novel nano-hyaluronic acid definitely displayed a considerable effect in minimizing the depth of wrinkles (up to 40%), skin hydration (up to 96%), and skin firmness and elasticity (up to 55%) at the end of eight weeks,” the researchers concluded.
3. Healing Sores, Sunburns, and Wounds
Because it keeps injured tissue wet, HA is useful for healing cold sores and mouth sores, ulcers, wounds, bites, and burns, in addition to reducing the appearance of wrinkles and dryness. Sunburn reduction is another effect of tissue healing. The hyaluronic acid gel is used in many cold sore treatments for the lips and mouth to speed up the healing process and avoid cracking and bleeding.
HA is a component of the connective tissues that make up the mouth and lips, consisting of collagen and water. Lip structure and shape are aided by collagen and HA. In addition, because HA binds to water, it moisturizes the skin and tissues of the mouth and lips, maintains skin junctions tight, aids in delivering nutrients to injured tissues, reduces inflammation, and aids in removing waste fluids.
4. Helps to lubricate aching joints
All bones, connective tissue, joints, tendons, and cartilage structures in the body contain hyaluronic acid, particularly hyaline cartilage, which covers the ends of bones and offers to cushion. HA effectively reduces aches and soreness linked with degenerative joint conditions because it helps cushion bones and offers resilience to wear and strain.
The synovial membrane, which forms a covering over two articulating bones and generates synovial fluid, is another vital element of our joints. Synovial fluid is a “viscous fluid” that aids in the absorption of stress, the maintenance of elasticity, and the transport of nutrients to cartilage.
Hyaluronic acid is a common ingredient in supplements used to relieve osteoarthritis pain and damage. It’s also been authorized by the FDA to treat osteoarthritis when given in somewhat large dosages by a health care professional by injection. In certain studies, lower dosages are useful in relieving joint stiffness and chronic pain; however, outcomes tend to vary. Elbow and knee joint difficulties are the most prevalent forms of joint pains treated with HA.
5. Assists in the reduction of dry eyes and eye discomfort
The vitreous humor (the fluid within the eye socket) is nearly entirely made of hyaluronic acid. Therefore, hyaluronic acid eye drops (such as Hyalistil) may help alleviate chronic dry eyes by restoring fluid balance and replacing moisture inside the eye socket. In addition, some research has revealed that hyaluronic acid may help protect the cornea from oxidative damage induced by UVB rays.
Doctors often utilize lubricating HA formulations to treat eye injuries and problems, like cataracts, particularly before and after surgery when the eyes are at their most sensitive and dry. In addition, HA drops may help during eye surgery and recovery, such as after cataract removal, corneal transplantation, or retinal repair.
6. Protects Against Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Large particles of naturally occurring hyaluronic acid, such as those made by your body and found in chicken collagen, are present in the gut and may help protect against or heal inflammatory bowel illnesses, including Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis.
Overuse of separated HA, which has smaller particles than naturally occurring HA, may cause increased inflammation in the stomach. However, including hyaluronic acid-rich foods and supplements in your diet, such as bone broth or bone broth protein powder, might aid in the gastrointestinal system’s natural healing process and may help to prevent the leaky gut syndrome.
What Is Hyaluronic Acid?
The most significant benefit of hyaluronic acid is its exceptional ability to retain water, whether on the skin, in the eyes, or inside soft tissue. HA is a glycosaminoglycan, which accounts for its high viscosity and ability to store a considerable amount of water. HA is found in many different tissues throughout the body, particularly in the skin, providing moisture and structure. The skin contains almost half of the total amount of HA in the body.
Tendons and joints, ocular membranes, the umbilical cord, synovial fluid, skeletal tissues, heart valves, lungs, aorta, and prostate are among the other bodily sites where HA is concentrated. HA is essentially a lengthy chain of linked carbohydrate molecules that store water and so allow for fluid circulation and pressure absorption.
Hydration, lubrication of joints, a space-filling capacity within tissue and between cells, building the framework through which cells migrate, repairing tissue and wounds, regulating activation of inflammatory cells (inflammation), enhancing immune responses, repairing injury to fibroblasts, and maintaining skin’s epithelial cells are all examples of hyaluronic acid’s beneficial functions.
How Does It Work?
For hyaluronic acid’s diverse activities, the size of distinct HA molecules is key. Larger molecules are prevalent in healthy tissue and aid to reduce inflammation, free radical damage, and dehydration (they’re called “antiangiogenic and immunosuppressive” molecules). On the other hand, Smaller HA polymers may transmit distress signals to the immune system and increase inflammation to aid in damage or wound healing.
