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What Is Hyaluronic Acid and How does it work?

Kelly Vasileiadou
9. October 2019
Was ist Hyaluronsäure und wie wirkt sie?
Hyaluronic Acid. Sounds scary, but secretly holds the key to smooth, flawless and hydrated skin. Hyaluronic acid is found naturally through out the body, with the highest concentrations in the skin, joints and eyes. In fact, our own skin cells actually produce Hyaluronic Acid naturally in a bid to maintain moisture levels. But, thanks to pesky ageing and environmental aggressors, to name just a few things flung at our faces on a daily basis, those levels tend to take a bit of a dip.

What is Hyaluronic Acid?

Hyaluronic Acid is a very common substance, you might find hiding on the labels of some of your skincare products as HA. But it is actually naturally occurring in the human body. The substance works as a magnet for moisture, helping your cells retain as much of it as possible so that your skin feels and appears hydrated, plump and healthy.

Now for the science-y bit. Just a single gram of Hyaluronic Acid has the impressive ability to hold up to six litres of water. Add to that, a super smart ability to regulate that moisture within the cells, so as not to drown them and you’ve got one genius ingredient. In that sense, even a small amount of HA under your skin can attract enough water, in order to restore loss of volume, that has appeared with ageing.

In simple words, when topically injected, helps to lift the skin and fill in fine lines.

For example, I offer hyaluronic acid treatments in our practice as Liquid facelifting, wrinkle treatment with fillers, injectable nose correction or lip augmentation. As a minimally invasive procedure, injectable fillers containing hyaluronic acid have some advantages over the surgical option. But in the coming sections, we will first get to know hyaluronic acid a little closer.

Why is Hyaluronic Acid so good for your skin?

If your skin isn’t already lapping up the benefits of Hyaluronic Acid, this is why it should be:

  1. If skin is sufficiently hydrated, it feels super-soft, plump and pillowy and looks so much more radiant.
  2. When skin is hydrated, lines and wrinkles (even the deeper ones) appear diminished, so it is a great ingredient for those with ageing skin who are desperate to cling on to their youthful perkiness.
  3. It works wonders on everyone. Hyaluronic Acid works for any skin type, on a sensitive or breakout-prone skin, as well as those with an oily complexion.
  4. Recent research suggests that Hyaluronic Acid also has antioxidant properties, which means it can act like a shield against free radicals we aren’t in control of, like pollution and other aggressors.

To really benefit though from the potential of HA, it is not enough only to use a hyaluronic acid in a serum or a cream. We know from the science that the skin has an anatomical barrier and no cream substance can really enter the deep layers of it. A cream or even a compensated serum can hydrate the superficial layers of the skin, the real hydration and restore of volume loss happen in the deeper ones. For that there is the need of hyaluronic acid in injectables.

As we age, the skin, fat, muscles and bone in our face begins to thin. The loss of volume leads to either a sunken or sagging appearance of the face, fine lines, wrinkles, folds and thin lips. Injectable HA is used to reduce the appearance of fine lines and create structure, framework and volume to the face and lips, with effects that can be seen immediately.

Is Hyaluronic Acid Safe?

Yes. You shouldn’t be put off by the name, because, unlike some acids, Hyaluronic Acid doesn’t strip the skin or cause any downtime when applied topically. It is different than other acids which are used to exfoliate. It only acts as a natural and powerful moisture-binding substance, it delivers gentle hydration to where your skin needs it the most and fills in loss of volume in form of saggy skin or wrinkles.

The newest injectable products of Hyaluronic Acid, that we have available, represent a new high technology of dermal fillers, where hyaluronic acid is a natural product and does not derive from animals. The dermal filler industry has improved the substance on a level that the hyaluronic acid that comes to the market in a syringe simulates exactly the one that exists already in our skin, so that the skin does not feel the material as a foreign body. That has led to extremely less allergic reaction than in the past and allows the material to nicely integrate into our skin.

How do I know, if my skin needs more Hyaluronic Acid?

1. If You’re Worried About Ageing:
As we age, the amount of Hyaluronic Acid our skin cells produce begins to lessen and cell turnover can become saggy – this is when lines, wrinkles and rough texture tend to make their debut. With less hyaluronic acid, skin moisture drops significantly as we age and that makes the skin lose elasticity and expose the signs of ageing. In that case injectable Hyaluronic Acid acts as the ultimate drink for your skin. According to what I need to treat, fine lines, deeper wrinkles or if I wanna reconstruct cheekbones, nose, jawline or chin, I choose the right injectable product that is best made for that purpose.

2. If Your Skin Is Dehydrated or sun-damaged:
Different to dry skin, dehydrated or sun-damaged skin can be peppered with lines and wrinkles and has the tendency to look dull. It also often feels rough, tight and sensitive which is where Hyaluronic Acid comes in.

In that case I like to work with skin-booster hyaluronic acid fillers that are injected with a cannula technique on the whole face. These products have the ability to hold up to 1000 times their weight in water, so they keep moisture on lock-down, quenching parched patches instantly and cumulatively throughout the day.

Because products like skinboosters are not or less cross-linked than the ones we take as fillers, they do not create volume and let themselves diffuse harmonically just beneath the skin surface and bolster elasticity for up to nine months. With Skin-Boosters patients get immediate textural improvement, but they also see long-term benefits in firmness.

I find that procedure to be most popular with younger patients. For millennials, who want Fraxel, fillers, and Botox earlier than previous generations, this is a great global preventive. It’s like injecting anti-aging cream into the skin.

As a conclusion.

So, HA is not only about wrinkles. With injectable Hyaluronic acid, either in form of a dermal filler or in form of a skin-booster, patients see significant changes in the complexion plateau of their skin only after about two weeks. Are they gonna look 10 years younger? Perhaps. But their skin is gonna be juicier, firmer and more radiant and it will require vastly less moisturizer. Even the cigarette-paper crepiness under the eyes will be noticeably diminished. For such an effect in such a short time, I can not have the same expectations from a cream.

About Dr. Kelly

Dr. Kelly Vasileiadou

Specialist FMH for Surgery
Beauty is not perfection. Refining your face or body image to enhance or restore your natural beauty – that is my mission. Your trust commits me to providing you with excellent medicine and exceptional care. My team and I work tirelessly to satisfy you. That’s what I stand for with my name.

Schedule your appointment with Dr. Kelly® today.

Before you decide on a treatment, you have the great opportunity for a personal consultation. Our goal is to care for you not only medically, but also from person to person.

Dr. Kelly® | Aesthetic Surgery and Medicine
by Dr. Kelly Vasileiadou

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