What Is Hyaluronic Acid And Why Everyone Is Obsessed With It

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What Is Hyaluronic Acid And Why Everyone Is Obsessed With It
What Is Hyaluronic Acid And Why Everyone Is Obsessed With It

Video: What Is Hyaluronic Acid And Why Everyone Is Obsessed With It

Video: How Does Hyaluronic Acid Work? | The Makeup 2022, December

Text: Adel Miftakhova

Even a person far from the world of cosmetics was hard not to notice that in recent years the phrase "hyaluronic acid" sounds from every iron. At the same time, they use it in a variety of ways in plastic and eye surgery, and for the treatment of joints, and in the form of injections and creams, and even drink it in the form of dietary supplements and drinks. We asked the author of the Don’t Touch My Face Telegram channel, Adel Miftakhova, to figure out how and why hyaluronic acid conquered the world and what, in fact, is its strength.


The first mention of hyaluronic acid dates back to 1934, when the biochemist Karl Meyer published an article about a polysaccharide with an extremely high molecular weight he discovered in the vitreous body of the eyes of cows. Since then, a huge amount of research has been carried out on this substance, and in 2009 a monumental article was published in the specialized journal International Journal of Toxicology, summarizing the results of these studies and recognizing hyaluronic acid of any origin and its derivatives safe for use. At first, hyaluronic acid was obtained mainly from the combs of roosters and it was exclusively of animal origin. Fortunately, several methods were later discovered for synthesizing hyaluronic acid in industrial volumes using bacteria that produce it under certain conditions.

Despite its name, hyaluronic acid is not an acid in its everyday sense, it does not have dissolving or exfoliating properties, such as glycolic. By itself, hyaluronic acid is a natural component of mammalian bodies, it is present in many tissues, but its greatest concentration is found in the connective tissue of the joints. In the simplest sense, hyaluronic acid is sugar, but if the molecular weight of table sugar is about 340 daltons (Yes), then hyaluronic acid is from 600 thousand to several million Da. Due to its structure and high molecular weight, its molecules are able to hold an amount of water many times higher than their own. That is why hyaluronic acid in our body performs a very important function of retaining water in tissues, and also acts as a lubricant for joints.

The main myth about hyaluronic acid says: the size of the molecules does not allow

it penetrate deep into the skin

In modern medicine, hyaluronic acid is recognized as an effective treatment for arthritis when it is injected directly into the joint and is used in eye surgery for cataract treatment and corneal replacement. Recently, manufacturers have also produced a large number of dietary supplements with hyaluronic acid, but its effectiveness when taken orally has not yet been proven. As a cosmetic ingredient, hyaluron (as the common people affectionately nicknamed the substance) has been used since the 80s of the last century and is today used mainly in two ways: as a moisturizing component of cosmetics and as a filler for facial contouring, that is, to smooth out wrinkles, add volume and correction of the shape of the lips, cheekbones and other areas of the face.

The magic of hyaluronic acid, thanks to which it became famous all over the world, lies in its ability to attract and retain water in a way that no other substance does. Its molecule is a compound of glucuronic acid and N-acetylglucosamine. It contains a large amount of oxygen and hydroxyl groups, which allows it to form strong hydrogen bonds with water. Simply put, each hyaluronic acid molecule is a tiny sponge that retains water, making it a unique moisturizer for skin and tissues.

However, the benefits of hyaluronic acid are not limited to hydration alone. With age, our body produces less and less hyaluronic acid, this fact at one time was the reason for its research as an anti-aging component. Indeed, German dermatologists have noticed a significant reduction in wrinkles and an increase in skin elasticity when using hyaluronic acid gel on the skin surface. Researchers at the Center for Dermatology and Laser Cosmetology in South Carolina have also proven the effectiveness of hyaluronic acid salts in treating seborrheic dermatitis and irritations. However, all these studies do not explain the main thing - how exactly hyaluronic acid heals the skin; scientists only have to understand all the intricacies of its impact.


Against the background of the growing choice of hyaluronic lotions, creams and serums every year, the hyaluron has inevitably acquired many myths. So, the most popular of them says: caring cosmetics with hyaluronic acid do not work, because the size of its molecules does not allow it to penetrate deeply into the skin. And in theory this is true. The diameter of the hyaluronic acid molecule is about 3000 nm, while the distance between skin cells does not exceed 50 nm. However, the authors of The BeautyBrains blog talk about the fact that water-retaining ingredients do not need to penetrate the skin in order to moisturize its upper layers. To do this, they just need to be on the surface of the skin for a long time - and this will be quite enough.

