Ask a woman over the age of thirty what she wants most in terms of beauty, and chances are “great skin” will make its way into the conversation.
No surprise there: As our body’s largest organ, skin rarely hides our secrets—often revealing the choices we’ve made and the lives (and years) we’ve lived.
And no matter how virtuous we may have been when it comes to sun protection, diet, exercise, and not smoking, we’re still susceptible to standard changes as we age (hello, sagging skin and dark spots!)
In our eternal quest for eternally youthful skin—even skin tone, plumpness, and radiance—we’re also eager to try promising new products that sweep through the beauty scene.
Whether you’re obsessed with breakthroughs in skincare—or have a standard, tried-and-true wash-and-moisturize routine—you’ve probably heard of hyaluronic acid and its potential to remedy the signs of sun damage and age.
But what is hyaluronic acid, exactly?
Also known as hyaluronan, hyaluronate, or simply “HA,” hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in the body and is essential for maintaining joints and connective tissues. Found in our skin (where a whopping 50 percent of our body’s supply of it is contained), hyaluronic acid acts as a space-filler between cells—almost like a pillow of moisture that functions as a cushion.
It also plays a vital role in retaining moisture, with the experts over at Allure explaining that a single molecule of hyaluronic acid can hold up to 1,000 times its own weight in water.
The result? Lubrication for our nerves, joints, hair, and eyes—and the smooth complexion of our youth (which, let’s face it, most of us took for granted).
Alas, like collagen and elastin, our production of HA slows as we age—a decrease that effects the hydration and texture of our skin and may lead to slackness, fine lines and wrinkles, and an overall lackluster appearance.
Here’s the good news:
There are a number of ways to add hyaluronic acid to your beauty routine, regardless of how many birthday candles you’ve blown out.
Take a more natural route with a supplement. Some supplements—particularly those paired with collagen—provide the body with raw materials to support joint and connective tissue health. What’s more, supplements can encourage cellular renewal and structure.
Want something topical? Hyaluronic acid serums—such as our own Anti-Aging Eye Serum—foster suppleness and softness. Because this acid (which, by the way, is actually a sugar) can hold on to more water than any other molecule in our body, it can bind and seal in moisture in the skin. And in addition to helping produce and maintain cartilage, HA does the same for collagen.
Facial and skin creams carry much of the same potential, rendering HA-enhanced moisturizers especially appealing to people with dry skin caused by aging, cold weather, diet, and more. Our award-winning Age Defying Moisturizer is rich in this key ingredient; coupled with the finest organic oils and tropical botanicals in paradise, it promotes a dewy, glowing complexion.
Food concentrates containing HA can also be taken by the spoonful or added to water (or other foods). A number of companies, including Whole Foods, make a liquid blend that can be easily ingested.
Finally, there are a variety of foods that, as the San Francisco Chronicle reports, can “help maintain or replenish your HA stores.” Chief among those? Bone broth (which is also rich in calcium, collagen, magnesium, and more), root vegetables, leafy greens, naringenin-dense foods (such as tomatoes, oranges, and grapefruit), and organ meats.
Above all, however, we advise aiming to live the lives we led in our youths—one where stress was scant, play was paramount, exercise was frequent, and diets were well-rounded and healthy. In other words, to look young, live young. “Great skin” will be just one natural byproduct.