Your skincare routine doesn’t need to be that extensive for you to have a general awareness of hyaluronic acid. It can be found in a wide range of products, including, most commonly, sheet masks, serums, and moisturizers. Its prevalence can be attributed to the fact that hyaluronic acid – a sugar molecule that occurs naturally in the skin – helps bind water to collagen, giving your skin that coveted plumped up, dewy look.
But hyaluronic acid does much more than merely boost the skin’s moisture levels.
Why is hyaluronic acid so valuable?
As we get older, we gradually lose collagen and hyaluronic acid, which leaves our skin vulnerable to becoming dehydrated more easily. Compounding matters, harsh weather, certain skincare products, and underlying skin conditions can cause tiny breaks in the protective skin barrier that allow water to escape.
Hyaluronic acid is one of a handful of hydrating skincare ingredients that acts as a humectant, drawing water to the skin and trapping it there. It’s as common as it is not just because it’s effective but also because it’s very user-friendly; it penetrates easily.
Even more, it’s nonirritating for all skin types. Because it’s produced in our bodies, it’s safe for everyone. While everyone could benefit from adding hyaluronic acid, in some form, to their skincare routine, those with dry and/or mature skin will gain the most because, again, our natural supply shrinks as we age.
There’s an injectable version too?
Hyaluronic acid can also be injected. As a dermal filler, hyaluronic acid is a gel-like product that, once injected, draws water to the targeted area, restoring volume and structure for several months at a time.
These fillers can be used for marionette lines (the folds that run vertically from the corners of the mouth down to the chin), nasolabial folds, cheek and chin augmentation, undereyes, lips, and the tops of the hands.
The density, ability to lift, and longevity of the fillers vary, so it’s important to talk with a board-certified dermatologist who can best match your needs and expectations with the appropriate one.
Should you not like the change in your appearance, hyaluronic acid fillers are reversible. All your dermatologist needs to do is insert the enzyme hyaluronidase, and the filler will be dissolved within minutes.
As low-risk, big-reward as hyaluronic acid fillers can be, there are a few small risks to be aware of. As with any injectable treatment, bruising and swelling are the most common side effects. But that’s typically resolved within a few days.
Avoiding aspirin, ibuprofen, and red wine a week before your treatment will reduce your bruising likelihood. Using arnica and bromelain also may help decrease swelling and bruising.