Hi. Or, ‘hya!’ I should say. It’s me. Good old hyaluronic acid. You know. The stuff that keeps your skin plump and elastic, your joints moving pain-free, and helps your body heal itself after wounds (yes, really!). In this post, you’re about to learn a few important things about me that you might not know, and why I make your collagen more effective.
Okay okay first things first. You should probably know how to pronounce Hyaluronic.
I’m sure you’ve seen the word plenty – touted as the ‘magic moisturizer’ in your favorite serums, creams, and even many injectable cosmetics, but let’s say it together first, shall we?
It’s pretty much exactly how it is spelled: ‘Hi-yuh’ – ‘loo’ – ‘ronic’.
Try that a few times. (Or just watch this somewhat hilarious pronunciation video that I found.)
Alright so we know how to say it properly.
But what the heck is it? And what does it do?
What is Hyaluronic Acid?
Obviously we ought to know what hyaluronic acid actually is before we start touting all of its scientifically-proven benefits.
The funny thing is that Hyaluronic acid, (often referred to simply by the acronym ‘HA’) is that it is often defined in a not-so-scientific way.
So, I suppose you can kind of picture it.. (I imagine some sort of Pixar situation with gobs of bouncy clear balls)…
Hyaluronic acid is a naturally-occurring sugar molecule found in several areas of the body
Technically-speaking, hyaluronic acid is a naturally-occurring sugar molecule found in several areas of the body, but most commonly found in the fluids circulating the joints, eyes, and connective tissue.
HA helps act as a lubricant and moisturizer, and has the ability to retain a tremendous amount of moisture – in fact some research claims that just one gram of HA can retain up to 6 liters of water! (although some debate exists on this lofty claim1)
Where Does Hyaluronic Acid Come From?
Hyaluronic acid isn’t really found and extracted from any natural foods (except animal sources like bone broth2), however, supplement makers and cosmetics companies have found ways to create HA through fermentation.
To that end, be sure to check the source of any product containing hyaluronic acid – while not as common in this day and age, some providers of HA used to extract their material from rooster combs or cow’s eyes! Now that’s not a good ‘look’.
Okay. So we now know what HA is and where it comes from…but how does supplementing it actually help our skin? The key is collagen.
Why Should You Take Hyaluronic Acid with Collagen?
Because collagen is the most important protein when it comes to the health of our skin (the dermis layer is made up of roughly 70% collagen), it is important to look at which nutrients complement and nurture your body’s collagen supply.
And while there are a number of foods that support healthy skin, adding hyaluronic acid to your diet will have an even greater impact on your skin than any of these foods. Here’s why:
1. Hyaluronic Acid Binds Moisture to Collagen: Because of HA’s ability to attract and hold water, it serves as the mechanism within your skin that actually allows collagen to retain water.
“hyaluronic acid binds water to collagen, helping keep skin elastic.”
2. It Reduces Wrinkles on its Own: One of the most heavily sought-after benefits of collagen is its ability to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Coincidentally, Hyaluronic provides similar benefits on its own, as proven in this study.
3. Lubricates Joints & Reduces Joint Pain: Another benefit of pairing hyaluronic acid and collagen is that HA enhances collagen’s positive impact on joint health. That’s because HA is naturally found in the fluids that surround our joints. The cool part is that supplemental HA can improve joint health – in fact a thorough 12-month study conducted in 2012 showed that it (supplemented orally) improved symptoms of knee osteoarthritis.
Orally Ingested or Topical?
With so much exciting research coming to light about supplementing with hyaluronic acid, cosmetics companies and supplement companies alike have begun including HA in their products, which begs the question, is HA more effective when applied topically, or ingested (orally)?
Common logic argues that topical may be better short-term for skin due to the highly absorptive nature of our skin – with some claiming that the skin can absorb up to 60% of any topical actives.
However, clinical data makes a stronger case for orally-ingested HA. In 2012, Japanese researchers demonstrated significant improvements in knee arthritis with regular oral supplementation4, while a 2017 study showed that HA supplementation significantly reduced the appearance of wrinkles6. A third study proved that orally-ingested hyaluronic acid reduced dry skin.5
All three studies confirm that orally-ingested hyaluronic acid is indeed absorbed and distributed to the skin, bone, and synovial joints.
If you are looking for a good collagen product that combines branded HyaMax™ hyaluronic acid with premium collagen peptides to maximize the effectiveness of your collagen, check out Aquarius Collagen Beauty Booster.*