Hyaluronic acid – special features and effects
Today it is impossible to imagine cosmetic skin care without it: hyaluronic acid has become an important part of many creams and masks. And there is a good reason for this because these products all have one thing in common: the hyaluronic acid contained in them is intended to plump up dry skin and provide it with moisture.
What is hyaluronic acid?
Hyaluronic acid is a transparent, gel-like substance. It is an important part of human connective tissue, giving it elasticity and also playing an essential role in cell growth and joint lubrication.
Hyaluronic acid can be found everywhere in the body. It is present, for example, in synovial fluid, in the vitreous body of the eye and in the intervertebral discs. One example of this: the vitreous body consists of 98% water, which is bound by only 2% hyaluronic acid.
What effect does hyaluronic acid have?
Hyaluronic acid is used in medicine in a number of ways. It comes into its own wherever there is a lack of moisture. Treatment with hyaluronic acid is often used to add the substance that the patient’s body is missing in order to ensure important bodily functions. But hyaluronic acid has also become indispensable in cosmetics and cosmetic surgery. It is a component in the following products and applications, among other things:
- Nasal sprays contain hyaluronic acid to prevent the nasal mucosa from becoming dry.
- Hyaluronic acid may be contained in care products for contact lenses, in addition to being in the lenses themselves, in order to ensure optimum tolerability.
- Many eye drops for dry, irritated eyes contain hyaluronic acid.
- Injections into the joints help with symptoms caused by arthritis.
- Hydrogels for wound care with the addition of hyaluronic acid enable quicker and more successful healing and can also reduce scar formation.
- Injections containing hyaluronic acid to fill out wrinkles have been popular cosmetic surgery procedures for years.
As we age, the production of endogenous hyaluronic acid drops continuously. From around the age of 25, the body starts to produce less and less hyaluronic acid. Inevitably, the amount of hyaluronic acid produced by the body is at some point below the amount needed to keep skin and tissue firm or to supply areas with sufficient moisture. The cause of several signs of ageing – wrinkles, loose connective tissue or joint pains – is therefore mainly due to the lack of hyaluronic acid.
Luckily, adding the active ingredient from the outside is virtually just as effective as what the body produces for treating problems caused by a lack of hyaluronic acid.
How is hyaluronic acid used?
Hyaluronic acid can be used in a number of ways and is mainly dependent on the desired result. Injections into the affected areas of the body for medical purposes have proven successful – both for filling out wrinkles and for treating orthopaedic problems.
When caring for skin and hair, the external supply is also effective. Low molecular weight hyaluronic acid achieves the best effect here as it can penetrate well through the uppermost layers of the skin. This information is shown on very few hyaluronic acid products, but the consistency is a good guide: the more liquid the product, the lower the molecular weight of the hyaluronic acid and the deeper it can penetrate into the body. Shampoos, serums and lightweight creams can therefore achieve better results than a solid product like body butter.
In addition to external application, hyaluronic acid can also be taken in the form of capsules. This does not just enhance the desired effect, hyaluronic acid can achieve this effect throughout the body – benefitting the joints and connective tissue in particular.
Hyaluronic acid to prevent dry scalps
Dry hair and dry scalps are a widespread problem. This is because we are rarely careful with our hair, exposing it to pulling, friction and heat. These factors make the protective outer cuticle layer of the hair rough and cause moisture to escape from within the hair. This dryness encourages further problems in the long term, such as a sore scalp, dandruff, breakage and split ends. If you can rule out disease-related causes for your dry scalp, then your scalp could indeed be lacking moisture. By adding hyaluronic acid, you can replenish your scalp’s depots in order to restore its moisture levels.
This is where hyaluronic acid comes into its own for hair care: when added in high concentrations, it builds up in the hair and scalp, binds the water when you wash your hair and plumps up the hair and scalp from within. Combined with other nourishing active ingredients, it prevents the renewed loss of moisture and smoothes the cuticle layer.
The visible and tangible result: hair becomes fuller, has a healthy shine and is easier to comb. Unlike treatment with nourishing oils, hyaluronic acid does not weigh the hair down – it is therefore also suitable for fine hair. If you suffer from dry dandruff or an itchy scalp, you can also tackle these problems with hyaluronic acid products.
Shampoos with hyaluronic acid
Adding hyaluronic acid to shampoos and conditioners is an easy and effective way to supply your hair and scalp with the missing hyaluronic acid. More and more hairdressers recommend using a shampoo with hyaluronic acid to combat dry scalps and hair.
Specifically choose a product that additionally supplies moisture and contains premium hyaluronic acid. Preferably use a shampoo with hyaluronic acid without silicones. Silicones tend to form a film on the scalp and restrict breathability. Skin problems then seem to be alleviated in the short term, but can get worse in the long term.