Hyaluronic acid is one of the most heavily researched substances in medicine today. Its function in the body is, among others, to bind water and to lubricate movable parts of the body, such as joints and muscles.
Although hyaluronic acid can be found naturally in most every cell in the body, almost 50% of the body’s total hyaluronic acid is found in the skin. While it is the collagen that gives the skin its firmness, it is the hyaluronic acid that nourishes and hydrates the collagen in the dermal layer, by binding up to 1000 times its weight in water. Further, in cartilage, it helps to retain water and improve its resistance to compression.
Collagen in the skin is continuously surrounded and nourished by hyaluronic acid. Young skin is smooth and highly elastic because it contains high concentrations of hyaluronic acid, which helps skin stay healthy. As we age, the body loses its ability to maintain this same concentration in the skin. With decreasing levels of hyaluronic acid in the skin, the skin becomes drier and loses its ability to maintain its hydration. Further, hyaluronic acid in the skin has a half-life of less than 3 days, and possibly even as little as one day.
Therefore, it is critical to continually replenish the body with hyaluronic acid.