In this article, we’ll cover the basics, answering all the following questions: what is hyaluronic acid, what are the benefits, who should consider taking hyaluronic acid, how you should take it (in what form), and what is the best supplement brand to choose. That’s a lot to cover, so let’s jump in.
What is Hyaluronic Acid?
According to Harvard Health, Hyaluronic Acid is a humectant. Say what?
That’s just a fancy word for a substance that retains water or moisture. In fact, Hyaluronic Acid is able to hold (bind to) over one thousand times its weight in water. Wow, that’s a lot of water!
And although hyaluronic acid sounds like some dangerous chemical – (acid, Yikes!, keep away!) – it is actually found naturally in the human body, including in the skin, eyes, joints, and other areas as well
Why Take Hyaluronic Acid As a Supplement?
When we age, our body’s production and synthesis of key substances in the skin, including HA, collagen and elastin decreases. And exposure to chemicals, pollution, and even radiation from the sun and other sources, can exacerbate the unwanted effect.
The net result of this is that our skin loses moisture, volume, and that certain je ne sais quoi over time.
That’s when supplementation can help. If you take the right HA supplement, you may see properties associated with youthful skin texture come back to your skin, leaving you feeling (and looking) younger.
Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid
There are a number of documented benefits of HA when applied to the skin and when taken internally or other forms (discussed later). When applied to the skin, for example, HA is said to have the power to reduce wrinkles, reduce redness and inflammation (dermatitis) and restore some of that youthful glow. But it has many other amazing benefits as well.
Hyaluronic Acid May Help Heal Wounds
HA can play a beneficial role in wound healing. Hyaluronic acid can help regulate inflammation by signaling the body to build more blood vessels. Applying it to skin wounds has been shown in some studies to reduce the size of wounds and even decrease pain and sensitivity relative to a placebo. HA can also reduce the chance of infection since it has beneficial antibacterial properties.
The beneficial role of wound healing also can be applied to mouth tissue to help fight gum disease and/or after tooth surgery.
HA can Relieve the Symptoms of Acid Reflux
The amazing healing properties of HA can also be applied internally.
One study found that taking HA and a supplement known as chondroitin sulfate could be beneficial when takin with an acid-reducing medication or supplement.
Another study showed that Hyaluronic acid was more effective than relieving symptoms than a placebo, and yet another study showed that HA helped tissue heal much faster in a test tube.
Hyaluronic Acid Supports Bone Health
Taken orally, HA, has been shown to slow the rate of bone loss with osteopenia, which is a fancy word for the beginning stages of bone loss, which precedes osteoporosis. The test was done in rats, but test-tube studies have shown that HA can increase the activity of osteoblasts, which repair and build new bone tissue.
More studies need to be conducted to confirm the effect in humans, however, these results are promising and indicate that an internal Hyaluronic acid supplement may be of benefit.
HA May Help Relieve Joint Pain
As discussed above, Hyaluronic acid plays an important role in creating moisture and lubrication within the human body. Therefore, it isn’t surprising that taking HA supplements can help lubricate bone joints, which can reduce pain and inflammation in human joints.
HA can be found in joints, where it keeps bones well lubricated. Without lubrication, bones can grind against each other, which often is the cause of joint pain. Hyaluronic acid supplements are beneficial, therefore, for people suffering from osteoarthritis.
Taking up to 200 mg for a couple of months has been shown to reduce knee pain significantly in people suffering from chronic inflammation of the joints or osteoarthritis.
Hyaluronic Acid Relieves Eye Discomfort and Dry Eye Symptoms
The eye is another place where hyaluronic acid is found in the human body. There it plays an important role once again in hydration and improving moisture.
It isn’t surprising then that HA is often used to help treat symptoms associated with dry eye.
Eye drops containing up to 0.4% hyaluronic acid have been clinically shown to reduce symptoms and improve overall eye health.
Additionally, hyaluronic acid eye drops can be used during surgery to reduce inflammation of the eye.
What Type of Hyaluronic Acid Should I Take?
In terms of form, HA comes in a variety of forms, including ingestible supplements, eye drops, and injections (think Botox).
The type you should take depends on the symptoms you are experiencing. If you have eye discomfort or dry eye, the drops may make the most sense, for example, although a pill form supplement may also be of benefit. If, on the other hand you are experiencing joint pain, then a tablet or capsule supplement would be most beneficial. Taking a supplement in pill form can also be useful for skin applications, as is direct topical application and/or injectables.
It is important to note that topical applications will provide hydration on the surface level only, and will not penetrate deep within the skin. Therefore, a supplement may be beneficial in addition.
