We promise it’s not as scary as it sounds. You may recognize hyaluronic acid as an ingredient in your favorite skin-care serums. One of our favorites? Youth To The People’s Superfood Air-Whip Moisture Cream, which combines hyaluronic acid with antioxidant-rich superfoods for a powerful moisturizer that restores and balances skin.
“Our vegan form of hyaluronic acid boosts skin health, improves the overall look of skin, and adds necessary hydration. We love the hyaluronic acid in our product because it’s very effective but doesn’t have any unhealthy side effects or animal byproducts,” share Youth To The People founders Joe Cloyes and Greg Gonzalez.
Recently we’ve introduced our own hyaluronic acid skincare product, Glow Sweet Glow, a vegan gummy that promotes hydration from the inside out.
But how does this hydrating miracle ingredient work? We consult with dermatologist Courtney Phillips, MD to learn more.
What is hyaluronic acid?
“Hyaluronic acid is a large chain of sugar molecules found throughout the entire body,” Courtney explains. It’s often considered the gold standard of hydration because the naturally occurring molecule can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water,” she adds. It’s a natural lubricating fluid in eyes, joints, connective tissue, and—you guessed it—skin.
How can we tell if we’re deficient?
Fine lines and wrinkles may be a sign that you’re low in hyaluronic acid. Exposure to free radicals is something that can especially contribute to hyaluronic-acid depletion.
“Up to 33% of the hyaluronic acid in your body is replaced on a daily basis,” Courtney shares. “HA molecules are very sensitive to free radicals, and they deplete even more quickly when exposed to them.”
If you get lots of UV exposure, drink alcohol, or are exposed to free radicals in your diet, you might want to consider increasing your hyaluronic acid to help protect against signs of aging.
How to get more hyaluronic acid
You can increase your hyaluronic intake by applying it topically, injecting a filler, or—for a less invasive inner beauty option—getting more of it in your diet.
Acid doesn’t necessarily sound like the most ingestible substance, but rest assured, this kind is. That said, it can be hard to find. A high-quality bone broth is one option. For best results, be sure to also eat citrus fruits, which help inhibit the breakdown of HA.
Then, of course, you can always supplement.
What to look for in a quality hyaluronic acid
First, decide whether you prefer an animal- or plant-based source. While many HA supplements are derived from chicken combs or collagen, at HUM and Youth To The People, we opt for plant-based sources.
Then, it’s important to look for low-molecular HA, which absorbs more readily into the skin than high-molecular HA.
At what age should people start using HA to prevent aging?
Courtney recommends starting in your 20s and 30s. “Our collagen levels start to decline naturally at this age, providing less structure to the skin. Wrinkles begin to form and joints become less limber. It all accelerates with sun exposure, drinking, and smoking.”
Greg and Joe from Youth To The People agree. “We typically recommend that people incorporate our Superfood Serum into their skin-care regimens in their 20s. It’s a great time to defend skin while it’s still youthful, though taking care of your skin is important at any age, of course.”