We often see it with celebrities, including Hailey Bieber: hyaluronic acid. Today, the popular ingredient is used not only in serums and moisturizers, but also in smoothies and supplements. It would make your skin glow. However, does it work as well as is always claimed?
Structure and resilience
Hyaluronic acid is a glycosaminoglycan, a carbohydrate that affects the structure and resilience of your skin. “You can think of it as a hydration magnet. It keeps your skin hydrated,” said dermatologist Dr. Shereene Idriss in conversation with TZR. Our body also produces a certain amount of hyaluronic acid on its own for our eyes, joints and connective tissue, among other things. As we get older, that production decreases. That is why products with hyaluronic acid are often mentioned when it comes to anti-aging.
Hyaluronic acid is also one of the main ingredients of lip fillers. “Because in itself it is already a biocompatible chemical, one that the skin recognizes, there is a small chance that it will react badly,” said plastic surgeon Dr. Yannis Alexandrides in conversation with TZR.
Too much is never good
Many dermatologists recommend products with hyaluronic acid for daily use skin care routine. There is, however, a catch. An excess of hyaluronic acid causes your skin to lose moisture instead of retaining it, according to Idriss. In addition, if not applied to damp skin or if no oil or moisturizer is applied after application, hyaluronic acid can actually draw moisture from your skin. It can also cause redness and inflammation.
Smoothies and supplements
What about hyaluronic acid in ‘edible’ form, for example in smoothies and supplements? In theory, it’s a great idea to regularly consume hyaluronic acid to help build up the amount of moisture in your skin. In addition, your skin receives a signal during the digestion process that makes it think it needs to produce more hyaluronic acid. In practice, however, the hyaluronic acid in the diet first has to pass through your entire digestive system, so your skin only benefits indirectly.
Another drawback is more of the general kind. Scientists are still not sure whether hyaluronic acid supplements are as effective as often claimed. Over the past ten years, several studies have shown that those supplements are safe, but more research is needed to conclude whether they really work for everyone.
All about balance
All in all, it is certainly not bad to occasionally buy a product with hyaluronic acid in it, but it is better to leave the supplements alone. “I believe in a well-balanced diet. For example, you can also opt for drinkable broth, which contains hyaluronic acid,” says Dr. Idriss. According to nutritionist Kimberly Snyder it is best to supplement your diet with foods that contain hyaluronic acid (or that stimulate the production of that acid), such as orange, tofu, sweet potato and chia seeds. “That is more compatible with your body and is absorbed faster than the supplements.”
Source: TZR | Image: iStock