Hyaluronic acid is also known as hyaluronan or HA, it’s found naturally in between the skin cells where it keeps the skin looking youthful and plump, it’s also found in the joints where it acts as a cushion and lubricant and is also in the tissues of the eyes where it keeping them moist and healthy. HA is also used in cosmetic procedures where it’s injected into the skin to plump up wrinkles but this is just a temporary fix as the body naturally breaks it down and so repeat procedures are needed. HA is naturally degenerated and synthesized daily within the skin cells, but this process starts to slow down as we age and is greatly diminished after the age of 40. HA is used in many high end anti ageing beauty products, it has the ability to retain over 1,000 times its weight in water making it the most powerful moisturiser known so far. As a skin serum it’s an amazing humectant which is very beneficial for dry, dehydrated and mature skin although it’s very compatible with all skin types. Oilier skins may find it’s enough to use a thin layer on its own whereas more dryer skins will find it best layered underneath a moisturiser.
To make your own hyaluronic acid skin serum you will need 1g of hyaluronic acid powder which you can buy here and 100ml of water (I use boiled water that has cooled down to room temperature). Add the powder to the water and mix very quickly until it has formed a gel, you need to work fast as this doesn’t take long and can become lumpy if you are too slow. To preserve the shelf life I then add in 1g of grapefruit seed extract which you can buy here.
By making your own HA serum you not only save yourself money but you can make a more purer and potent version without all the added chemicals that are in some ready made brands. Use HA either on its own if your skin is oily or under your moisturiser, lotion or facial oil. Alternatively up to 10% can be added into your moisturiser to turn it into a superior luxury skin cream!
It’s unknown exactly how far a topical serum can penetrate into the skin so by eating a diet high in hyaluronic acid promoting foods we can help our body to continue synthesising it and keep our levels high. Meat is naturally high in HA but cleaner plant-based sources are starchy roots such as potatoes, sweet potatoes and bananas. Small amounts of organic soy eaten each day has been reported to help raise HA levels in the body due to the plant oestrogens it contains (oestrogen raises HA in the body). We also need to eat foods that are high in the mineral magnesium and vitamin C as they are both needed by the body to help synthesise HA, this is found in abundance in fruit and veg.
Although we can’t stop the skin from ageing, HA serums along with many other lifestyle factors (which I will be posting on this blog) can help to slow the process down and reduce the severity of age related changes to our skin. Wrinkles can be much more finer and superficial rather than deep and instantly noticeable along with better tone and fewer blemishes. The sooner we start looking after our skin both on the inside with the food we feed our cells and on the outside with natural moisturising creams and oils the better your complexion will look as you reach your later years. It’s harder to undue the damage once it’s done as prevention is always better than cure but it’s also never too late to start looking after your skin.