Water content in the skin contributes to firmness, suppleness, and elasticity keeping the skin young and fresh. However, due to intrinsic (i.e. changes in hormones, immune regulation, genes) and extrinsic (i.e. UV radiation, pollution, free radicals) factors, a decline in skin moisture occurs as we age. It has been discovered that this decline is partly due to the eventual absence of hyaluronic acid in the epidermis.
Hyaluronic acid (HA) is found in different tissues of the body where approximately 50% reside in the skin. It is a glycosaminoglycan (GAG) that is an important component of the Extra Cellular Matrix (ECM). It holds water in place and inhibits the replication of existing bacteria. Ithas a great influence on vessel formation and fibroblast migration; hence, it plays an important role in skin repair.
Kawada and company conducted a study that showed improvement in skin moisture after giving 120mg and 240mg of HA once daily to middle and elderly female subjects for 3 to 6 weeks. They also learned that skin hydration levels can be maintained even after 2 weeks of discontinuing HA supplementation.
Because of its promising role in hydration, it is now being used in cosmetic products and procedures. It is also being taken as a supplement for reducing wrinkles, dryness, and improving some skin allergies.
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About the Author: Dr. Elli Reyes is a specialist of Aesthetic Medicine from the Philippines. With over four years of specialized training, her aesthetic practice has involved a variety of skin treatments involving Botox, fillers, and the like. As a licensed physician, she has been engaged by multiple clinics and is regularly interviewed by the local media as an expert in the science of the skin. Her research and writings to date have centered on nutrition, functional health, and general beauty.
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