If you’ve dealt with (or are currently dealing with) dry skin and/or looking to up your skincare game, you’ve likely done some hunting with google and come across dozens of ingredients touted to help improve the quality and appearance of your skin.
At the top of almost all of these lists is a compound called hyaluronic acid.
But, what is it? What does it do? And, (perhaps most importantly) is it safe?
We’ll discuss exactly what hyaluronic acid is and whether or not it’s worth consideration for inclusion in your skincare regimen next!
Let’s start with the basics...
What is Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic acid (HA), also known as hyaluronan, is a clear, gooey substance naturally produced by our cells that helps retain water and balance moisture levels in the body. It is most abundantly found in your skin, connective tissue and eyes.
While our bodies do naturally produce hyaluronic acid, like most things in our bodies (hormones, in particular), production of hyaluronic acid begins to decline as we age, just like collagen and hormone production.
What Does Hyaluronic Acid Do for Skin?
No matter what type of skin you have -- dry, oily or combination complexions -- hyaluronic acid can help. Furthermore, we can all be victims of dry skin, regardless of type of complexion, which means that we can all benefit from using supplements containing hyaluronic acid.
You see, when skin becomes dehydrated, our bodies try to “fix” the issue by overproducing oil which can lead to breakouts and accentuated fine lines.
As we mentioned above, the main job of hyaluronic acid is to retain moisture. In fact, just one gram (1g) hyaluronic acid can hold up to six liters of water.
What this means is that hyaluronic acid supplements may help your skin look and feel more supple.
Something else to consider is that exposure to various environmental factors, such as ultraviolet radiation, tobacco smoke and air pollution, can decrease the amount of hyaluronic acid in the skin.
Research indicates that supplementing with hyaluronic acid may prevent this decline by supplying the body with additional amounts that can be incorporated into the skin. Additional studies suggest that hyaluronic acid supplements may help significantly increase skin moisture and reduce dry skin in adults.
Moreover, supplementing with hyaluronic acid also has been found to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, which can make skin appear smoother.
What Does Hyaluronic Acid Do for Joints?
Hyaluronic acid isn’t just important for keeping younger, more supple looking skin -- it also plays a key role in joint health.
More specifically, hyaluronic acid keeps the space between your bones well lubricated. The better lubricated a joint is, the less likely bones are to grind against each other and cause pain and discomfort.
Research has found that hyaluronic acid supplements may be very helpful, particularly in individuals suffering from joint aches and pains, such as those commonly found with osteoarthritis.[5,6]
Where Can I Find Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic acid is a vitally important compound in the body that helps retain moisture and lubricate joints. Unfortunately the ability of our bodies to naturally produce hyaluronic acid declines with age.
The good news is that using hyaluronic acid supplements has been found to be a helpful way to support the body’s natural production.
1UP Nutrition includes a quality dose of hyaluronic acid in both our best-selling Grass-Fed Hydrolyzed Collagen Peptides as well as our joint support formula, Joint Health Plus to support healthy skin, hair, joints and bones.
- Jegasothy SM, Zabolotnaya V, Bielfeldt S. Efficacy of a New Topical Nano-hyaluronic Acid in Humans. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2014;7(3):27-29.
- Hisada N, Satsu H, Mori A, Totsuka M, Kamei J, Nozawa T, Shimizu M. Low-molecular-weight hyaluronan permeates through human intestinal Caco-2 cell monolayers via the paracellular pathway. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2008 Apr;72(4):1111-4. doi: 10.1271/bbb.70748. Epub 2008 Apr 7. PMID: 18391466.
- Kawada C, Yoshida T, Yoshida H, Matsuoka R, Sakamoto W, Odanaka W, Sato T, Yamasaki T, Kanemitsu T, Masuda Y, Urushibata O. Ingested hyaluronan moisturizes dry skin. Nutr J. 2014 Jul 11;13:70. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-13-70. PMID: 25014997; PMCID: PMC4110621.
- Oe M, Sakai S, Yoshida H, Okado N, Kaneda H, Masuda Y, Urushibata O. Oral hyaluronan relieves wrinkles: a double-blinded, placebo-controlled study over a 12-week period. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2017 Jul 18;10:267-273. doi: 10.2147/CCID.S141845. PMID: 28761365; PMCID: PMC5522662.
- Tashiro T, Seino S, Sato T, Matsuoka R, Masuda Y, Fukui N. Oral administration of polymer hyaluronic acid alleviates symptoms of knee osteoarthritis: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study over a 12-month period. ScientificWorldJournal. 2012;2012:167928. doi: 10.1100/2012/167928. Epub 2012 Nov 20. PMID: 23226979; PMCID: PMC3512263.
- Jensen GS, Attridge VL, Lenninger MR, Benson KF. Oral intake of a liquid high-molecular-weight hyaluronan associated with relief of chronic pain and reduced use of pain medication: results of a randomized, placebo-controlled double-blind pilot study. J Med Food. 2015 Jan;18(1):95-101. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2013.0174. PMID: 25415767; PMCID: PMC4281855.