Expert's Opinion

Ultra-Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid

August 19, 2013

Doctor/formulator explains the benefits in skin care.

Dr. Linda Miles D.O.M.
Derma E

Hyaluronic acid has become a must-have ingredient in skin care products for those who want rich, superior moisture as well as anti-aging benefits.  

Nicknamed “Nature’s Sponge” or “Moisture Magnet,” hyaluronic acid (HA) hydrates skin in a way that no other ingredient can, and is a recent addition to the list of exceptional skincare ingredients. This remarkable molecule earned these nicknames for its amazing ability to hold up to 1000 times its weight in water. HA also called hyaluronan or sodium hyaluronate, plays an essential role in hydrating our tissues, especially the skin.

Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance in the body that binds to water to lubricate and hydrate tissue.  In the skin, HA is present in large quantities in the extracellular matrix (the space between the cells is filled with collagen, elastin, water, HA and other components).  Together, collagen, elastin, and HA form the foundation of the skin, providing structure, texture and tone. 

As we age, our bodies stop producing HA which is why skin tends to get drier. In turn, this can also accentuate the visible signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles, and a rough, dull complexion.  When applied topically, HA has the amazing ability to attract and bind water molecules to skin. This action helps visibly plump skin to reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles.  It also helps keep collagen hydrated thereby improving skin tone and texture while encouraging incredibly soft, smooth, healthy skin. 

HA is also very well known in the medical community. Just as collagen injections fill wrinkles and plump up skin, HA injections are also an approved wrinkle treatment. Recent research also focuses on the role of HA in wound repair, and several studies have now shown that topical application of HA accelerates healing and is associated with reduced scarring[i].  In addition, doctors are using topical HA as a vehicle to deliver drugs to treat actinic keratoses (small, precancerous, rough spots on the skin caused by overexposure to the sun)[ii].

It is no wonder HA is gaining popularity.  Delivering superior moisturizing and healing benefits, HA is the ingredient to look for in skin care products.     

[i] 1Chen, W. Y. and Abatangelo, G. “Functions of Hyaluronan in Wound Repair.” Wound Repair and Regeneration 7 (1999): 79-89.
[ii] Wolf, J. E., Taylor, J. R., Tschen, E., and Kang, S. “Topical 3.0% Diclofenac in 2.5% Hyaluronan Gel in the Treatment of Actinic Keratoses.” International Journal of Dermatology 40(2001): 709-713.

About the expert:
Dr. Linda Miles, doctor of Oriental medicine (DOM), vice president and formulator of derma e, has blended her expertise in complementary health care and biotechnology for over three decades, pioneering the development of innovative, high-performance natural personal care products. Once a week, Miles donates her time giving Chinese herb and acupuncture treatments to Meet Each Need with Dignity (MEND), a non-profit organization that helps relieve the effects of poverty through a holistic and humanitarian approach. 

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