Hyaluronic Acid – Beauty Wave of the Future?
In our continuing search for the fountain of youth, there is a new weapon. Hyaluronic acid (HA), a key component of human tissue, aiding the body’s flexibility, mobility and moisture retention, is emerging as a key ingredient in many anti-aging beauty products and as a viable alternative to collagen and related substances in injection procedures. As we age, the Hyaluronic acid levels in our body decrease, contributing to the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines and dryness in the skin. Hyaluronic acid beauty products and injections can decrease the appearance of lines and wrinkles by replenishing the body’s natural supply of Hyaluronic acid and/or by stimulating the body to rejuvenate its own supply of HA.
Among the exciting new developments in the world of Hyaluronic acid products is the recent FDA approval of Restylane and Hylaform, facial injections containing Hyaluronic acid. These injections can be administered quickly and with little chance of side effect. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, more people than ever are choosing to forgo invasive plastic surgery for less painful, less time consuming procedures. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) predicts that in 2005, Hyaluronic acid (Restylane, Hylaform) will surpass collagen as the most popular soft tissue filler for lines and wrinkles. The Society also predicts that additional Hyaluronic acid products developed specifically for facial volume enhancement and for improvement of depressed scars will be introduced.
Currently, Hyaluronic acid injections are most commonly used around the mouth and on forehead wrinkles and smile lines and to enlarge, moisturize and “plump” lips. The entire injection process takes less than an hour, and requires repeat treatments every four months to a year. Hyaluronic acid treatments are more expensive than those using collagen (a syringe of Restylane or another Hyaluronic acid product might cost up to $500 as compared to around $373 for collagen) but HA injections last longer because they help the skin retain natural moisture. When injected, the filler plumps up the skin by allowing it to attract and hold water. Side effects are much less likely with Hyaluronic acid than with collagen contributing to its attractiveness as an alternative treatment.
The possibilities seem endless for uses of Hyaluronic acid. In Japan, Daikin Industries is even offering an air conditioner that emits Hyaluronic acid from the filter to moisturize skin. There are sure to be even more innovations and future ways to take advantage of Hyaluronic acid’s many health and beauty benefits.