- Hyaluronan synthases are a family of integral membrane proteins that are responsible for hyaluronan synthesis in the body. HAS1, HAS2, and HAS3 are the three kinds of hyaluronic acid synthases that humans use to make HA.
- When it comes to cell signaling and cell migration, hyaluronan binding to CD44 (a hyaluronan receptor) and RHAMM (another receptor) is thought to play a key function in the central nervous system.
- “The essential molecule involved in skin hydration,” according to HA. Hyaluronic acid, like squalene, is created by our bodies and improves the skin, but both of these natural skin boosters diminish as we age. As a result, hyaluronic acid and squalene are often found in cosmetic products.
- Unlike adult skin wounds, Fetal skin wounds are known to heal quickly and without scarring. The high quantities of hyaluronic acid in an early gestation fetus compared to the lesser levels of HA observed in an adult are attributed to the capacity of a fetal skin wound to mend so effectively.
- A flood of new natural skincare products containing hyaluronic acid has reached the market in recent years, promising to make skin smoother, plumper, more even-toned, and more “refreshed” appearing. Hyaluronic acid (HA) can store 1,000 times its weight in water. Still, since its molecules are rather large compared to other acids, it’s never been simple for skincare companies to create a hyaluronic acid solution that truly penetrates and remains on the skin.
- Scientists have only recently developed technologically sophisticated HA compositions capable of really permeating through the skin’s surface. However, recent studies demonstrate that using sophisticated (low molecular weight) HA serums to the skin may increase skin hydration and reduce wrinkle depth significantly in only a few weeks. In addition, internal and environmental causes, particularly UV irradiation, may cause oxidative damage to the skin, which HA can help to prevent (also referred to as photoaging).
- In addition to UV damage, experts also think that hormonal changes, such as reduced production of sex hormones like estrogen, have a role in skin aging. For example, collagen breakdown may occur when estrogen levels are low, resulting in skin dryness, elasticity loss, and wrinkles (along with other aging problems, such as joint achiness and dry eyes).
Because HA helps improve joint lubrication, reduce pain, and treat different eye and mouth issues in addition to lowering fluid or water loss, it can also help improve joint lubrication, reduce discomfort, and treat various eye and mouth problems.
Glucosamine vs. Hyaluronic Acid
- Glucosamine, like hyaluronic acid, helps create suppleness and structure inside joints and tissue, which may help reduce discomfort.
- Because of how it retains water, HA offers more lubrication, while glucosamine gives more structure and strength.
- HA is found in synovial fluid and articular cartilage, while glucosamine (particularly when combined with chondroitin sulfate) aids in cartilage formation. In general, HA is better for joint fluid and necessary for shock absorption, while glucosamine helps prevent cartilage and collagen loss.
- When these items are used together, many individuals obtain the greatest results. It’s even been discovered that glucosamine boosts the creation of hyaluronic acid.
- In addition to HA and glucosamine, some anti-aging solutions include manganese sulfate and other joint-supporting ingredients. These may all help to relieve osteoarthritis pain, improve cartilage matrix function, and replace synovial fluids when used together.
As you would expect, some of the most intriguing studies on hyaluronic acid in recent years have focused on its effects on aging skin and joints.
- HA was initially utilized commercially as a white egg replacement in baking items in 1942, believe it or not.
- Hyaluronic acid was first discovered in a rooster comb. While that kind of HA is still accessible, it’s preferable to utilize HA derived from a laboratory-created fermentation process. It’s available in both liquid and powder form. The powder does not include a preservative and may even contain propylene gylcol and alcohol, so it is preferred over liquid versions.
- For improved hydration, HA formulations often mix low, medium, and high molecular weights and a next-generation hyaluronic acid crosspolymer.
- HA is a chemical found in the skin’s extracellular matrix (ECM). We normally hear about the major skin layers (epidermis, dermis, and underlying subcutis) regarding anti-aging goods, but rarely about the matrix of ECM molecules that reside between the cells of these layers.
- The ECM aids in forming skin layers and plays a critical role in cellular function regulation. Glycosaminoglycans, proteoglycans, growth factors, and structural proteins like collagen are among the ECM molecules. Hyaluronic acid has been revealed to be the most prevalent component of the ECM.
- Aside from being a component of the ECM, HA has several physicochemical features in other body sections that are becoming more important in anti-aging therapies.
- Higher levels of HA are now being linked to greater protection against reactive oxygen species (free radical damage), arthritis, chondrocytes that cause inflammation, some forms of cancer, lung injury, improper immunological regulation, eye diseases, and other conditions.