What if I have sensitive skin?
If you have sensitive skin, you should talk to your doctor before trying HA, however, it is generally well tolerated and doesn’t normally cause allergic reactions.
Is Hyaluronic Acid Good for Acne?
If you suffer from acne, you may be asking the question – does hyaluronic acid help with acne, and the answer is yes and no.
While HA can’t decrease the visibility of scars caused by acne, it may help reduce redness and, therefore, the visual prominence and appearance of acne. Additionally, hyaluronic acid can protect the skin from further damage.
Also, it is known that acne can sometimes occur as the result of overproduction of skin oil. Sebum, is the oily substance that your body produces around the skin. Sometimes the pores of your skin can become clogged with Sebum, and this will often lead to breakouts. When this is the cause of acne, controlling excess sebum production may be of benefit.
In one study, it was suggested that hyaluronic acid may help control sebum production, which, if true, would potentially make HA a great ingredient to help in the prevention and treatment of acne.
Finally, hyaluronic acid may help with skin barrier function disorders, which can help reduce irritation, inflammation and redness.
So the quick answer is: if you suffer from acne breakouts, it’s probably worth a try.
Best Hyaluronic Acid Supplements
If you’ve gotten this far in the article, you are probably considering taking hyaluronic acid, either as a supplement, or in some other form. Below, we provide our top picks and brands we suggest. We’ll start with Serums (great for skin applications) and get later into oral supplements (well suited for all purposes).
Cerave Hyaluronic Acid Serum for Face with Vitamin B5 and Ceramides
Why we like it:
- CeraVe Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum is formulated specifically for face applications using a high concentration of hyaluronic acid for potency
- The CeraVe formula has a lightweight, smooth, gel texture
- With Vitamin B5 to help soothe skin CeraVe’s patented MVE ingredient-delivery technology provides a continual release provides long lasting hydration
- All CeraVe products are formulated with three essential ceramides (1, 3, 6-II) to help restore and maintain the skin’s natural barrier
- CeraVe Skincare is developed with dermatologists and has products suitable for dry skin, sensitive skin, oily skin, acne-prone, and is Noncomedogenic, paraben free, and fragrance free.
- The price point is great at just $12.60
Learn More on CeraVe’s Website
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Water Gel Daily Face Moisturizer
Why we like it:
- Neutrogena Hydro Boost hydrating water-gel face moisturizer with hyaluronic acid to hydrate dry skin formula provides hydration to skin, leaving it looking smooth and supple
- Neutrogena Hyaluronic acid is 100% alcohol free
- This daily face moisturizer features a non-comedogenic formula. It’s oil-free, and is sourced from a dermatologist-recommended brand
- Unique face moisturizer absorbs quickly, so you can wear it under makeup
- The formula is clinically shown to keep skin hydrated for 48 hours
- Oil-Free, Dye-free, Non-Comedogenic Fast-Absorbing and Suitable for all skin types
Learn More on Neutrogena’s website
Now that we’ve provide our picks for serums and lotions, which are perfect if you are looking for a skin only solution (topical), let’s take a look at the best hyaluronic acid supplements:
OLLY Ultra Strength Skin Softgels
Why we like it:
- This extra strength expertly blended formula includes a powerful combination of unique nutrients to help support even skin tone and firm, hydrated skin for a youthful appearance
- This unique formula leverages a powerful plant-derived combination of Zeaxanthin and Lutein to help brighten and preserve even skin tone.
- Vitamin C, a key ingredient in this formula, contributes to your skin’s strength and youthful glow
Solgar Glucosamine Hyaluronic Acid Chondroitin MSM
Why we like it:
- The addition of Glucosamine helps support mobility, range of motion and flexibility
- It helps ease occasional joint stress due to exercise or physical activity
- Chondroitin is also added to this formula to help support cartilage and joint function
- MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) provides a natural, bioavailable source of sulfur and promotes joint comfort;
- MSM works synergistically to support the benefits of glucosamine and chondroitin. Health Concern: Joint Health & Support Bone
- Solgar Glucosamine Hyaluronic Acid Chondroitin MSM is non-GMO and free of: gluten, wheat, dairy, soy, yeast, sugar, artificial flavor, sweetener, preservatives, and color
Learn More on Solgar’s Website
With so many options to choose from, we’ve tried to narrow down this list and provide you with our top picks. The brands we have selected are trustworthy, well researched, and popular among consumers so you can have peace of mind when making your selection. If you enjoyed this article, please consider bookmarking and sharing! Thanks for reading!