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icoHyaluronic acid – everything you need to know!

Hyaluronan – what is it? 

Hyaluronan is an exceptional molecule that is produced naturally in the cell membrane and is found in the connective tissue of our bodies. It is one of the main components in the structure of our skin, and is responsible for maintaining the level of moisture and quantity of water it contains, which give our skin a supple, firm and well-moisturized appearance.  Nowadays there are many who consider it to be the nearest thing to the “fountain of youth”.

What makes hyaluronan so magical?

When we talk about well-moisturized skin we are mainly referring to skin that holds a lot of water. Hyaluronic acid loves water, and its benefit lies in its ability to hold one thousand times (or more) its own molecular weight of water in the skin cells. This property allows it to function as a kind of “internal moisturizer”, holding water molecules in the skin and keeping it dewy and fresh. In fact, there is no other naturally occurring substance in our bodies that can hold so much water.

Did you know? Our skin contains more than 20% of the water in our whole body


Why do we need hyaluronan?

When we are young, our body creates hyaluronan as needed, and this is why young skin is taut, youthful, and fresh. At the same time, the body’s ability to create and preserve the natural levels of hyaluronan decreases as we age, and research indicates that after the age of 30 the levels in our body decrease significantly. The characteristic appearance of youthful skin depends on the quantity of hyaluronan found in the cells, and therefore the result of this process is a lack of moisture, cracks, dryness, and fine lines.

How does hyaluronan work?

Imagine cracks in the earth: as soon as it is watered they disappear, and it takes on a smoother and more uniform appearance. This is exactly how hyaluronan works in our skin. It absorbs many liquids, filling in between the cells of our skin, and retaining high levels of moisture.

Furthermore, if we continue with the same analogy, the water with which we irrigate the soil evaporates after a certain period of time, causing it to return to its arid state. Hyaluronan does exactly what is needed to prevent our skin drying out in this way. It slows down the rate at which the water evaporates, and ensures that it does not escape from the surface of the skin.

How can we acquire hyaluronan in our body?

Until now it has been customary to think that we can augment hyaluronan in the body by injection or by application as a cream.  But you should know that progress in the world of skincare has brought with it other solutions for introducing substances with a nutritional effect into the body, not only in an external manner. The very familiar care routine of applying creams to our skin can help introduce hyaluronan into the skin, but in practice it is only a partial and temporary answer. The levels of hyaluronan in these preparations is low, and a special solution is needed in order for it to be absorbed in the skin. Although the injections that we have all heard of offer an immediate way of introducing the hyaluronan into the skin, many women are fearful of this treatment, and not without cause. These are invasive and painful treatments that are liable to cause a frozen and unnatural appearance, and unpleasant side-effects.

Therefore, new trends in the fields of skincare involve the increasing understanding that it is necessary to incorporate vital nutritional ingredients in order to  take care of our external appearance from within, and not only from the outside. These elements, such as vitamins and minerals, are vital to the process of cell division in our bodies, and help the skin renew itself. They are found in our nutrition, but in insufficient quantity, and therefore in addition to good nutrition, it is desirable also to take easy-to-use natural supplements.

Hyaluronan – the next big thing

A new trend that is taking over the world and is now also coming to Israel is called “nutri-cosmetics”, and is based on nutritional elements that are taken orally and work on cosmetic change from within. This new method changes the rules of the game, and offers a real and easy solution for increasing the hyaluronan and the moisture that our skin so needs. Nourishing our body with hyaluronan from within means that it can be absorbed from the digested system into the blood, and eventually reaches the skin through the circulatory system and the lymphatic system, in this way also encouraging additional internal production of hyaluronic acid in the skin tissues.

The secret lies in the combination

The combination of hyaluronan alongside a healthy lifestyle and other essential nutritional elements will produce better and deeper results. Caring for the skin by applying sunscreen, drinking a lot of water, taking care of our facial cleansing, and feeding the body with the vitamins it needs is essential. There are many vitamins and minerals that are known for their great contribution to nourishing our skin. For example, vitamin C is known to help produce collagen, which is the building block of our body; vitamin E is an important antioxidant protecting the skin; and zinc and biotin are minerals involved in the process of internal nurturing of the skin.

Are there any side effects when using hyaluronan as a nutritional supplement?

Unlike hyaluronic acid injections, which are a medical procedure in every respect and are liable to have unpleasant side effects, widespread use of hyaluronan as a nutritional supplement has proved to be free of any significant side-effects.

How soon can results be seen?

Research shows* that when hyaluronan is taken at a dose of 120 mg a day, with the addition of biotin, vitamin C and zinc, an improvement in the appearance of the skin and an increase in the percentage of moisture in the skin can already be seen after 40 days. After six weeks it is also possible to see the first effects on firming and fine lines.

To sum up – in your skincare routine, do not make do with external protection only. Your skin is the largest organ of your body, do not take it for granted. Look after it, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and make up what is lacking with the appropriate health supplements. It works!

*References:

Polymers 2018, 10, 701; Hyaluronic Acid in the Third Millennium, MDPI, Published: 25 June 2018

Drealos, Z.D. Nutrition and enhancing youthful-appearing skin. Clin. Dermatol. 2010, 28, 400–408

Göllner, I.; Voss,W.; von Hehn, U.; Kammerer, S. Ingestion of an Oral Hyaluronan Solution Improves Skin Hydration, Wrinkle Reduction, Elasticity, and Skin Roughness: Results of a Clinical Study. J. Evid. Based* Complement. Altern. Med. 2017, 22, 816–823

Kawada, C.; Yoshida, T.; Yoshida, H.; Sakamoto, W.; Odanaka, W.; Sato, T.; Yamasaki, T.; Kanemitsu, T.;Masuda, Y.; Urushibata, O. Ingestion of hyaluronans (molecular weights 800 k and 300 k) improves dry skin* conditions: A randomized, double blind, controlled study. J. Clin. Biochem. Nutr. 2015, 56, 66–73.

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