- Physicians only give hyaluronic acid injections, so see a dermatologist for advice if you’re interested in utilizing HA on your lips, eyes, or skin.
- Hyaluronic acid creams, serums, and lotions come in various concentrations and kinds of HA molecules. Because different sizes of hyaluronic acid molecules operate in different ways, the most effective versions have many sizes. Daily topical administration of serums containing roughly 0.1 percent HA has been shown to enhance skin hydration, wrinkling appearance, and suppleness in studies.
- HA may be given as a liquid eye drop three to four times a day to treat the dry eye for three months. Look for a HA concentration of 0.2 percent to 0.4 percent, but always read the guidelines first.
- According to the Arthritis Foundation, the following hyaluronic acid therapies are currently licensed in the United States for knee osteoarthritis: Hyalgan, Orthovisc, Supartz, and Synvisc. Unfortunately, these are often manufactured from rooster or chicken combs, with germs thrown in for good measure.
- Adults over the age of 18 should take 50 mg of hyaluronic acid one to two times a day with meals.
- For those with osteoarthritis, research reveals that taking 80 milligrams (60 percent to 70% hyaluronic acid) daily for eight weeks is the most effective way to ease symptoms.
- Hyaluronic acid injections might also be discussed with your doctor. Some people inject around 20 milligrams into the troublesome joint once a week for many weeks to manage pain and inflammation.
Possible Side Effects and Precautions
According to the FDA, HA products are generally safe whether consumed or applied topically to the skin or mouth. However, pregnant women and those who are breastfeeding should avoid HA pills and injections since it seems to stay in breast milk and might harm a growing fetus or newborn. The FDA has authorized the use of HA dermal fillers that have transitory effects (typically in adults over the age of 21). They aren’t permanent since they include ingredients slowly absorbed by the body and don’t seem toxic.
Most studies show that using hyaluronic acid dermal fillers to address facial wrinkles, creases, and lines is typically safe, provided patients follow their doctor’s aftercare recommendations. Some brief adverse effects, such as minor inflammatory responses and sensitivity to sunlight, are possible after having these injections, although they usually go away within 2-7 days. More significant adverse effects, such as vascular alterations (damage to the eyes due to blood vessel obstruction) and abnormalities in vision, have occurred in very rare situations.
When permanent fillers are used, the side effects of HA injections are more prevalent. Therefore, patients should adhere to their doctor’s post-treatment instructions, which include not wearing makeup for 24 hours after the injection, avoiding the direct sun or excessive heat for several days, using SPF 30 sunscreen daily, and avoiding sports/vigorous activities during the week following the application. This reduces the chance of inflammation and other negative effects. When HA filler injections cause difficulties, hyaluronidase is occasionally utilized to counteract the filler’s effects. Enzymes that can break down HA are known as hyaluronidases.
Prescription and commercial hyaluronic acid products are often generated from bacteria grown in a laboratory or from bird protein and cartilage. These items should not be used by anyone who is allergic to eggs or feathers since they might cause allergic reactions and possibly bleeding. If you have allergies, check the contents and dosing instructions carefully, so you don’t obtain the wrong kind of HA.
People who use blood-thinning drugs like warfarin (Coumadin) or aspirin should avoid using HA supplements since they might increase the risk of bleeding.
- Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring lubricant found in the skin, eyes, joints, fluid, and connective tissue.
- Because HA has a high water-holding capacity, it’s utilized as a supplement, lotion, eye drop, or serum to provide injured tissue structure and hydration.
- Certain kinds of HA also have anti-inflammatory characteristics and may aid in restoring collagen and cartilage.
- Firming aged skin, decreasing achy joints, healing wounds, and rewetting dry eyes are all advantages of utilizing hyaluronic acid.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does hyaluronic acid have side effects?
A: No, hyaluronic acid does not have any side effects. It is a natural compound found in the skin that creates moisture and helps hydrate it.
What are the benefits of taking hyaluronic acid?
A: Hyaluronic acid, like all acids, can be used to clear up and treat acne. It is also a natural substance that expands in the skin’s surface area when hydrated (meaning it does not need retinol or other anti-aging ingredients).
Does hyaluronic acid interact with medications?
A: Hyaluronic acid is a molecule that regulates the movement of fluids throughout the body. It can interact with medications, but this depends on how it’s being used and what medication you are given.
- hyaluronic acid side effects liver
- hyaluronic acid side effects on skin
- hyaluronic acid side effects on face
- does hyaluronic acid cause weight gain
- oral hyaluronic acid side effects
The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition.
HOW WOULD YOU RATE THIS ARTICLE?