Hyaluronic Acid and Keeping Skin Healthy Longer

This is part of our ongoing The Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging spotlight. Each day, we will be posting some of the great information that’s packed into our book, The Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging.

Today’s topic:
Keeping Skin Healthy Longer with Hyaluronic Acid

Aging skin is characterized by a significant loss of elasticity coinciding with a reduced content of hyaluronic acid.8 Because hyaluronic acid is the most abundant water-binding glycosaminoglycan in healthy skin, loss of hyaluronic acid results in decreased water content and loss of elasticity. In addition, loss of hyaluronic acid is accompanied by increased compaction of collagen fibers. Skin depleted of hyaluronic acid takes on a dry and wrinkled appearance, much like joints depleted in hyaluronic acid lose their ability to retain moisture, and thus have decreased cushioning and shock-absorbing ability.

In contrast, enrichment of the dermal layer of the skin with hyaluronic acid optimizes collagen organization (“packing”). Hyaluronic acid also has been shown to promote intercellular communication, allowing cells to cooperate more efficiently in organizing the collagen they produce. Hyaluronic acid contributes to the organization and structure of the skin by increasing the amount of water that is bound into the structure of the skin – the better hydrated the skin, the more flexible it is.9 In addition, hyaluronic acid enrichment supports the ability of new skin cells to replace old, further facilitating the restoration and maintenance of healthy skin.

When the skin is exposed to oxidizing chemicals or conditions (such as sunlight), the lipid structures of cell membranes are susceptible to increased rates of oxidative peroxidation.10 Skin cells with membranes that have been oxidized shrink and deform, losing cell-to-cell contact and “leaking” increased amounts of evaporative water from the abnormal spaces between cells, causing dehydration of the skin and reducing its flexibility.10

As reported in a paper published recently in the Journal of Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Science hyaluronic acid is a powerful antioxidant within the skin that acts to maintain skin health by preventing lipid peroxidation and by maintaining the normal level of hydration within the skin.10 These properties of hyaluronic acid promote flexible and supple skin, making hyaluronic acid a vital component of your healthy skin preservation program.

Next Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging topic:
How Does Oral Hyaluronic Acid Work?

8. Guinot C, Malvy DJ, Ambroisine L, Latreille J, Mauger E, Tenenhaus M, Morizot F, Lopez S, Le Fur I, Tschachler E. Relative contribution of intrinsic vs extrinsic factors to skin aging as determined by a validated skin age score. Arch Dermatol 2002;138:1454-1460.
9. Toole BP. Hyaluronan is not just a goo! J Clin Invest 2000;106:335-336.
10. Trommer H, Neubert RH. Screening for new antioxidative compounds for topical administration using skin lipid model systems. J Pharm Pharm Sci 2005;8:494-506.

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