What is Hyaluronic Acid?

The Compound Itself

Hyaluronic Acid (HA), also known as hyaluronan or hyaluronate, is a carbohydrate, more specifically a mucopolysaccharide occurring naturally throughout the human body.

It can be several thousands of sugars (carbohydrates) long. When not bound to other molecules, it binds to water giving it a stiff viscous quality similar to “Jello”. This viscous Gel is one of the most heavily researched substances in medicine today. Its function in the body is, amongst other things, to bind water and to lubricate movable parts of the body, such as joints and muscles. Its consistency and tissue-friendliness allows it to be beneficial in skin-care products as an excellent moisturizer. Because HA is one of the most hydrophilic (water-loving) molecules in nature with numerous benefits for the human body it can be described as “nature’s moisturizer”.

Hyaluronic Acid in the Skin

The skin is the largest organ in the body comprising about 15% of the body weight. Roughly 50% of the Hyaluronic Acid in our body is found in the skin. HA and Collagen are vital to maintaining the skin’s layers and structure. It is the collagen that gives the skin its firmness but it is the HA that nourishes and hydrates the collagen.

Imagine the collagen as the stretchy fibers that restore the skin back to shape when stretched. Collagen is like a rubber band but stretch that rubber band a Vancouver_Washington_Cascade_day_spa_Facial_skin_peel_treatment2million times, like what we do with our skin and without any moisture. Eventually that rubber band gets overstretched (saggy) and dried out and will most likely break. This is much the same way the collagen in our skin reacts leaving our skin in need of moisture. Now imagine that same rubber band stretched a million times while under water the whole time. Chances of that rubber band drying out and breaking are minimal. Consider the Hyaluronic Acid as the water that keeps the collagen moist and elastic. Collagen is continuously surrounded and nourished by the gelatinous HA substance. Vancouver_Washington_Cascade_day_spa_Facial_skin_peel_treatment3Young skin is smooth and highly elastic because it contains high concentrations of Hyaluronic Acid, which helps skin stay healthy. As we grow older, the body loses its ability to maintain this same concentration in the skin. With decreasing levels of HA in the skin, so goes the ability of the skin to hold water. The result, the skin becomes drier and loses its ability to maintain it’s hydration. Hyaluronic acid acts as a space filler by binding to water and thus keeping the skin wrinkle-free.

All of this information is great, but so what?

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More information about the acid visit the original article here

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