Regardless of your skin type, once you reach adulthood, your skin becomes a little drier every day. How you respond to that loss of moisture may be the single most important factor in determining how old you look. For people with skin that is naturally less oily, dry-skin-related issues are often apparent at an early age. They can begin to experience symptoms such as dullness, rough texture, flaking, cracking and tightness as early as their 20s. People with more oily skin tend to see different symptoms of water loss and see them a bit later, typically in their 30s or 40s. Common symptoms include fine lines, wrinkles and loss of volume. But no matter when you begin to see signs of persistent dehydration, restoring lost water is a central component in any anti-aging skincare program. Fortunately, there are some amazing super-hydrators available to help you to replenish your skin.
Moisturizers help to renew skin with 3 classes of ingredients: water, hydrophobic agents that seal water into the skin’s surface, and hydrophilic agents (also known as humectants) that attract water and create a reservoir within the skin to help keep moisture at an optimal level. One of the most important humectants in high-performance skincare is Hyaluronic Acid, a long, elastic molecule that is naturally abundant in young skin. Hyaluronic Acid is a component of the natural moisturizing factor (NMF), the water-soluble compounds responsible for the wettability, water-holding and absorbing powers of the skin’s surface. It also plays an important role deep within the skin and throughout the body where it binds with water to form a slippery gel that provides cushioning and lubrication. It is part of the synovial fluid that keeps our joints comfortable, and it also forms part of the intercellular matrix—the watery medium between cells through which nutrients and cellular waste products flow. Because each molecule of Hyaluronic Acid can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water, it allows topical moisturizers to provide the sustained supply of water needed to keep skin plump, smooth and well hydrated.
In addition to the ability to enhance the moisturizing power of topical skincare, the natural plumping properties of Hyaluronic Acid have also made it a popular ingredient for injectable wrinkle fillers. New Hyaluronic filling sphere technologies, however, now give topical anti-aging moisture formulas the power to deliver results comparable to injections.
Beyond its remarkable power as a topical hydrator, Hyaluronic Acid is also used to give skin an exceptionally beautiful finish—what skincare chemists call the “after feel.” If you are looking to take your anti-aging hydration strategy to the next level, be sure that the moisturizer you select includes this remarkable substance.
|Article by Howard Murad, M.D., FAAD, a world renowned skincare expert and founder of the Inclusive Health movement. Read more about Dr. Murad.|