Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring molecule in the skin and connective tissue, it provides a protective barrier for cells and gives your skin a plump appearance.
It has been a beauty buzz word for the last few years, claiming to improve elasticity and achieve a plethora of anti-aging beauty miracles.
It is enthusiastically used in natural non GMO skincare products – which is a contradiction in terms because the Hyaluronic acid that you find in skincare is actually genetically modified!
The plain truth is it is only useful as a water binder or humectant (attracts moisture to wherever it is applied)
It’s useful if injected in cases of plastic surgery or the treatment of osteoporosis or if you live in a tropical jungle though. Don't even get me started on Sodium Hyaluronate - a counterpart of Hyaluronic acid and is the salt form of HA, which can actually dry out the skin.
I used a “natural product” some time ago that contained a high amount of Sodium Hyaluronate and while it felt like it was doing some good for the first few days, I actually ended up getting “bumpy skin” and it looked and felt like orange peel, which is the result of the product drying out my skin, an outcome entirely contrary to the claims it made.
The bottom line – Hyaluronic acid will not reverse the signs of aging and it will not replenish your depleted reservoir of Hyaluronic acid if applied topically, as the molecules are too large to be absorbed by the skin.
But don’t just take my word for it…
“Some moisturisers give top billing to Hyaluronic acid, one of the GAG's, the skins own water absorbing proteins.
The Hyaluronic acid content of the skin declines with age and by the time we reach 50 your skin contains about half the Hyaluronic acid it did when you were younger.
As in the case of collagen, it is appealing to imagine that the decline in Hyaluronic acid can be counteracted by applying it topically via moisturising creams or lotions.
However, while Hyaluronic acid can serve a useful purpose as a water binding agent in a well-formulated moisturiser, it will not perform any anti-aging miracles on your skin”
David J. Goldberg M.D.
Board Certified Dermatologist – Mt. Sinai School of Medicine