We're delighted to welcome back skincare expert Natalie Fisher, aka The Derm Nurse. We're lucky enough to have Natalie write a series of guest blogs for us, where she shares her knowledge on all things skin!
Hyaluronic acid (HA) is an ingredient we have all become familiar with in recent years. If you walk down any skincare aisle, you’ll see the name paraded on packaging and posters. Is it right that this ingredient is placed upon a skincare pedestal?
Will it deliver the results it claims to? Let’s investigate.
Hyaluronic acid is naturally produced by our bodies. The largest amounts are found in your skin, connective tissue and eyes. On average our bodies contain roughly 15grams of HA and almost 50% of that is found in the skin. Interestingly the half-life (time it takes for molecule to be broken down and excreted from the body) of HA within the skin can be as little as one day.
So now I have your attention about hyaluronic acid (I hope!) lets look at what it actually does. It is a humectant which, put simply, means it is very attracted to water. So attracted in fact, that it can bind with up to 1000 times its weight in water. This HA sits both in deep dermal layers but also in the more visible epidermal layers too.
Hyaluronic acid acts as a ‘space filler’. When it binds to water molecules it becomes a jelly like substance. This is how it has the ability to ‘plump’ the skin, reducing the appearance of wrinkles. As we age, we produce less and less HA and the concentration in our skin starts to drop. The result of this is our skin becomes gradually drier and dehydrated.
For skin to maintain its structure, it relies heavily on collagen and elastin. Collagen gives your skin its firmness but hydration from HA heavily supports this. Imagine collagen and elastin to be like a rubber band. If that rubber band was continuously stretched over time and the rubber band was dry it would likely snap. Now imagine stretching that rubber band again and again whilst keeping it surrounded and lubricated with a jelly like substance. Over time it would stretch still and loose some elasticity but it has a better chance of bouncing back if it is well hydrated. This is the kind of support HA offers your skin.
Hyaluronic acid is a wonderful ingredient which, in my opinion, should be incorporated into most skincare regimes. Its anti ageing, antioxidant, hydrating and calming properties make it a true powerhouse ingredient. When looking for products containing HA it is worth looking out for the words ‘low molecular weight’. This explains that it is a smaller molecule which essentially means it can reach a little farther into the skins layers so the results will be enhanced.
So there you have it, just some of the reasons why you keep seeing HA cropping up in the media and all around the skincare aisles. So should we be putting it up on a skin ingredient pedestal? Damn right we should!
Natalie |The Derm Nurse
We have chosen Extra Low Weight Hyaluronic Acid, as a key ingredient in our Velvet Restore Sleep Complex. It forms part of a powerful combination of ingredients that boost your body's own production of Hyaluronic Acid, collagen and elastin. Helping to reprogram the skin's future whilst you sleep.
Click through to find out more about our VELVET RESTORE SLEEP COMPLEX here.