The favorite ingredient in the beauty industry is called hyaluronic acid, it is an all-rounder and is therefore no longer just found in skincare. But how should you use it to really benefit from your abilities?
1. Hyaluron for creaming
What do Meghan Markle, actress and newlywed of British Prince Harry, and hyaluronic acid have in common? Both made it to number one on the Google charts in 2017. Markle as the most wanted woman in the world, hyaluronicwas ahead in terms of active ingredients. The double sugar is also a small sensation: It mainly occurs in the skin and joints, more precisely in the spaces between the cells. There it binds so much fluid that it acts as a shock absorber for the bones, makes the skin nicely plump, keeps tissue elastic, and stimulates wound healing.
Six liters of water can store one gram of hyaluronic acid
Unfortunately, from our mid-twenties, we lose around six percent of our hyaluronic acid every ten years to natural enemies: enzymes that break it down. " This process cannot be reversed, but it can be slowed down with good care," says Dr. Andreas Fitzner, Head of Research and Development at Euros. And what belongs in such care products, which come in the form of creams, ampoules, serums, or soaked sheet masks? Ideally, hyaluronic acid, which consists of long and short molecular chains. In simplified terms, you can imagine it as follows:
The long hyaluronic acid chains are too big to penetrate the skin but have an immediate effect. "They lie on the surface of the skin and store moisture there until they are washed off again," says Dr. Fitzner. You immediately look a lot smoother and fresher. Also, the salts of hyaluronic acid strengthen the skin barrier, the "protective wall" that keeps germs and other troublemakers away and at the same time protects against fluid loss.
Medium-chain hyaluronic acid, on the other hand, slowly penetrates the skin and especially moisturizes the upper layers.
Short-chain (and significantly more expensive) products should also make it deeper and even have an influence on cell metabolism there.
How do you get hyaluronic acid?
By the way, until the end of the 90s, hyaluron was extracted from rooster combs, today it is obtained by fermentation, for example from yeast or grain - this vegan variant causes fewer allergies. But back to creaming.
The only drawback: the plumping effect of hyaluronic acid is short-lived.
The double sugar should therefore be applied consistently daily and ideally in combination with vitamin B or C. We need vitamins to produce collagen, the supporting structure of the skin. And only well-supported tissue can "hold" water and then look nice and firm.
2. Hyaluron for drinking
What ends up in the pan with some people prefer to slurp it.
" I drink my hyaluron," says Oscar winner Gwyneth Paltrow, 45. "With a cream, you can only reach a few parts of the body. The whole skin benefits from the drinks."
Particularly long-chain hyaluronic acid, which otherwise only remains on the surface of the skin, should also arrive in its depth. And from there it could even have a positive effect on our health. Researchers made an amazing discovery: Naked mole rat - small, rat-like animals without fur - know neither cancer nor dementia. It is believed that long-chain hyaluronic acid keeps the tissues of the mule, which are some of the longest-lived rodents, healthy. The human body, on the other hand, only produces short-chain forms by itself.
But does the hyaluronic acid that has been eaten reach the skin?
Isn't it digested and broken down before it can get into the blood? "Normally only ten percent of the molecules cross the intestinal barrier," says US nutritionist Dr. Frank Lipman. To protect hyaluronic from its attackers, the enzymes, manufacturers like to encapsulate it with hesperidin. The antioxidant from the white skin of citrus fruits is supposed to ensure that the active ingredient is not broken down so quickly. "So eat the whites with them, it protects your hyaluronic acid deposits," advises Lipman. And one more thing: drinking ampoulesor capsules should be taken for at least four weeks, only then has the skin renewed itself and you can see differences (such as "Regulator Hyaluron" from Dr. Niedermaier; collagen drinking ampoules "Elastane" from Quiris Healthcare; available exclusively in pharmacies).
3. Inject hyaluronic acid
Injections, especially in the cheeks, but also in the area of the lips, are a classic area of application for hyaluronic acid. To ensure that the result looks as natural as possible instead of a padded pillow face, doctors like Dr. Thomas Hartmann, a specialist in plastic surgery at Goldbeck Medical in Hamburg, on the "8-point lift", available from 450 euros, which places small amounts of a very stable hyaluronic acid deep in the skin at eight points from the cheekbone to the chin region become. "This relieves the nasolabial fold and it recedes."
Not every form of hyaluronic acid is suitable for facial treatment
Manufacturers such as Teoxane have recently been promoting hyaluronic acid, which has been specially developed for moving parts of the face such as cheeks and mouth: Resilient Hyaluronic Acid (RHA) such as "Teosyhal" is said to be even more flexible and thus adapt better to the movements of the muscles. Dr. Hartmann is rather skeptical. "It depends on the amount. For the '8-point lift' I only use one milliliter per half of the face, such an amount goes with everything. More important is how strongly interconnected, i.e. how stable the hyaluronic acid is.
"Quality really takes precedence over quantity here."
This is another reason why the lift, which lasts around twelve to 18 months, should only be carried out by well-trained doctors. So-called mesotherapy can help with dry, wrinkled skin. Micro-injuries are inflicted on the epidermis, i.e. the upper skin, with small needles to work in a cocktail with hyaluronic acid, vitamins, and minerals. "The most effective way to get the skin to produce more hyaluronic acid and collagen," says London-based dermatologist Dr. Frances Prenna Jones, who also treats model Kate Moss. For those who don't like needles, she recommends a "Jetpeel", in which a mixture of water, gas, and table salt is shot at the skin at speeds of up to 720 kilometers per hour. The peeling, which is also offered by cosmetic studios, removes dead skin and is supposed to let the hyaluronic acid sink even deeper into the skin.
4. Make-up - there is hyaluronic acid in the make-up
Even in make-up, there is now hyaluronic acid. Nivea, for example, has now launched a sponge that is care, make-up, and tool in one. The primer covers more than a "BB cream", but should provide more intensive care. And it contains creatine, the skin's own substance that is said to stimulate hyaluronic acid production. Just like saponin: extracted from soybeans, it is supposed to give the hyaluronic acid in the skin, the so-called fibroblasts, the command to shift up a gear. Or maybe even two courses. An in vitro study by Eucerin has already shown that saponin could increase the release of acid by 256 percent (for example in the "Hyaluron Filler CC Cream SPF 15" from Eucerin).
5. Spray - hyaluronic acid for hair
Also new are shampoos, conditioners, and sprays with hyaluronic acid, which should ensure smooth, silky hair and a fuller head.
"Uncrosslinked hyaluronic acid can indeed diffuse to a small extent into the horny material of the hair and bind water molecules there so that the hair becomes a little more supple. But it is certainly also a fad," says Dr. Frank-Matthias Schaart, dermatologist and hair specialist from Hamburg.
Does the double sugar bind too much water, which then weighs down the hair? "I doubt that," said Schaart. "The hyaluronic acid on the hair is almost completely rinsed out when you wash it." And that is perhaps the problem with anything that needs to be washed out. If the hyaluronic acid should remain on the hair or even be absorbed into the horny layer to have a longer-term effect, products such as light leave-in sprays make sense.