Aging could affect your skin changes in myriad ways. As
you age, your skin becomes thinner, loses fat, and no longer looks as healthy
and smooth as it once did. Any bruises, cuts, or lesions could take longer to
heal. Years of sun tanning could lead to wrinkles
, dryness, age spots and
But all is not lost here! There are things you can do to protect your skin and
make it feel and look better.
naturally and uniquely designed to prevent evaporation of moisture from within
its topmost layer. It is primarily made up of three layers:
epidermis, dermis and hypodermis. Of these, the dermis is a tough connective
tissue and is made up of fiber, matrix and cell components. The major component
of the dermis matrix is water and another mucopolysaccharide called as
hyaluronic acid or hyaluronan (HA).
Types of skin:
has small pores, is generally smooth to the touch and is neither dry nor oily.
usually has little natural oil and small pores. It
has a tendency to become dehydrated, dulls easily, and is prone to lines and
is prone to excessive oil secretion and is generally shiny. The pores are
usually large and open. The skin is coarse and subject to blackheads.
has both oily patches, usually
on the central forehead, nose, and chin and dry patches occurring predominantly
on the cheeks, jawline and outer portion of the forehead.
Causes of dry skin:
Insufficient hydration or not
drinking enough liquids
Staying out in the sun
Exposure to very dry air
Losing sweat and oil glands,
which is common with aging
Health problems, such as diabetes
Using too much soap,
antiperspirant, or perfume
Taking hot baths will make dry
Role of hyaluronan in keeping skin moist: Hyaluronan
is a naturally
occurring compound in your skin which has a strong ability to bind with
water. HA exists in between skin cells to maintain skin tissue structure and
also becomes hydrated to such an extent that a gel-like system is formed which
retains moisture to keep skin moist. In this way, hyaluronic acid maintains the
elasticity of the skin. The main function of HA is to aid in the body's water
maintenance providing essential moisture for body processes and molecular
Because of the viscous nature
and moisture retaining property of HA, it is responsible for facilitating smooth
movement of the knee joint, and maintains the normal shape of the vitreous
humor and moisturizes the skin. However, aging and extrinsic stimuli such as
solar ultraviolet radiation, smoking, and air pollutants gradually reduces the
amount of HA in the body, which could increase joint pain and lead to dry
It has been shown that ingested HA
contributes to the increased synthesis of HA and promotes cell proliferation in
fibroblasts. These effects show that ingestion of HA moisturizes the skin and
is expected to improve the quality of life for people who suffer from dry skin.
Furthermore, HA dietary
are expected to be effective anti-aging supplements
because an American ABC News channel, stated that the key to longevity in a
specific Japanese village was their HA-rich diet
hyaluronan on moisturizing the skin:
In a randomized,
double-blind, placebo-controlled study, human subjects who suffered from
chronically rough and dry skin were given HA for a period of 6 weeks.
After four evaluation phases by a dermatologist it was concluded that the
conditions of dry skin in the face and whole body were significantly improved
in the HA group as compared with the placebo. In addition, skin moisture content
at the lower left part of the eye significantly improved in the HA group and
skin smoothness in left of the upper arm and back of neck was significantly
improved after 3 and 6 weeks of ingestion.
effects of ingested hyaluronan:
A randomized, double-blind,
placebo-controlled study of middle-aged and elderly female subjects with dry
skin was conducted and published in the Nutrition Journal
. The HA group which
ingested 120 mg/day of HA, was found to have a significant increase of
skin moisture, and a tendency for the skin moisture to increase in the face
when compared with the placebo group after 3 and 6 weeks of ingestion.
These reports show that consuming either 120 or 240 mg/day of HA
contributes to increased skin moisture and improves dry skin.
Dry skin tips
Use hyaluronan as a dietary
Drink plenty of water
Use moisturizer based on skin
types: for oily skin use a water-based moisturizer in order to avoid burdening
your pores with more oil; for dry to normal skin, choose an oil-based
moisturizer; for combination skin (areas of dry skin and patches of oily skin)
use of a water-based product works best
and try to get plenty of rest.
Dry skin decreases a person's
quality of life because of the discomfort associated with tightness of the
skin. Application of topical moisturizers is critical to treat dry skin;
however, ingesting or consuming HA as a dietary supplement affects skin cells
and improves dry skin physiologically and thus makes the skin look healthy.
Ingested hyaluronan moisturizes dry skin;