Revealing the Truth about the “Magical Abilities” of Hyaluronic Acid

Revealing the Truth about the “Magical Abilities” of Hyaluronic Acid

The skincare industry, which includes the cream industry, is a multibillion-dollar sector and a significant portion of these products contain hyaluronic acid. This ingredient is often marketed as a miracle substance that improves skin texture and reduces the appearance of wrinkles. However, recent research from the United States suggests that despite the claim that hyaluronic acid can absorb liquids hundreds of times its own weight, the reality may be quite different. The researchers suggest that it is unlikely that hyaluronic acid would lead to a significant improvement in wrinkles.

Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance in the body, found in our tissues. It was first identified in 1934 by two researchers at Columbia University in New York. They suggested that hyaluronic acid plays a crucial role in maintaining skin volume and hydration, among other things.

Over the years, hyaluronic acid has been used in various medical applications, including treatment for joint issues, eye surgeries, and wound healing. It was first used for wrinkle treatment in 1996. Originally, hyaluronic acid was derived from rooster combs, but in recent years, advanced methods have enabled the production of hyaluronic acid through bacterial fermentation.

Initially, hyaluronic acid was used as a filler for facial injections. However, it wasn’t long before cosmetic companies started incorporating it into creams, claiming that it could also help reduce wrinkles in this form. These claims were based on the apparent ability of hyaluronic acid to absorb liquids up to 1,000 times its weight.

However, a research team from Riverside University in California has recently challenged these claims. Researchers Scott Burchers and Michael Forring conducted a study to measure the molecular binding properties of hyaluronic acid and water in a solution containing 1 gram of hyaluronic acid and 1,000 grams of water. They compared these results to thermal changes in pure water under the same conditions.

The researchers found that there was virtually no difference in the results, suggesting that hyaluronic acid does not absorb a significant amount of fluids. They concluded that previous claims about the water-absorbing capacity of hyaluronic acid were not accurate and were likely due to misunderstandings about the material’s physical properties.

Professor Yossi Haik, chairman of the Israeli Plastic Surgery Association and director of the Plastics and Burns Department at Sheba, explains that while the body’s hyaluronic acid reserves do decrease over time, this does not mean that adding it to creams will lead to significant fluid absorption. He suggests that the claims of hyaluronic acid absorbing 30 to 1,000 times its weight in water are not realistic.

Professor Haik also notes that the skin is almost impervious to substances unless it is injured or treated with lasers or micro-needles. Therefore, it is challenging to determine how much hyaluronic acid will absorb liquids when applied topically. He concludes that while a cream containing hyaluronic acid might provide some benefits, it is not a miracle cure for wrinkles or other skin issues.

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