November 11 –
To believe or not to believe

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Hyaluronic Acid (HA)

Hyaluronic acid is a crucial moisturizing and nutrition-providing substance found throughout the skin. By age 50, we have lost much of this valuable skin component. Hyaluronic acid has recently been in the news as filler to inject into the skin to correct wrinkles. What I am discussing here is the use of HA in skin creams. Widely used as a humectant or moisturizer in skin creams, HA is an excellent moisturizer.

Whether or not topically applied HA is actually taken up by the dermis and contributes to the total skin content of HA is unknown. In my opinion, it is unlikely, in view of the fact that the very pure forms of HA that we inject into the skin as fillers are biodegraded in a matter of 6 to 9 months and injections have to be repeated to maintain the correction of wrinkles and deep facial lines. If we could restore the HA content of our skin, improvement in moisture content, firmness and suppleness would result.

I think it is unlikely that any cream, gel, or other topical agent can restore the HA lost by aging. Estrogen has bee reported to increase HA synthesis in the skin, but the dangers of estrogen replacement outweigh this potential benefit. Creams containing HA are wonderful moisturizers but do not pay a premium expecting the cream to reverse aging by regenerating the HA content of your skin.

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Dr. Brooke Rutledge Seckel, M.D.
Save Your Face
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