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4 Major Hyaluronic Acid Benefits

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Medically approved by Dr Earim Chaudry
Chief Medical Officer
iconLast updated 22nd November 2021
In 30 Seconds…

Hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in the body, and helps keep your skin, eyes, and joints moist and lubricated. Additionally, hyaluronic acid can help wounds heal faster, alleviate joint pain, and reduce the symptoms of dry eye symptom. There is a variety of hyaluronic supplements on the market.

Appearance of wrinkles got you down? Fine lines, breakouts, or oily skin wreaking havoc on your complexion? You might want to learn more about something called hyaluronic acid and what it can do for your skin.

What is Hyaluronic Acid?

Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a naturally occurring, gooey substance found in your skin, eyes, and joints. Its main job is to trap and retain water inside your body’s tissue cells, keeping them moist and well-lubricated.

Where Do You Find Hyaluronic Acid?

Around half of the hyaluronic acid found in your body is present in your skin. However, it can also be taken from plant and animal sources for a variety of cosmetic and medicinal uses, including skincare products, dietary supplements, injections, and eye drops.

  • Plant-based HA is produced via microbial fermentation. Essentially, plants are fermented with a bacterial strain that naturally contains hyaluronic acid, which is then purified and extracted.
  • Animal-based HA is typically extracted from rooster combs, the red flesh on top of a male chicken’s head.

Nowadays, the plant-based approach is the most common as it’s more cost-effective for manufacturers.

At Manual, you’ll find plant-based hyaluronic acid in both our Wrinkle Warrior and Mr Moisturiser products, and as we’ll discover below, there’s a very good reason for that.

What Are the Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid?

1. It Helps Skin Look and Feel Smoother

As we get older, the amount of hyaluronic acid naturally found in our skin decreases. Meanwhile, exposure to UV rays, pollution, and tobacco smoke can also affect our HA levels.

So, it makes sense that replenishing the skin’s HA levels can increase moisture and reduce dry skin. In fact, several studies have shown promising results where skincare is concerned:

  • One small study found that using hyaluronic acid as a topical treatment improved skin elasticity within 2 – 8 weeks.
  • Another study comparing the anti-ageing effects of different hyaluronic acid face creams saw an increase in skin tightness and a 10 – 20% reduction in wrinkle depth in all participants.
  • And hyaluronic acid serums have also been shown to reduce redness and dermatitis.

As a skincare product, HA is used as a humectant. This means it helps absorb water from the air or underlying layers of the skin, drawing the molecules towards your skin’s surface.

You can try the effects of hyaluronic acid yourself with Manual’s Skin Kit. Combining natural ingredients designed to smooth and hydrate your skin and restore its moisture, this will be one skincare routine you’ll stick to easily. 

2. It Helps Wounds Heal Faster

In addition to its potential soothing and hydrating skincare benefits, hyaluronic acid also plays a role in helping wounds heal faster. Again, this is something backed by several studies:

  • A 2019 animal study saw researchers apply a hyaluronic acid gel to skin wounds, with the gel helping to prevent bacterial infections while moisturising the injury.
  • An earlier review of studies found that hyaluronic acid can control inflammation and redirect blood vessels to areas of damaged skin, therefore speeding up healing in the process.
  • Another study found that HA helped diabetic foot ulcers heal quicker than standard wound dressing materials.
  • And it’s also proven to be effective at speeding up healing after tooth surgery when used as a topical treatment in the mouth.

3. It Helps Combat Joint Pain

As we mentioned earlier, HA is found in your joints as well as your skin. It’s a vital part of something called “synovial fluid,” a viscous substance that lubricates and cushions the joints. 

With enough of this fluid in your body, your bones are less likely to grind against each other, causing pain. However, as we get older, the hyaluronic acid breaks down, stiffening the joints and making them sore when we move.

Hyaluronic acid supplements have been used to alleviate joint pain and treat degenerative joint diseases like osteoarthritis. One study found that oral supplementation of HA for 12 months helped improve the symptoms of osteoarthritis in the knee joints. Another study found that consuming a liquid formula containing HA was associated with the relief of chronic pain.

Some people have used HA in an injectable form to tackle joint pain. However, the American College of Rheumatology and the Arthritis Foundation warn against this as there’s not enough evidence that it’s a safe and effective treatment. 

4. It Helps Relieve Dry Eye

Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) or “dry eye syndrome” is caused by reduced tear production or tears evaporating too quickly, leaving the surface of the eye dry and uncomfortable.

Given that hyaluronic acid is all about moisture retention, it’s an excellent treatment for dry eye syndrome. Several studies have shown that using HA eye drops can alleviate dry eye symptoms and improve eye health.

What’s more, hyaluronic acid drops are often used during eye surgery to reduce inflammation and help wounds heal faster.

What Are the Side Effects of Hyaluronic Acid?

Since hyaluronic acid is produced naturally by the body, side effects or allergic reactions are extremely rare.

Where HA topical treatments and skincare products are concerned, you may experience an adverse reaction simply because there’s a mix of skincare ingredients at play. Always read the label carefully and do a patch test before using a new skin product regularly.

If you receive hyaluronic acid injections for joint pain, you could also experience side effects resulting from the injection (rather than the HA itself). This can include redness, itching, swelling, and bruising.

