Taking care of ourselves is often an inside-out proposition. Sure, we can buy all the gels and creams, but if we’re not supporting our insides, or how a former neighbor used to refer to them: the rice inside our (human) burritos, it’s all for nothing.
I love a good supplement — I keep a little medicine cabinet of vitamins in my office, and currently take vitamins C, E, and B12, as well as melatonin and an elderflower gummy that, while it tastes delicious, I can’t actually tell if it’s doing anything helpful.
This is why I’m intrigued by hyaluronic acid; there’s been a lot of talk on Beyonce’s internet about how using it can help improve joints and dry skin. The most common form of hyaluronic acid is a gel that contains the active ingredient in an oil base, like in moisturizers or serums. Another delivery method of hyaluronic acids are supplements that come in pill form.
But what exactly does hyaluronic acid do? Why is it so revered? I did the digging — here’s the 411 on this buzzword ingredient.
Hyaluronic acid is found naturally in human tissue, especially around cartilage. Doctors use it when they do knee surgery because it’s so important to joint health. While hyaluronic acids can be found in several topical serums and moisturizers, supplements are also available.
The benefits of taking hyaluronic acid supplements can also be felt on a broader scale. This includes:
relief from acid reflux
lessening joint pain
faster wound healing
helps with dry eye
bone strength preservation
decreases bladder pain
But let’s get deep into the details of hyaluronic acid, starting with what, exactly, it is.
What Is Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic acid is a lubricant naturally found in the body. The lubricant acts as a cushion for tissues throughout the body, but its most crucial job is keeping eyes and joints hydrated. In doing so, bones are less likely to grind against each other, and dry eye symptoms are easier to manage.
Hyaluronic acid supplements have been approved in many forms. When it comes to joints, they’re especially helpful for those with osteoarthritis (OA). OA causes a thinning of hyaluronic acid in their joints, reducing their shock-absorbing capabilities. Because of this, there are FDA-approved injections that can help provide direct hyaluronic acid to the joints. For eyes, surgeons inject hyaluronic acid post-surgery to flood the eye with hydration lost during surgery.
Supplements have also been FDA-approved for pain management with OA, though only rudimentary research has been conducted, so take it with a grain of salt.
Hyaluronic Acid Benefits for Skin
And now we arrive at the beauty section of hyaluronic acid.
Hyaluronic acid can help revitalize skin that’s lost its luster. This is because your skin dries out (especially in winter!) and is dulled by environmental pollutants. Skincare with hyaluronic acid adds — you guessed it — hydration, giving the appearance of softer, smoother skin.
It also has antibacterial properties, which can help soothe inflammation and heal wounds. So, if you’ve been picking at those zits, skincare with hyaluronic acid can help fight the bad bacteria and close up those wounds real quick.
What To Look For In Products & Supplements
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Hyaluronic acid won’t always be named hyaluronic acid. Sodium Hyaluronate, Glycoaminoglycan, and Hyaluronan are just three examples of alternative names for the common ingredient. In most skincare items, you’ll be able to find it, because it’s popping up as a Very Important Ingredient (VII) that many are flocking to. Again: buzzword. Same goes for when you’re searching for supplements: VII, so it’ll probably be one of the top ingredients — if not the ingredient that’s selling the supplement.
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While hyaluronic acid is often the star of skincare labels, it’s more effective when paired with complementary ingredients. Vitamin C fights against dryness and acts as a protectant from environmental pollutants, vitamin B5 is known for smoothing out fine lines and bumps, and ceramides plump and protect — all of which add to hyaluronic acid’s rejuvenating properties. Supplements often pair hyaluronic acid with collagen to help with both internal and external elasticity and water retention.
Alright, that was your crash course in hyaluronic acid. Now, let’s move on to supplements and topicals that can help you look and feel your best!
This supplement also includes Vitamin C, aiding in hydration and supplementing antioxidants. The company promises the supplements are free from gluten, GMOs, dairy, sugar, soy, and tree nuts.
This formulation also includes biotin, which aims to supply healthy fats to your joints, and vitamin C, for a healthy immune system. The supplement’s collagen is a welcome partner to your body’s natural collagen production.
This hyaluronic supplement, delivered in a tangerine-flavored gummy, has the partner-in-crime, skin-loving vitamin C. But the added bonus: vitamin E, which is thought to protect and heal skin from free radicals.
Looking for a direct delivery of hyaluronic acid? You can’t get more direct than Revaree, a fully hormone-free suppository meant to help fight vaginal dryness.
This supplement includes antioxidants to fight free radical damage, as well as glucosylceramides, which help to restore your skin’s moisture barrier. And remember: hyaluronic acid + ceramides = the best combo.
More of a multi-vitamin than a straight hyaluronic acid supplement, this combo by Hush + Hush provides vitamin C for antioxidants, ginseng to fight inflammation, and ceramides to smooth out uneven textures.
Uber-cool wellness brand Rae offers a hyaluronic acid supplement in a convenient drop form. Take two droppers by mouth, or add to your favorite bevvie. This delivery method would work well for those who have trouble swallowing pills.
Remember that whole complementary-ingredients thing I literally just mentioned? Glossier understands the necessity, and they implemented it into their Super Bounce serum. With hyaluronic acid paired with vitamin B5, your skin will feel ultra nourished.
Fresh’s moisturizer keeps skin hydrated four 72 hours with a powerful combo of ingredients: hyaluronic acid does its job and hydrates from the outside in, while damask rose extract protects the skin’s barrier. A time-release technology provides continuous, intense hydration.
Plumping, protecting, rejuvenating…I could go on, and so could the serum’s 468 five-star reviewers. Hyaluronic acid combines with hibiscus extract, an ancient remedy full of vitamin C, as well as a direct dose of vitamin C molecules for a boost of antioxidants.
Lips get dry, too! Sugar stops moisture loss, berry wax conditions, shea butter soothes and smoothes, and hyaluronic acid brings it all together to create the ultimate lip hydration mask.
A worthy splurge. OSEA’s serum fights any hints of aging with a heavy dose of hyaluronic acid to draw moisture to the skin, while also bringing three seaweeds to the table to firm and tone. The result: brightened skin without the fine lines and wrinkles.
What hyaluronic supplements and topicals do you use? Tell us below!
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