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Bev Sidders Skincare Glossary

Hyaluronic acid

Hyaluronic acid — A glycosaminoglycan component, Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is a naturally occurring substance (in the dermis) and is found throughout the body. It plays an important role in tissue hydration, lubrication, cellular function, and the distribution of nutrients. Its water-absorption abilities and large molecular structure allow the epidermis to achieve greater suppleness, proper plasticity, and turgor.  

When applied to the skin, HA forms a viscoelastic film in a manner similar to the way it holds water in the intercellular matrix of dermal connective tissues. This performance and behavior suggests that HA makes an ideal moisturizer base, allowing for the delivery of other agents to the skin. Use of HA results in increased smoothness, softening and decreased wrinkles. For the benefits to be realized in a cosmetic, HA needs to be applied on a regular basis as it is broken down in skin within 24 to 48 hours of application. 

It is an excellent hydrator used frequently during post-peel procedures to lubricate and soothe new skin cells. It offers an excellent environment for the growth of new cells and healing. It is extensively used by the cosmetic industry and by dermatologists in anti-aging and moisturizing products. HA can absorb over 1000 times its weight in water. In a solution of 2 percent hyaluronic acid and 98 percent water, the hyaluronic acid holds the water so tightly that it appears to create a gel.