Even more interestingly, in 1999, researchers from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Monash University, Australia, investigated the ability of hyaluronic acid to penetrate the skin in mice and humans using a radioactive label. As a result, it was proved that hyaluronic acid molecules not only penetrate into the upper layers of the skin, but also reach the dermis, subcutaneous adipose tissue, and traces of it were found even in the blood.

In recent years, scientists have developed a method for producing hyaluronic acid salts - sodium hyaluronate and potassium hyaluronate. They are also sometimes called low molecular weight or hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid. These salts are obtained by removing lipids, proteins and nucleic acids from the hyaluronic acid molecule while maintaining its water-holding capacity. As a result, the size of the molecule is significantly reduced (down to 5 nm), which allows the substance to penetrate the skin more easily than ordinary hyaluronic acid, and to moisturize it at a deep level. Moreover, numerous studies of the ability of hyaluronic acid salts to penetrate into the skin have proven that they are able not only to penetrate into the deep layers of the skin and moisturize it, but also act as a conductor for other substances.

If the effectiveness of hyaluronic acid in moisturizing skin of any type has been proven, then its anti-aging and healing properties have yet to be studied by scientists

Despite the fact that hyaluronic acid and its derivatives have proven safety, in rare cases, when it is used, allergies can occur on the skin. As with any allergic reaction, all experimentation in such a situation must be stopped. Yes, it's a shame, but, fortunately, hyaluronic acid is not the only water-retaining component that is added to cosmetics. Glycerin, urea, AHA acids in low concentrations, and some others have similar properties. They are also able to retain water, albeit in a much smaller volume than hyaluronic acid, but they are significantly cheaper.

Another popular way of using hyaluronic acid in cosmetology is injections. Let's make a reservation right away that all invasive procedures should be prescribed by a dermatologist, he will also tell you about what exactly is shown and contraindicated specifically for you. We will tell you about what techniques with the participation of hyaluronic acid, in principle, exist.One of the most popular procedures is mesotherapy and, in particular, biorevitalization, which is designed to increase the moisture level of the skin, stimulate the production of collagen and elastin, and smooth out fine wrinkles.

In 2003, the FDA approved the use of hyaluronic fillers to correct wrinkles, reshape lips, highlight cheekbones, and lift eyebrows and facial contours. At the same time, do not confuse fillers and injections aimed at relaxing the muscles of the face: among the latter, for example, Botox and Dysport, which temporarily block the sensitivity of muscles to nerve impulses, due to which facial wrinkles are smoothed over time. Hyaluronic fillers act differently - they are like a sponge: when injected, they accumulate water in themselves and due to this they even out the skin relief and increase the volume of those parts of the face into which the drug was injected.


There are several types of fillers: collagen, hydroxyapatite, fatty and hyaluronic. Recently, it is hyaluronic ones that are increasingly used. It is believed that they are the closest to the "ideal" filler, which, according to scientists, should combine easy administration, have a stable long-term effect, be painless, not provoke allergies and skin diseases, not move from the injection site and be available as specialists and patients. Since hyaluronic acid is a component related to the skin, it is also the safest in comparison with other types of fillers, both when in the skin and after it disintegrates.

Another advantage of hyaluronic fillers is that there is an antidote for them - hyaluronidase. It is an enzyme that breaks down polysaccharides. If the result of the procedure is not as planned, and too much of the drug was injected, hyaluronidase will put everything back in place, but the effect of the injection will disappear completely, and you will have to start all over again. Allergic reactions to hyaluronic fillers occur regardless of the competence of the doctor and can occur immediately or within a few weeks. Also, bruises, swelling and redness may appear at the injection site, which disappear over time. The main disadvantage of hyaluronic acid injections is that the effect of them does not last long - on average about six months, after which the procedure must be repeated. With the high cost of drugs and procedures, not everyone can afford this type of contour plastics.

In any case, much more budgetary and affordable home care products with hyaluronic acid are always at hand. However, if the effectiveness of hyaluronic acid in moisturizing any type of skin has been proven, then its anti-aging and healing properties have yet to be studied by scientists. Whether or not to use cosmetics with hyaluronic acid is a matter of personal choice. Like any other component, it doesn't suit everyone. To understand what effect hyaluronic acid will produce on a particular person, you can only empirically, and best of all under the supervision of a trusted cosmetologist. But it is already clear that this is an ingredient worth paying attention to.

Photos: Arsha- stock.adobe.com, Olexandr - stock.adobe.com, rimglow - stock.adobe.com, fotos-v- stock.adobe.com

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