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What exactly is Hyaluronic acid?

What exactly is Hyaluronic acid?

It's one of the most effective ingredients for healthier, glowing and youthful-appearing skin that everyone talks about, but what exactly is hyaluronic acid, does it actually work, how much do you need, and what does it do? Our expert nutritionists explain.

What actually is hyaluronic acid?

Hyaluronic acid, also known as 'hyaluronan', is a type of sugar found naturally in our body, and abundantly in the skin. Hyaluronic acid holds onto water which supports the moisturisation of our skin and helps to bind that water to collagen, which forms the main structural and elastic component of our skin.

In short, hyaluronic acid is the most powerful skin moisturiser in your body and an integral part of your skin health

What does hyaluronic acid do?

Provides moisture to skin 

Hyaluronic acid is the water-holding molecule in the skin which is bound to collagen and holds up to 1000 times its own weight in water. An abundance of hyaluronic acid in the skin makes a major difference to the hydration, plumpness and 'bounce' of our skin. Skin that is dry or cracked may need more hyaluronic acid than your body produces.

Does your diet feed your skin? Find out in your free Diet Profile.

Healthy ageing

The level of hyaluronic acid in our skin decreases as we age, making our skin drier and more prone to moisture loss and a loss of plumpness. Studies show that when taken orally, hyaluronic acid improves the moisturisation of our skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines and improving the appearance of youthfulness. 

Wound healing 

Some studies have shown hyaluronic acid can also help to improve wound healing by helping the skin to maintain moisture which is needed for the regeneration of tissues and the healing of wounds. Studies show hyaluronic acid may also relieve some of the inflammation associated with wounds. 

Absorbs water from the air

Due to its water-grabbing nature, hyaluronic acid absorbs water from the air around us and pulls it into our skin. This property of hyaluronic acid is known as a 'humectant'. 

Discover Skin Saviour®, with Hyaluronic acid

Improves collagen synthesis 

The loss of hyaluronic acids, particularly as we age, also affects the level of collagen that is produced in our skin. Collagen relies on an adequate level of hyaluronic acid in the skin for its synthesis - if your routine focuses only on increasing collagen, then you are missing a big piece of the puzzle! Hyaluronic acid, Vitamin C, and your body's own collagen, as well as antioxidants and essential vitamins are all needed to improve the appearance of your skin. Learn more in 'Best foods and vitamins for glowing skin'.

How do I increase collagen?

The most effective way to increase collagen is by increasing your body's own collagen production. If you're considering a collagen supplement, think again. Collagen supplements are made from boiling the skin and bones of cows, or the shells of marine life. You can learn more about this in 'The truth about collagen'.

More importantly, collagen supplements are not as effective as increasing collagen from within your body. This is because collagen from supplements is broken down into individual amino acids before it can be used, whereas collagen produced by your body goes directly to your skin. It's also important to remember that protein and Vitamin C in high dosages is essential when looking to boost your body's natural collagen, because Vitamin C converts protein into collagen through a process called hydroxylation.

Skin Saviour® is a unique plant-based formula of clinically studied ingredients that combats blemishes and outbreaks, and fuels your body's natural collagen production for glowing, healthier and plumper skin. Learn more about how Skin Saviour® works

 

How important is hyaluronic acid for skin?

The proper function of our skin relies on hyaluronic acid, so having the right level is very important. Hyaluronic acid levels are typically lower in individuals with eczema, dermatitis and other dry skin conditions, and levels drop as we age, leading to a loss of collagen, an ageing appearance and decreased skin function. This is particularly the case for women going through menopause - learn more in 'How menopause affects skin and hair'.

How much hyaluronic acid do I need?

Most studies involving hyaluronic acid use a range from 60mg to 150mg daily.  The amount you need daily depends on lots of factors including age, if you're susceptible to skin conditions such as acne or eczema, or if you have joint conditions or joint aches

Hyaluronic acid supports joint lubrication and provides a protective fluid around your joints. If you suffer joint stiffness or aches and your body requires hyaluronic acid for your joints, you may need a higher intake of hyaluronic acid to see benefits in your skin. Omega 3 fatty acids are also important for your joints as well as your skin - learn more in 'What is Omega 3 good for?'.

Hyaluronic acid in your diet

Hyaluronic acid is not found in any plant-based foods. The only foods that contain a good source are meat-based broths. However, there are plant-based foods that encourage your body’s natural production of hyaluronic acid. 

Soya beans, tofu and tempeh

Soya-based foods are rich in phytoestrogens which are an oestrogen-like substance found in some plants. Learn more in 'The proven health benefits of soya'. Phytoestrogens are an important ingredient in MenoFriend, the #1 natural alternative to HRT for relieving symptoms of menopause. 

Oestrogen naturally increases hyaluronic acid production and the loss of oestrogen during the menopause is one contributing factor to ageing skin in women. Find out more in '12 common symptoms of menopause'.

Discover Skin Saviour® 

Tomatoes, oranges & figs

Tomatoes, oranges and figs all contain a flavonoid called 'naringenin' which helps to prevent the breakdown of hyaluronic acid in the skin, leading to higher active levels of hyaluronic acid to support your skin's moisture levels and glowing appearance.

Wholegrains

Wholegrains such as brown rice, whole wheat pasta and wholemeal bread provide a good amount of magnesium. Magnesium increases the production of hyaluronic acid in the skin. Learn more in 'How do I know if I'm deficient in magnesium?'.

You may also enjoy reading about 'The best foods and vitamins for glowing skin'.

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