What is hyaluronic acid?
Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a complex carbohydrate molecule first discovered in 1930s by scientists Karl Meyer and John Palmer. They isolated HA from the vitreous humor (a jelly-like substance) of cow eyes. A few decades later, HA has been found to be extremely beneficially in treating skin lesions. Nowadays, it is an important must-have ingredient in both cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.
How does it help the skin?
Though it may sound like a corrosive agent, hyaluronic acid is actually very gentle on the skin. It is found abundantly in various parts of human body as it functions to hydrate other cells and tissues. Skin is made up of tons of different cells like collagen and elastin fibres to provide firmness and elasticity. HA then deeply moisturises these dermal structures, so as to improve their longevity and performance. Skin remains supple and moisturised. Unfortunately, the ageing process slows down the production of these cells. External factors like excessive sunlight and smoking can introduce pesky reactive toxins which will further harm weakened skin. This is why most people experience skin imperfections like dryness, dullness and sagginess as they age.
Can hyaluronic acid products cause side effects?
Though it is generated naturally in the body, hyaluronic acid production decreases with age; hence, a need to manufacture cosmetic products with the ingredient. Usually, it is derived and purified from either bacterial fermentation or extracted from rooster combs. HA-rich products tend to work efficiently as they are already present in the body. There is usually minimal risk of rejection or immunogenic reactions. It is quite rare for patients to exhibit allergic or hypersensitive reactions after using over-the-counter skincare products with hyaluronic acid. It is best that patients look at the ingredients list and package insert before starting any products to ensure they are not allergic to any other ingredients.
What are the top hyaluronic acid-based skincare products?
Thanks to modern technologies and in-depth scientific research, many cosmetic and pharmaceutical companies have formulated products with different variations of HA. For example, Restylane included patented Non-Animal Stabilized Hyaluronic Acid (NASHA) in all its professional skincare products. This type of HA is derived synthetically and stabilised to maintain its natural molecular structure and prevent premature degradation. ZO Skin Health also offers several hydrating creams and serums containing HA. Since the market is inundated with a lot of hyaluronic acid skincare ranges, it is best that patients discuss with products might be most effective for them with a medical professional.