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Hyaluronic Acid:
Nature's Skin Rejuvenator

by VRP Staff

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Human skin can speak volumes about one's health, and indeed is a reflection of inner health the vast majority of the time. Yet sometimes no matter what steps a person takes, his or her skin looks older than desired. This can be the result of stress, excess sun exposure, insufficient antioxidants, metabolic conditions, and a myriad of other factors. This does not necessarily mean that a person is not healthy on the inside, yet the skin may not fully embody that radiant glow from within. It is not necessary to passively accept this reflection of a person's inner level of wellness.

Hyaluronic acid (HA) is naturally produced in the human body, and is one of the most water-loving molecules in nature. It is often referred to as "nature's moisturizer." Clinically, the decline in the body's concentration of HA with aging has long been of interest. Though this article is dedicated to the discussion of HA and skin health, it is imperative to appreciate that drops in quantity, quality, and distribution of HA across the spectrum of body tissue types occur. Therefore, it is logical that we would supplement the skin directly with HA just as we would use it internally to nourish joints, eyes, or any other body part.

Young skin is smooth and elastic and contains a large amount of hyaluronic acid that helps the skin look healthy. As we grow older, the ability of the skin to produce HA decreases and the amount begins to fall. Since HA helps to bind water, the ability of the skin to retain water also declines with age. As a result, the skin becomes drier, thinner, and less able to restore itself. The loss of skin fullness also means that the skin becomes looser. This leads to wrinkling and the older appearance of the skin. Since HA chemically attracts water, topical HA can help by increasing endogenous HA in the dermis or by attracting a water layer on top of the skin surface to protect against water loss.

Here's an overview of how the dermis breaks down during the aging process:
* The number of collagen fibers in the dermis decreases.
* The structural attachment between the dermis and the epidermis, which is the outermost layer of the skin, deteriorates with the aging process.
* Skin HA content decreases as we age.
* Dermatan sulfate declines during the aging process.
* Fibroblasts within the dermis decline by about 50% by age 80.
* UV-A and UV-B radiation from the sun are absorbed cumulatively by the skin, which can damage the dermis, causing wrinkles.

Lifestyle factors are critical for maintaining healthy skin. Smoking can cause dryness and premature aging of the skin. Sun exposure is associated with an increased risk of skin cancer, premature aging, and hyperpigmentation of the skin, requiring a limit to sun exposure and the use of sunscreen during prolonged exposure. Clinically, exercise has been shown to help promote a radiant, glowing complexion.

Optimal intake and assimilation of nutrients is also essential for promoting healthy skin. As an example, a deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids and essential fatty acids (EFAs) is often manifested as dry, flaky skin and a predisposition to inflammatory conditions, such as eczema. And don't forget, plenty of filtered or spring water also helps the body to remove wastes and keep the skin hydrated and healthy.

While making sure our bodies are nourished with the needed nutrients, it is equally important to give our skin the tools necessary for rebuilding collagen and instituting cellular repair. Using a topical HA serum can have dramatic effects on skin health. Bio-identical hyaluronic acid, when topically applied, can buffer the decreased production of HA that occurs with the aging process. Topical HA can serve as a hydrating agent, rejuvenating skin and improving the tone and appearance by enhancing the skin's ability to retain moisture.  Applying a special HA serum that has a light, non-oily texture can soothe skin, smooth fine lines, and reduce wrinkles.

Be sure to visit www.vrp.com to view a recorded webinar on this topic, presented by Chris D. Meletis, N.D.,  "Skin Restoration: Nature's Solution to Aging Skin." Vitamin Research Products offers Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum and other skin therapy products. Order online at www.vrp.com or call (800) 877-2447.

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