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Hyaluronic Acid: Definition, Benefits And Side Effects

If there’s one product that cannot be missed in your skin- care routine, it’s hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is a must-have in skincare, found as an active ingredient in almost every skin- care product category like sunscreen, serums, and moisturizers. There’s a reason it’s irreplaceable: Not only hyaluronic acid does miracles when it comes to moisturizing the skin but it can visibly minimize signs of aging.

1. Hyaluronic Acid: What Is It?
Technically, it’s a group of sugar molecules called polysaccharides. These molecules naturally hydrate and lubricate our tissues. As we age, our body’s stores of hyaluronic acid decrease. Environmental factors like smoking and pollution speed up this decline. Fortunately, skincare products with hyaluronic acid help replenish these reserves, boosting skin hydration significantly.

2. What are the Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid?
The key benefit of hyaluronic acid is hydration. Its remarkable ability to increase moisture in skin tissues is pivotal. Imagine skin without enough water – it looks dry, rough, wrinkled, and lacks radiance.
It’s not just a matter of aesthetics. Dehydrated skin can be dangerous; it can pose health risks too. When skin is poorly hydrated, it is unable to protect effectively against external agents like pollutants and bacteria, leading to various skin conditions.
Properly hydrated skin appears healthier, more vibrant, and youthful. Therefore, skin aging is primarily associated with water loss, making hyaluronic acid the key ingredient when combating the signs of aging.

3. In cosmetics, there are three types of hyaluronic acid:
• Hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid: Penetrates well, suitable for oily skin.
• Sodium Hyaluronate: Deeper penetration, good for normal skin.
• Sodium acetylated hyaluronate: Offers lasting hydration, great for dry and mature skin.

4. Does Hyaluronic Acid Have Side Effects?
Hyaluronic acid is generally safe for all skin types and typically doesn’t cause undesired reactions when applied topically. Instances of redness or issues related to products containing hyaluronic acid often result from other ingredients, such as certain preservatives. Preservatives extend the life of a product, but some, including parabens, formaldehyde derivatives, and isothiazolinones, can lead to skin irritation.
Hyaluronic acid is also used in injectable forms (pure or as a filler), and while the ingredient itself is safe, the injected product might contain other harmful additives. For this reason, these procedures should only be performed by a professional and with FDA-approved products.
Individuals with a history of allergic reactions, such as anaphylaxis, should be cautious when using hyaluronic acid.
Its effects during pregnancy and breastfeeding remain unknown, so the application of hyaluronic acid should be avoided during these periods.

5. What criteria should you seek in a product containing Hyaluronic Acid on Kungul App?
• Check for allergens and vitamin C
Watch out for any ingredients you’re allergic to. Look for hyaluronic acid products that also list vitamin C, as they work together to boost effectiveness.
• Consider molecular weight
Lower molecular weight hyaluronic acids penetrate better for fine lines. Look for varied molecular weights for full skin coverage.
• Watch out for alcohol
Isopropyl alcohol is very drying and can leave skin vulnerable to possibly irritants and bacteria to enter where they do not belong. Look at where alcohol appears on the ingredients list. Ingredients are listed in order of concentration, so if it’s one of the first six ingredients, the product may be too drying.
• Avoid fragrance
Fragrance can also lead to irritation or breakouts, especially for sensitive skin, so it’s best to steer clear.
• Value water content: Water may seem like a useless ingredient, but it actually helps make the hyaluronic acid more effective. Water-based hyaluronic acid products help it penetrate the skin more effectively than oil or gel-based ones.

In conclusion, it’s never too early to start caring for your skin! It’s crucial to make the right choices in product selection, suitable procedures, and the healthcare professional you consult. Always echo your innate beauty!
Article written by Dr. Klaudia STAJKA – ENT AND AESTHETIC SURGEON

References
1. Ghersetich I, Lotti T, Campanile G, et al. Hyaluronic Acid in Cutaneous Intrinsic Aging. International Journal of Dermatology. February 1994.
2. Dicker KT, Gurski LA, Pradhan-Bhatt S, et al. Hyaluronan: A Simple Polysaccharide With Diverse Biological Functions. Acta Biomaterialia. April 2014.
3. Oe M, Sakai S, Yoshida H, et al. Oral Hyaluronan Relieves Wrinkles: A Double-Blinded, Placebo-Controlled Study Over a 12-Week Period. Clinical, Cosmetic, and Investigational Dermatology. 2017.
4. Understanding Popular Skin Care Ingredients. Cleveland Clinic. August 2, 2022.
5. Poetschke J, Schwaiger H, Steckmeier S, et al. Anti-Wrinkle Creams With Hyaluronic Acid: How Effective Are They? MMW Fortschritte der Medizin. May 25, 2016.

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