What Is Hyaluronic Acid?
Every skin cell in our body contains Hyaluronic Acid or HA. All cells reside in an interlocking mesh of fibrous proteins and GAGs (glycosaminoglycans) known as the Extracellular Matrix or ECM. The ECM fills up the space between skin cells and acts as a supporting matrix for cells. Like a neighborhood grid supports a community, the ECM provides a home and space designed specifically for each type of cell, including skin cells.
Large amounts of water are held in the ECM and the source of that water is Hyaluronic acid. The function of Hyaluronic acid is to hydrate, moisturize and to lubricate. What normally happens with so many of the organic elements that keep us young, the production of HA begins to slow down as we age, which results in changes to the skin. These changes called “aging” occur on the skin when elastin is not bathed in water. Since the source of this water is HA, and it’s function is impaired with age, the elastin becomes dry and brittle, The result is lines and wrinkles begin to appear. As the epidermis becomes depleted of HA, the results are a thinning of the dermis and epidermis, decreased moisture in the skin and a shrinking of the suppleness and elasticity of the skin. Then lines and wrinkles become visible. If we can maintain the level of moisture necessary for a healthy epidermis, then the signs of aging are minimized and we appear younger and more vibrant.
Naturally occurring Hyaluronic Acid can be replenished and restored by consuming Hyaluronic Acid, using it topically or by injections into the skin to reduce lines and wrinkles. HA injections are not permanent and will gradually break down and be absorbed by the body. The body’s naturally produced HA can be absorbed by the skin in as little as 24 hours, therefore an effective topical form of HA, which is found in many of the newer anti-aging products, can be the most practical way to keep skin hydrated in the manner nature intended. In fact, over half of the body’s naturally produced HA is metabolized and excreted in under a day, so replacement of this vital youth serum, water, is an important step to maintaining younger more beautiful and vibrant skin. Water, delivered in the form of Hyaluronic Acid is synthesized by the Extracellular Matrix, so skin cells and the epidermis will be nourished by the moisture it needs.
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