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  • By virtue of its molecular structure, hyaluronic acid displays strong hydrating properties.
  • It enjoys a wide variety of uses in skin care products, but can also be found in health supplements and medical treatments.
  • While it is primarily used to address skin and joint conditions, it has proven to be effective in some unexpected capacities.

Hyaluronic acid is a clear, viscous substance that is produced naturally in the human body.

Thanks to its excellent hydrating properties, hyaluronic acid is a staple ingredient in many skin care treatments, most commonly used in cosmetic products such as skin creams, shampoos and conditioners.

But it’s not only your skin that can benefit from hyaluronic acid – it is also used in a wide range of health supplements and medical treatments.

Skin Care Uses

Face

Hyaluronic acid that is naturally present in the body helps to retain moisture and keep your skin looking firm and youthful. As you get older, your stores of natural hyaluronic acid start to decline, which can increase the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Facial creams containing hyaluronic acid help keep your skin hydrated and smooth and combat the signs of aging.

Skin around the eyes

The skin around your eyes is thinner than the skin on the rest of your face and is one of the first places to show signs of dehydration. Many eye creams feature hyaluronic acid as an ingredient as it helps keep the skin around your eyes hydrated, plump and firm.

Dry skin

Dry skin is a very common condition usually caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Prized for its strong moisturizing effects, hyaluronic acid is widely used in skin care products that function to keep skin hydrated and alleviate symptoms of dry skin.

Oily skin

People with oily skin often have a hard time finding a moisturizer that won’t dry out their skin, consequently triggering more oil production. Hyaluronic acid works well in this regard as it helps keep your skin moisturized without being overly drying and doesn’t irritate sensitive skin.

Acne

Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States and affects as many as 50 million people annually, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. While acne is most commonly associated with oily skin, it’s important to remember that dry skin can also cause flare-ups.

While hyaluronic acid does not treat acne directly, its hydrating properties can help prevent the dryness that contributes to breakouts.

Hair Care

While hyaluronic acid is most commonly associated with skin care, it can also be found in a variety of hair care products, including shampoos, conditioners and scalp masks.

Hair products containing hyaluronic acid are designed to keep your scalp hydrated and healthy, which can restore your hair’s natural shine.

Arthritis

Knee joint pain relief

Hyaluronic acid is a key component of synovial fluid, a thick substance in your joints that reduces friction and allows your bones to move smoothly. Loss of hyaluronic acid is believed to contribute to arthritis.

Hyaluronic acid injections are used to treat knee pain caused by osteoarthritis in patients who have not responded to other treatments. Treatment usually involves three or four injections, spaced one week apart.

According to a study from the University of Queensland, Australia, patients who receive hyaluronic acid injections for osteoarthritis experience significant pain reduction and moderately improved joint function.

Other joints

Hyaluronic acid injections are also occasionally used off-label to alleviate arthritis-related pain in other joints such as the hip and ankle.

However, some studies studies have shown that hyaluronic acid injections may not be more effective than placebo when injected in these joints. More research is needed to better understand how hyaluronic acid benefits other joints besides the knee.

Other Uses

Supplements

Acid reflux

Hyaluronic acid can be taken as an oral supplement to treat acid reflux, which occurs when some of the acidic content of your stomach flows up into the esophagus, leading to a burning sensation commonly referred to as heartburn.

Researchers believe hyaluronic acid helps treat acid reflux by repairing the lining of the esophagus and supporting the body’s natural healing processes.

As noted in a study published in Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, hyaluronic acid supplements may have strong synergistic properties that enhance the effects of traditional acid-reducing medication.

Knee pain

Hyaluronic acid dietary supplements can help relieve knee pain in patients with osteoarthritis.

After ingestion, hyaluronic acid is broken down in the intestines, after which it migrates into the joints and other tissues where it keeps bones lubricated and reduces friction.

Dry skin

Hyaluronic acid may be able to hydrate your skin from the inside out.

According to a study published in the Nutrition Journal, hyaluronic acid supplements moisturize the skin and improves the quality of life for people who live with dry skin.

Bladder pain

About 3% of women in the U.S. over the age of 18 have interstitial cystitis (also known as painful bladder syndrome), a condition that causes pain in the bladder area and increases urinary frequency.

Although more research is needed to understand the exact causes of bladder pain syndrome, some studies have shown that hyaluronic acid may have a role to play in alleviating symptoms.

It’s not clear at this stage whether hyaluronic acid is effective as an oral supplement to treat bladder pain.

Dermal fillers

Hyaluronic acid is widely used as a temporary dermal filler. It has an excellent safety profile and can be injected into many areas of the face to restore lost volume and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

There are a number of FDA-approved hyaluronic acid dermal fillers on the market, including Juvederm, Restylane and Belotero. Results typically last for six months to a year.

To get the best results possible it’s important to always use a qualified and experienced cosmetic provider.

Dry Eyes

Dry eyes usually occur when you don’t produce enough tears to keep your eyes adequately lubricated. Hyaluronic acid eye drops add moisture to the surface of the eyes in a way that is very similar to your body’s natural tear fluids.

Researchers are also exploring the possibility of using slow-release hyaluronic acid in contact lenses to prevent dry eyes.

Takeaway

Hyaluronic acid is valued for its fantastic moisture retaining properties. It’s found in many beauty and skincare products and is widely used to address a wide range of cosmetic issues, including acne, dry skin, oily skin, dull hair, wrinkles and fine lines.

It also has a number of medical applications and can be used as an injectable product or oral supplement to treat knee pain, bladder pain and acid reflux.

References

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About The Author

Articles by

Dylan Bridger is a contributing writer for Zwivel. Dylan primarily works on content for the medical and technology sectors. His work has been featured in a variety of publications, including HelloMD, Benzinga, and Finance Magnates.

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