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Key Takeaways…

Hyaluronic acid has several significant benefits. It can improve skin hydration, alleviate joint pain, reduce dry eye symptoms, and it also boasts wound healing properties.

If you have dry, dehydrated skin, try Manual’s Skin Kit. Ideal for various skin types, this dynamic duo can help fight the skin ageing process and leave your face looking smooth and wrinkle-free.

FAQs

What is hyaluronic acid?

Hyaluronic acid is a gooey substance which occurs naturally in the body, trapping moisture in skin tissue to keep your eyes, skin and joints healthy, moist, and lubricated.

Are hyaluronic acid supplements natural?

Yes! Supplements containing hyaluronic acid extract the hyaluronic acid from plants which have been fermented in a special purifying process. The hyaluronic acid in Manual products is made this way, making it vegan friendly.

What are the benefits of hyaluronic acid?

Hyaluronic acid found in the body and in supplements helps make your skin look and feel healthier, helps wounds heal faster, soothes joint pain, and combats dry eyes.

Are the benefits of hyaluronic acid backed by science?

Yes, the benefits of hyaluronic acid have been recorded in several legitimate scientific studies. Hyaluronic acid is a completely natural compound which is designed by the body to keep your skin, eyes, and joints healthy.

References
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Eleni Papakonstantinou, Michael Roth, and George Karakiulakis (2012). Hyaluronic acid: A key molecule in skin aging – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3583886/

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Long Liu, Yanfeng Liu, Jianghua Li, Guocheng Du and Jian Chen (2011). Microbial production of hyaluronic acid: current state, challenges, and perspectives – https://microbialcellfactories.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1475-2859-10-99

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Dong Young Kang, Won-Suk Kim, In Sook Heo, Young Hun Park, Seungho Lee (2010). Extraction of hyaluronic acid (HA) from rooster comb and characterization using flow field-flow fractionation (FlFFF) coupled with multiangle light scattering (MALS) – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20886521/

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S. Manjula Jegasothy, Valentina Zabolotniaia, and Stephan Bielfeldt (2014). Efficacy of a New Topical Nano-hyaluronic Acid in Humans – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3970829/

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Julian Poetschke, Hannah Schwaiger, Stephanie Steckmeier, Thomas Ruzicka, Gerd G Gauglitz (2016). [Anti-wrinkle creams with hyaluronic acid: how effective are they?] – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27221554/

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Zoe Diana Draelos (2011). A clinical evaluation of the comparable efficacy of hyaluronic acid-based foam and ceramide-containing emulsion cream in the treatment of mild-to-moderate atopic dermatitis – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21896129/

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Xiaojuan Li, Aimin Li, Fan Feng, Qiyu Jiang, Huiwei Sun, Yantao Chai, Ruichuang Yang, Zhijie Wang, Jun Hou, and Ruisheng Li (2019). Effect of the hyaluronic acid‐poloxamer hydrogel on skin‐wound healing: in vitro and in vivo studies – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6600631/

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Malgorzata Litwiniuk, Alicja Krejner, Tomasz Grzela (2016). Hyaluronic Acid in Inflammation and Tissue Regeneration – https://www.hmpgloballearningnetwork.com/site/wounds/article/hyaluronic-acid-inflammation-and-tissue-regeneration

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Moses Lee MD, Seung Hwan Han MD, PhD, Woo Jin Choi MD, PhD, Kwang Ho Chung MD, Jin Woo Lee MD, PhD (2016). Hyaluronic acid dressing (Healoderm) in the treatment of diabetic foot ulcer: A prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled, single-center study – https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/wrr.12428

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Manuele Casale, Antonio Moffa, Paola Vella, Lorenzo Sabatino, Francesco Capuano, Beatrice Salvinelli, Michele Antonio Lopez, Francesco Carinci, Fabrizio Salvinelli (2016). Hyaluronic acid: Perspectives in dentistry. A systematic review – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27280412/

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Toshiyuki Tashiro, Satoshi Seino, Toshihide Sato, Ryosuke Matsuoka, Yasunobu Masuda, Naoshi Fukui (2012). Oral administration of polymer hyaluronic acid alleviates symptoms of knee osteoarthritis: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study over a 12-month period – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23226979/

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Gitte S Jensen, Victoria L Attridge, Miki R Lenninger, Kathleen F Benson (2015). Oral intake of a liquid high-molecular-weight hyaluronan associated with relief of chronic pain and reduced use of pain medication: results of a randomized, placebo-controlled double-blind pilot study – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25415767/

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Pasquale Troiano, Gaspare Monaco (2008). Effect of hypotonic 0.4% hyaluronic acid drops in dry eye patients: a cross-over study – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19034126/

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M Iester, G J Orsoni, G Gamba, M Taffara, P Mangiafico, S Giuffrida, M Rolando (2000). Improvement of the ocular surface using hypotonic 0.4% hyaluronic acid drops in keratoconjunctivitis sicca – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11584850/

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J A P Gomes, R Amankwah, A Powell-Richards, and H S Dua (2004). Sodium hyaluronate (hyaluronic acid) promotes migration of human corneal epithelial cells in vitro – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1772195/

While we've ensured that everything you read on the Health Centre is medically reviewed and approved, information presented here is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.

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