Hyaluronic acid is used as an ingredient in skincare products due to its "unique capacity in retaining water."
But did you know that it is also naturally produced by our bodies? Here, we explain the relationship between hyaluronic acid, cutaneous aging and how to improve skin quality through topical application.
Hyaluronic acid: an essential chemical that decreases with age
Just like collagen, the body produces hyaluronic acid, a naturally-occurring polysaccharide located in the skin, joints and eyes. Hyaluronic acid (or HA) is essential for keeping the skin hydrated thanks to its ability to bind and retain water molecules. Well-hydrated skin is necessary to reinforce the epidermis and its hydrolipidic barrier, which functions as a shield over the skin: retaining moisture and protecting against bacteria.
However, research has shown that the production of hyaluronic acid decreases with age: "The most dramatic histochemical change observed in senescent skin is the marked disappearance of epidermal HA". This result in a gradual increase in dehydration, atrophy, a loss of elasticity, dullness and the formation of wrinkles: some of the principal signs of cutaneous ageing.
Topically replenishing hyaluronic acid: improved epidermal quality
Replenishing levels of hyaluronic acid in the skin can be safely achieved through skincare (topical application) in a variety of forms, from serums to moisturisers and dermatological processes such as facials. In cosmetics, hyaluronic acid is often used in different molecular forms: the larger the form, the less it penetrates, offering surface-level hydrations. The smaller the molecules, however, the deeper the absorption – providing anti-aging benefits and improving skin health.
Vichy's Mineral 89, for example, is a refreshing and instantly-absorbed gel that contains hyaluronic acid and Vichy Thermal Mineralising Water, recommended as the first step of a skincare routine. Alternatively, the LiftActiv Serum 10 Supreme contains different forms of hyaluronic acid in a powerful and unique formula that targets the ten signs of ageing related to a decrease in HA production.
Hyaluronic acid is therefore a key skincare ingredient when it comes to reinforcing our skin's health, as well as giving it a plump, youthful texture and preventing cutaneous ageing.
 Papakonstantinou, E., Roth, M. and Karakiulakis, G. ‘Hyaluronic acid: A key molecule in skin aging’ in Dermato-endocrinology 4.3 (201) pp. 253-258. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3583886/
 Kaya, G., Tran, C., Sorg, O. et al, ‘Hyaluronate Fragments Reverse Skin Atrophy by a CD44-Dependent Mechanism’ in PLoS Med 3.12 (2006) [Accessible at: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0030493]