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Hyaluronic acid in latest skin care and make-up developments

SpecialChem / Apr 26, 2006

Hyaluronic acid is a kind of muccopolysaccharide naturally present in the human body, in synovial fluid (present in joints), the umbilical cord, the eyes' vitrous humor, fetal skin and in the deeper layers of skin. Hyaluronic acid is a polyanionic polysaccharide that consists of N-acetyl-d-glucosamine and beta-glucoronic acid. It is also known under the name glycosaminoglycan. Hyaluronic acid is able to hold more water than any other natural substance, and makes gels with water. It is obtained through two different industrial methods: Extracted from cockscombs, after grinding, chemical treatment and purification. Now more often obtained by bacterial fermentation: Resulted hyaluronic acid fibers are obtained by genetical modified bacteria. The gel has unique viscoelastic properties and its viscosity depends on the length (molecular weight) of fibers. n the derma of the skin, hyaluronic acid is one of the three crucial skin components along with collagen and elastin. It is a binding agent and a structure skin stabilizer, by holding together collagen and elastin. It plays a protective role for the skin as a shock-absorbing agent and it plays a defending role against threats and bacterial infections. Its natural hygroscopic properties hold water in the skin which makes it a well known moisturizing agent. As one of the main composants of the extracellular matrix, it is also known for helping the proliferation and migration of the cells (lubricated agent).

The level of hyaluronic acid decreases in the skin with age, this correlates with the appearance of wrinkles. Having been approved by the FDA as a skin filler since a few years now, it is used in dermatologic injections to plump skin or lips to reduce wrinkles and fine lines.

Skin care products with hyaluronic acid are most frequently used to treat wrinkled skin and as a moisturizing agent. Hyaluronic acid is touted for its ability to "reverse" or stop aging. It is sometimes named the "key to the fountain of youth.".

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