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How Does Hyaluronic Acid Help Your Skin?

What does hyaluronic acid do for your face? From Jersey City, NJ, to the West Coast, patients often ask this question in their efforts to find ways to enhance their skin’s appearance.

At Burnett Plastic Surgery in Westfield, we, too, hear “hyaluronic acid” tossed around as a buzzword in the beauty industry. So what is it?

Although the phrase includes the word “acid,” you don’t need to be squeamish about it. This difficult-to-pronounce term refers to a type of humectant—a substance that retains water—produced naturally in the body and also added to many skincare products. In fact, HA (as hyaluronic acid is known) can hold 1,000 times its own weight in water.

A type of sugar known as a glycosaminoglycan, HA occurs naturally throughout the body’s connective tissues. Hyaluronic acid has many benefits, including keeping the outer layers of skin moisturized to give your skin that radiant, youthful appearance everyone wants. It’s a gentle ingredient that’s well-tolerated by all skin types. 

When we refer to skin as being moisturized, we mean it contains a significant amount of water. Hyaluronic acid helps to lock the moisture in by preventing that water from evaporating from the skin.

In addition to being very effective at hydration, this molecule also helps to keep skin stretchy, reduces wrinkles and scarring, and promotes wound healing. Unfortunately, the body’s production of this substance diminishes with age, so we need to find ways to replenish it if we want to keep enjoying its benefits. 

Skincare products can be helpful in this regard, but if you don’t use hyaluronic acid the right way when you add it into your everyday skin care routine, it could make your skin even drier than before. Also, not all hyaluronic acid products are created equal. Different products have different acid concentrations and molecular weights. You may get better results from products that have a lower molecular weight as they penetrate the skin better. Avoid products that have humectant levels that are too high, and look for ones that also contain occlusive ingredients to prevent water loss from the skin. 

Want to know more about hyaluronic acid and how it can be used to help the skin? Contact our team at Burnett Plastic Surgery by calling 908.233.0200 or filling out a contact form to request an appointment. 

Carlos Burnett