Dry skin can be a nuisance for many people, for several years, causing discomfort throughout their life. Dry skin is affected by environmental exposures, such as the sun, wind, heat, or pollution. Two things need to happen to remedy dry skin, protect the skin from exposures, and find a way to provide moisture to the skin. Proper functioning of the Epidermis, top layer of skin, and Dermis, the underlying layer to the Epidermis, rely on Water Content. The amount of water content in the epidermis and dermis, will determine skin hue, smoothness, and elasticity as we age. When choosing a topical solution, to moisturize the dry skin, ensure it is an acidic solution. The skins PH levels are naturally acidic, and cannot stand alkaline, or in some cases, low acidic solutions, without causing irritation to the skin. A PH level of zero, being the highest acidity, to 6.9, acting as the lowest spectrum of acidity, before going into the alkaline side of the scale. Hyaluronic Acid produces naturally in the human body, and acts as a Humectant or Water Binding substance. As we age, and make life decisions, our natural Hyaluronic Acid production, decreases in our bodies significantly. Let’s talk more about what Hyaluronic Acid is, how we can reproduce it naturally, and what hyaluronic acid solutions can do for your skin topically.
Hyaluronic Acid is classified as Glycosaminoglycans, or a Large Carbohydrate in simple terms. Glycosaminoglycans are the fundamental dermal material, that supports lubrication, and the environment for developing dermal cells. Hyaluronic Acid is the most common glycosaminoglycan, it has a high-water binding capacity, and is crucial for skin water supply. Glycosaminoglycans, such as Hyaluronic acid, can bind to proteins, creating Proteoglycans. Proteoglycans make up underlying Connective Tissues. When we are younger in age, our connective tissues resemble a brand-new trampoline surface, that is tight, and has all the brand-new springs, stretching the surface constantly back to a tight state. As we get older, and make decisions that cause degenerations in our bodies, that tight brand new “trampoline” of Connective Tissues, starts to lose a spring here and another spring there. This is what causes sagging skin, loss of elasticity, and wrinkles, as well as an increase in minor injuries, the older we age. Hyaluronic Acid is a necessity for longevity of the body, and a great way to reduce dry skin, due to its water binding capability, but let’s investigate how we can gain back the Hyaluronic acid, that we lose as we age.
Since Hyaluronic Acid produces in the body naturally, wouldn’t you think we can trigger a response in the body to produce more? There are a few ways to do this in a natural process. One of the ways is to eat the right foods, that promote the reproduction of Hyaluronic Acid and other structural components of connective tissues, like Collagen. Plants containing Phytoestrogens, create an environment for estrogen efficiency in the body. Estrogen stimulates the fibroblast cells, to produce more collagen and hyaluronic acid naturally. Spinach, Red Clover, Blackberries, Soy, and Lily extract are just a few examples of Plants containing Phytoestrogen. These are plants, the average person can secure in most shopping centers, or grow at home. Another natural way you can improve your Hyaluronic Acid production, is by eating more sources of foods with Lactic Acid. Lactic acid is mostly found in fermented foods, like Kimchi, other Asian Foods, or Sauerkraut. Lactic Acid activates water retention capabilities of Glycosaminoglycans, like Hyaluronic acid, to normalize the epidermal structure. The production of connective tissue building blocks, like Collagen, Elastin, and Hyaluronic acid, are stimulated by the internal and external application of lactic acid. To touch more, on lactic acid effecting the reproduction of Hyaluronic acid, I would like to talk about the topical solution aspect, and how it can be improved.
Topical solutions containing Hyaluronic Acid, should only use a High Molecular Weight source. When compounding a solution of distilled water, with Hyaluronic Acid, you will notice that the two do not simply mix. Since Hyaluronic Acid is a Humectant, that binds to water, understand this will take more time, than mechanical shearing would to complete the process of absorbing into the water content. The two most paired ingredients, used in combination to improve hyaluronic acid function in tissues, is Lactic Acid, and Glycolic Acid. When pairing ingredients such as Lactic Acid, and Glycolic Acid, with the intent to activate higher water retention capabilities, understand the combination of 1 Lactic acid, to 1 Glycolic acid, equals a much higher value than 2 times the results. Certain ingredients complement each other with higher strength once they are compounded together as a pair. Formulators also like to pair an antioxidant within their topical solutions, like the Vitamin C derivative, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, to stabilize the outer valence electrons on the molecules that make up the epidermal layers. Antioxidants protect the Outer Valence Electron of the molecules from being stimulated to the thresholds, needed to steal them away, which would destroy that molecule. Cellular damage is delayed by the antioxidant and makes a nice pair with many topical solutions. Oils can be beneficial, when used to seal the treatment surface, where a Hyaluronic Solution is topically applied. Creams in skincare, are nothing more than oil and water solutions that have been homogenized, which makes a beneficial environment for Hyaluronic acid, Lactic Acid, and Antioxidants.
When you see a person with dry skin, take into consideration the elements, and environmental exposures, that could be affecting them prior to looking into a topical solution. Once external factors are identified, and remedied, evaluate for the changes that occur on the epidermal layer of the skin for 3 days to about a week, before adding extra factors of treatment. It’s always nice to investigate the individuals eating habits also and checking if they are consuming a high content of processed foods, fast foods, or deficient in certain nutrients. Once you have identified the issues related to these topics, and remedied them, is when I believe you should apply a topical solution. After looking into the production system of Hyaluronic Acid, and other structural components of healthy tissues, we can agree that it is an important aspect of our bodies, that we should pay higher attention to. We can conclude that we can control the Hyaluronic Acid reproduction in our bodies, if we eat the right foods, control our external factors, and use well compounded topical solutions.
Analysis of Cosmetic Products: Amparo Salvador and Alberto Chisvert, 2007 Elsevier
Milady Skincare and Cosmetics Ingredients: Dictionary, Forth Edition M. Varinia Michalun and Joseph C. Dinardo 2014
Introduction To Cosmetic Formulation and Technology: Gabriella Baki Kenneth S. Alexander 2015