Hyaluronic acid is the holy grail of beautiful skin. It is naturally produced by our skin and is what hydrates it by holding up to 1000x times its weight in water. Skin rich in hyaluronic acid is naturally plump and dewy with a healthy glow. Unfortunately, it can diminish with ageing, UV radiation, free radical damage, etc.
Here’s the science bit:
Hyaluronic acid is the gel-like substance in our skin forming part of the matrix which holds collagen and elastin fibres. The collagen provides strength while elastin provides stretch to the skin. The matrix holds water allowing the skin to have firmness with bounce-back ability. Levels of all three diminish with advancing age.
Who needs hyaluronic acid?
Basically, anyone in their thirties. Although abundant in the young skin, there is no upper limit to when you have to stop using hyaluronic acid!
Is it suitable for all skin types?
How can you get it?
There are a number of ways to get hyaluronic acid into your skin. Here’s how:
Hyaluronic acid serum
Many high street beauty products and even premium products endorsed by celebrities claim to contain hyaluronic acid. However, the size of the molecule is vital. Hyaluronic acid in its original state is too large to penetrate the skin. If you apply these high street products, they will just sit on the surface without giving you any benefits. You do not want to spend a fortune on these!
Dr Tash Tip:
Look out for ‘Low Molecular weight hyaluronic acid’ which has small enough molecules to penetrate the skin barrier and get to where it is needed.
It does need to be used regularly to harness its benefits.
Stimulate your own hyaluronic acid production
This can be done with vitamin C and Vitamin A directly applied to the skin or with Microneedling.
Topically applied medical-grade Vitamin C and Retinoids have been shown to increase the production of hyaluronic acid in the skin in many studies.
Dr Tash Tip:
Do not place any home-made vitamin C products directly on your skin as this is too harsh for your skin! Instead, invest in medical-grade Vitamin C serums and retinol or prescription-strength retinoids. There are a few brands I work with and can recommend products for you following a skin analysis. Please be aware that this is a slow process requiring 6 months or more to see significant effects of plumping your skin.
Here are the links to my YouTube Videos and Blogs:
Another method is to stimulate collagen production with Medical microneedling. The very act of making tiny punctures in the skin stimulates extra blood flow and starts the healing process where new collagen production is initiated. Why not up your game by adding a hyaluronic acid as a post-procedure mask or treatment immediately after microneedling when the skin is more receptive to targeted serums?
Hyaluronic Acid as an injectable moisturiser
Currently, there are a number of injectable moisturisers on the market. You would need to see a qualified aesthetician to have these injected into your skin. They may contain other ingredients such as antioxidants and vitamins to optimise the benefits. Once injected they spread like ‘honey’ underneath the skin surface to plump up the skin.
They usually require a number of initial treatments and a maintenance programme.
Dr Tash Tip:
Combining these with at-home skincare gets you the best of both Worlds!
Dermal filler Treatment
Hyaluronic acid in dermal fillers have a gel consistency. The molecules have been cross-linked: a process enabling them to resist early breakdown while improving their viscoelasticity.
These have to be injected at specific depths depending on the desired effect. For example, when used to define and contour the cheekbones, jaw and chin, a more ‘thicker’ gel will be used. When used to plump up the lips a softer more malleable filler will be injected. Facial fillers have a longer life remaining in the body from 6 up to 12 months or longer depending on where they are being placed. Areas with high usage such as the lips tend to diminish quicker than cheeks and jaws.
Dermal Filler Consultation
When you attend a consultation with me, you will be offered an assessment of your face with regards to your face shape and proportions as well as a detailed skin analysis if you wish. This then enables me to devise a bespoke treatment plan that is unique for you based on my assessment. Although I have patients coming for a consultation for a specific line or wrinkle, the full analysis equips them with further knowledge about what will work best for them to enhance their beauty hence boost their confidence. By having a holistic approach which I have always employed in General Practice, I am able to offer more than just fill your lines….
Dr Tash Tip:
Do check the credentials of your injector as currently in the UK, anyone can purchase dermal fillers over the internet, label themselves as advanced practitioners after a 1- or 2-day course and offer enticing deals. Although rare, complications do arise requiring the filler to be dissolved which is a prescription-only medication and is not accessible to non-medical practitioners. There have been incidents where a complication had arisen, and the patient is left to seek help from medical practitioners or even worse Accident and Emergency departments where the staff are not necessarily equipped with the knowledge and skills in dealing with a dermal filler emergency. A qualified medical professional should always be available for you to contact to continue your care.
I hope I have given you an overview of why hyaluronic acid is so popular in the Beauty World and how you can exploit it to your advantage. If you would like a bespoke consultation, I would be more than happy to offer advice and guide you on what will work for you. You can contact me via the website: Skin Enhance Clinic.