In Japan, it’s touted as the Natural Facelift. ABC’s 20/20 reported that it’s the “magical” ingredient that keeps skin young. And The Times newspaper in the UK says it gives “new life.”
What is this magical, life-giving, face-lifting ingredient?
It’s called hyaluronic acid. Also known as HA, NaH and sodium hyaluronate.
Naturally occurring in the human body, HA production declines as we age. This contributes to the loss of moisture; the skin becomes thinner and less supple. The loss of HA may also impair the skin’s ability to repair itself and possibly affects the synthesis and deposition pattern of other skin matrix components.
Hyaluronic Acid is found in all of our connective tissue. And recently, scientists have discovered that by supplementing it, our joints, hearts — and our skin — can benefit tremendously.
What does HA do? According to Ultimate-Cosmetics.com, “It helps to keep skin smooth and “plump” through its ability to hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water. It lubricates the joints and plays a critical role in the rapid repair of wounds and other skin conditions. Improves eye-sight.”
It’s the anti-aging effect on the skin we’re concerned with in the here and now, and the effect HA seems to have on the skin is at the level of promoting the formation of collagen, the fibers that firm the skin.
So where can you get hyaluronic acid? There are a couple of natural ways to get HA into your diet. The first is from starchy root vegetables like yams, potatoes, carrots. The other way is to eat animal parts known to contain a lot of hyaluronic acid: bones and connective tissues (yum. not.). By boiling down fish and animal bones, joints, sinews and tendons, then adding a few root and other vegetables, you can create a healthy, nourishing soup. Easy, right? Well, perhaps for some, but not me. Call me anything, just not a cook…or an eater of fish bone/root vegetable soup. Another, more palatable source of HA is through supplementation. Most grocery and health food stores sell HA supplements.
But these aren’t necessarily the best ways to deliver HA to your skin. What is, you ask? Simple. Use skin care products that contain hyaluronic acid, and lots of it. Better yet, make your own.
Hyaluronic acid is available in a cosmetically-safe powder from many bulk skin care ingredient companies. And HA mixes fairly easily. You can make a simple HA serum or a gel to mix into your existing skin care products.
Here’s a recipe for a great hyaluronic acid (HA) serum that you easily can make at home.
- Pour 1/2 ounce of distilled water in a small glass container, preferably the one you will use to dispense your serum. A 1/2 ounce or 1-ounce glass pump bottle is ideal.
- Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of hyaluronic acid powder into the water.
NOTE: the powder and water will not incorporate right away.
- Cover and leave the mixture to set for 4-8 hours, overnight if possible, in a cool, dry place. After setting up, the mixture should become a gel.
- Once the mixture is set, add preservative (Germaben or your choice, as long as it’s safe for water-based cosmetic mixtures) and mix well.
Use this serum twice daily by spreading a small amount (dime size or smaller) over your face and neck, after you cleanse and before you moisturize. In four to six weeks’ time, with regular use you should see a reduction in wrinkles as well as firmer, plumper skin overall. Sans fish bone soup.