What is Hyaluronic Acid?

Incorporating a hyaluronic acid-based product into a skincare routine has been gaining popularity in the industry for quite some time, but what exactly is it and do you really need it?

Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance in the human body that is known for its ability to retain moisture and keep the skin hydrated. It is also found in various foods and can provide numerous health benefits when consumed regularly. It is a glycosaminoglycan, which is a type of molecule that is found in connective tissues throughout the body. It plays a crucial role in maintaining the health and hydration of the skin, joints, and eyes. Hyaluronic acid acts as a lubricant and shock absorber, allowing our joints to move smoothly and our skin to stay plump and moisturized.

One of the unique properties of hyaluronic acid is its ability to hold up to 1000 times its weight in water. This means that it can effectively hydrate the skin by attracting and retaining moisture. When applied topically, hyaluronic acid forms a thin, invisible film on the skin's surface, helping to lock in moisture and prevent dehydration. When consumed in foods, hyaluronic acid offers several protective benefits to the body, including to the joints and eyes.

Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid for Skin

  • Hydration: Hyaluronic acid is a powerful humectant, which means it draws moisture from the environment and delivers it to the skin. This can help to plump and hydrate the skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Improved Skin Texture: By increasing hydration levels, hyaluronic acid can help to improve the overall texture and tone of the skin. It can make the skin appear smoother, softer, and more supple.

  • Enhanced Skin Barrier: Hyaluronic acid can strengthen the skin's natural barrier function, helping to protect it from environmental stressors and pollutants.

      Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid for the Body

      • Skin Health: Hyaluronic acid is a key component of the skin's extracellular matrix, which helps maintain its structure and moisture content. By consuming foods rich in hyaluronic acid, you can support your skin's hydration and elasticity, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and promoting a youthful complexion.

      • Joint Health: As we age, the natural production of hyaluronic acid in our bodies decreases, leading to joint stiffness and discomfort. Consuming foods high in hyaluronic acid can help replenish the levels in our joints, promoting lubrication and reducing inflammation, ultimately improving joint mobility and flexibility.

      • Eye Health: Hyaluronic acid is present in the vitreous humor, the gel-like substance that fills the space between the lens and retina of the eye. By consuming foods containing hyaluronic acid, you can support the health of your eyes, promoting proper lubrication and reducing the risk of dry eyes and other eye-related issues.

      While we mainly talk about the topical side of skincare, much of a balanced routine starts from within. Instead of adding in a product with questionable ingredients we love to recommend looking at your diet to see if what you consume daily provides your body with the necessary vitamins, minerals and hyaluronic acid for overall balanced health. If you would like to be more mindful of your hyaluronic acid consumption, you can find it naturally occurring in various foods including:

      1. Bone Broth
      Bone broth, made by simmering animal bones and connective tissues, is a rich source of hyaluronic acid. It is also packed with other beneficial nutrients like collagen, glucosamine, and chondroitin, which further support joint and skin health. I like to make our bone broth in an Instant Pot using an organic rotisserie chicken, onions and mushroom and freeze it in this 1-cup tray to incorporate it into much of our cooking throughout the week. 

      2. Soy-Based Foods
      Soy-based foods such as tofu and tempeh contain hyaluronic acid. These plant-based options are excellent choices for individuals looking to incorporate hyaluronic acid into their diet while following a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. While I am not much of a fan of tofu or tempeh, I love organic edamame with a sprinkle of salt and sesame seeds as a snack or an addition to a meal.

      3. Leafy Greens
      Leafy greens like spinach and kale are not only rich in vitamins and minerals but also contain hyaluronic acid. By incorporating these nutrient-dense vegetables to your meals can provide a boost of hyaluronic acid and support your overall health.

      4. Sweet Potatoes
      Sweet potatoes are a rich source of a compound called beta-carotene, which is a precursor to vitamin A. Vitamin A is an essential vitamin for the production of hyaluronic acid in the body. When you consume sweet potatoes, you are providing your body with the necessary building blocks to produce and maintain healthy levels of hyaluronic acid along with many antioxidants that help to protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals.