Hyaluronic Acid Supplements: Yay or Nay?
You may already slather your skin in a hyaluronic acid serum or cream every day. But how would you feel about eating it? Not your serum or face cream, of course, but hyaluronic acid itself.
Thanks to Hailey Bieber, and everyone’s obsession with getting “glazed donut skin”, hyaluronic acid supplements have become a thing.
Here’s everything you should know about hyaluronic acid supplements and how they compare to topical hyaluronic acid formulas.
WHAT IS HYALURONIC ACID?
Hyaluronic acid (hyaluronan) is a non-sulfated glycosaminoglycan (GAG) non-protein compound that’s commonly found in serums, masks, and moisturizers. It’s also a sugar molecule that naturally occurs in the skin, connective tissues, joints, and eyes.
“Think of it as a moisture magnet,” says New York City board-certified dermatologist Dr. Shereene Idriss. “It grabs onto moisture.”
In skincare, hyaluronic acid is a humectant, meaning it attracts water and locks in moisture to keep skin smooth and hydrated.
“It has a jelly-like texture and holds over 1,000 times its weight in water, therefore creating plumpness and hydration in the skin,” says Nancy Samolitis, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and owner of Facile Dermatology and Boutique in California. In addition to hydrating the skin, HA boosts collagen and skin elasticity, reducing the appearance of wrinkles. That makes it a fabulous moisturizing and anti-aging ingredient.
As we age, our levels of HA deplete, leaving skin prone to dryness and wrinkles. Since it’s in other areas of our body, lack of HA can also contribute to issues like joint pain, knee pain, dry eyes, and osteoarthritis of the knee and other areas.
WHAT ARE HYALURONIC ACID SUPPLEMENTS?
When you hear of hyaluronic acid, you probably think of the creams, lotions, and serums you apply on your skin. Oral hyaluronic acid supplements are now popping up everywhere.
Hyaluronic acid supplements can be used as a dietary supplement or skincare treatment to boost skin hydration, improve joint health, and prevent premature skin aging. Right now, they’re most popular for their skin benefits, as consumers are looking for a better way to get glowy, dewy skin.
Clinical trials have proven oral HA’s ability to lessen arthritis symptoms, but unfortunately clinical studies related to its skin benefits aren’t available as of yet.
As far as side effects go, HA supplements are seemingly safe. Unlike hyaluronic acid injections (fillers), which can cause a slew of unpleasant side effects, HA supplements come with minimal risks. However, you should still bear in mind that research is limited. If you have any questions or concerns, speak to a healthcare professional before using.
HYALURONIC ACID SUPPLEMENTS VS TOPICAL HYALURONIC ACID
Ingesting HA might sound like an effective alternative to reap its hydrating benefits without some of the issues that come with using it topically — i.e. redness, irritation, possible allergic reactions. However, ingestible hyaluronic acid needs to be broken down through absorption and digestion, meaning it won’t go straight to your skin like a topical product would. In other words, the results will be slower.
That said, taking hyaluronic acid supplements can trick the body into producing more HA, which comes with its own set of skin and health benefits. In addition to upping skin’s moisture, it will help to lubricate the joints — reducing pain and discomfort. In spite of some of its plus points, there’s not much evidence to back up the claims of HA supplements.
Since hyaluronic acid skincare has been around a lot longer than HA supplements, it’s probably safer to stick with what you know.
WHICH TYPE OF HYALURONIC ACID IS BEST?
While hyaluronic acid supplements are considered safe, most dermatologists don’t recommend them. They prefer topical HA products. If you’re looking for a way to boost your HA levels, the derms recommend eating a well-balanced diet, as hyaluronic acid is in many foods.
Just like collagen supplements, HA supplements are the next new wellness fad that may not be as effective for the skin as you’d hope.
Since hyaluronic acid serums and creams already work so well, why give up a good thing? And if you’re not reaping the benefits of hyaluronic acid through skincare, now’s your chance. There are plenty of over-the-counter treatments to choose from.
SHOP HYALURONIC ACID SKINCARE
Here are the best products to shop that contain high concentrations of hyaluronic acid.
Cream Skin Face Moisturizer
Diminish dry skin with this hyaluronic acid-based face cream, and never feel rough, dry, or itchy again. It also contains a nourishing blend of coconut oil, cocoa butter, and sea kelp to seal in moisture, protect skin against external aggressors, and plump out fine lines and wrinkles. For optimum skin health, use this face cream daily after cleansing.
Dulce de Leches Firming Boob & Belly Cream
A 2-in-1 boob and belly skin tightening cream powered by a lineup of powerhouse actives, such as hyaluronic acid, retinol, and coconut milk. All of which work together to firm up sagging skin, soften stretch marks, and plump out dimples. Dulce De Leches’ decadent formula melts into skin - sans stickiness. It’s like dessert — for your skin!
Jellyfish Jammin’ Tightening Body Mask
A SpongeBob-inspired formula enriched with hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, and mango to tighten, hydrate, and brighten skin all over. Easy on extra sensitive skin, this super gentle body mask harnesses the anti-inflammatory properties of aloe to quell irritated skin. Turn to this mask if you’re seeking a tauter, smoother, and slimmer bod.
Eye Candy Anti-Puff Eye Cream
Our eye candy anti-puff cream contains a perfectly crafted blend of hyaluronic acid and sea kelp to reduce the appearance of dark circles and puffiness, and illuminate tired eyes. It’s exactly the treatment you need if you’ve had a few too many late night Netflix binges.
Hyaluronic acid supplements might sound interesting. However, you must remember that research surrounding the effects of HA supplements are limited. For the sake of your overall health, stick to what you know best for now until more research is available. As soon as we hear anything, we’ll let you know! Be sure to come back every now and then to hear about the newest beauty trends and products!