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We’re all looking for that proverbial fountain of youth. When it comes to anti-aging, there’s no substitute for a healthy, whole foods based diet, a consistent exercise program, getting good sleep, healthy stress management techniques, and drinking plenty of filtered, clean water. 

But the clock keeps ticking forward and skin keeps sagging. Now what? Low molecular weight hyaluronic acid can help fill in the gaps—literally. 

Hyaluronic Acid in the Skin

Hyaluronic acid is a matrix of sugars your body naturally produces which can retain up to one thousand times its molecular weight in water. Water helps plump up fine lines and wrinkles, minimizing their appearance. Hydrated skin just looks younger. 

About half of the hyaluronic acid in the body is found in the skin, but we lose it over time as part of the process of aging and injury. 

The problem is, you can’t just absorb water through the skin—skin is comprised primarily of lipids, and of course, oil and water don’t mix. (In fact, the addition of water in topical skincare products can have the opposite of their intended effect: evaporation of the water in the products can leave the skin drier than it was to begin with). 

Topical Hyaluronic Acid 

This was once where the story ended. Because hyaluronic acid is a very large molecule, there was no way the skin could absorb it as-is. But nanotechnology has solved this problem.

Now, studies show not only can hyaluronic acid be absorbed, but it can decrease the depth of wrinkles up to 40%, increase skin hydration up to 96%, and enhance skin firmness and elasticity up to 55%.

Oral Hyaluronic Acid 

Topical hyaluronic acid will only benefit the skin local to its application, of course. One significant drawback to this is that topical hyaluronic acid can be pricey. 

Fortunately, studies show that ingesting oral hyaluronic acid as a supplement still makes it to the skin, and can be an effective approach to treating all over dry skin. And it’s still effective for wrinkles, too, showing significant decrease in wrinkles, improvement in skin suppleness and luster.

Oral hyaluronic acid can also offer lubrication to joints, as a key component in the synovial fluid. Studies also show that it can therefore be beneficial for joint pain as well.

Synergy of Anti-Aging Approaches

Several other anti-aging naturopathic treatments may have synergistic effects with hyaluronic acid topical or oral treatments. These include oral collagen (preferably taken on an empty stomach with Vitamin C, so that the body can utilize it best), and microneedling treatments to stimulate collagen production.