Hyaluronic acid is a sugar that occurs naturally in the body, including the skin, eyes, and joints. The primary function of hyaluronic acid is to provide moisture to these areas of the body.
Hyaluronic acid plays a crucial role in skin moisture. As people age, the moisture in their skin decreases, so some people choose to take supplemental hyaluronic acid.
This could be in the form of oral supplements, topical creams, serums, or even injections.
This article provides 11 evidence-backed benefits of using hyaluronic acid for the face and body. It explains how often a person can use hyaluronic acid and discusses types and side effects.
Learn more about hyaluronic acid here.
Many people use hyaluronic acid to hydrate their skin. People can take hyaluronic acid as a supplement, or they can apply it topically as a cream.
Hyaluronic acid can increase skin moisture and improve the quality of life for those with dry skin.
One 2014 study involved female participants applying topical hyaluronic acid as a lotion, serum, and cream. The study results demonstrated an increase of skin hydration of up to 96% after 8 weeks of use across the different types.
Learn about some other ways to keep skin healthy here.
Hyaluronic acid helps the skin maintain moisture and helps the tissue regeneration process involved in healing wounds.
One 2016 study suggested that applying hyaluronic acid to the skin to heal wounds can help relieve inflammation and regulate tissue repair.
Learn more about how wounds heal here.
When a person experiences changes in their skin, it can have an adverse psychosocial impact. This can occur during the aging process.
An older study found that hyaluronic acid can help reduce the roughness of a person’s skin and increase skin elasticity.
Learn how to tighten loose skin here.
Around 50% of the body’s total hyaluronic acid is present in the skin. Changes in this amount, possibly due to UV exposure, can lead to the formation of wrinkles.
Hyaluronic acid can significantly decrease the depth of wrinkles and enhance skin firmness and elasticity.
One 2014 study involved women applying hyaluronic acid topically, twice daily, for 8 weeks.
The study reported up to a 40% decrease in the depth of wrinkles and an up to 55% increase in skin firmness and elasticity compared with participants who did not apply the acid.
Learn more about treating wrinkles here.
The eyes contain high concentrations of hyaluronic acid.
Therefore, eye drops containing hyaluronic acid can help to treat symptoms of dry eyes.
A 2019 study found that taking a combination of oral and topical hyaluronic acid eased symptoms of dry eye in participants.
Learn what causes dry eyes at night.
Vaginal dryness often affects females following menopause. It can affect a person’s quality of life.
One 2016 study found that a combination of hyaluronic acid cream and an estrogen cream helped to alleviate symptoms of vaginal dryness.
Researchers also noted that hyaluronic acid was the more effective of the two. So people who cannot use hormonal treatment, such as estrogen cream, could use hyaluronic acid alone to help ease symptoms.
Learn about the different causes of vaginal dryness here.
How often a person can use hyaluronic acid will depend on the type.
Typically, a person can use skincare products that contain hyaluronic acid twice a day, but it is essential to read the instructions as products will vary.
Hyaluronic acid is available in a variety of different forms.
Hyaluronic acid tablets have shown efficacy for treating several issues, including:
People should speak to their doctor or another healthcare professional before using any form of supplements, as they may interact with other medications.
Topical hyaluronic acid can come in the following forms:
Hyaluronic acid can help increase moisture levels in the skin and reduce signs of aging.
Because the body produces hyaluronic acid naturally, the chances of a person having an allergic reaction are low.
Therefore, hyaluronic acid in injection form can have a range of uses. It can have medical and cosmetic purposes.
One cosmetic purpose for hyaluronic acid is fillers, including facial and lip fillers. A dermatologist injects hyaluronic acid into the lips to give them a plumper appearance.
Learn about the differences between Botox and dermal fillers here.
People using hyaluronic acid regularly generally report very few side effects. This is probably because the body produces hyaluronic acid naturally, which means there is little risk of allergic reactions.
One 2012 study involved participants taking oral hyaluronic acid for 12 months. They reported zero side effects.
An older article noted that injectable hyaluronic acid could cause adverse effects. However, these effects tend to be due to the injection itself rather than the hyaluronic acid. Adverse effects may include:
Pregnancy or breastfeeding
People receiving an injection of hyaluronic acid should talk with their healthcare provider if they plan on becoming pregnant or are breastfeeding.
There is currently not enough evidence to indicate the impact on a fetus or newborn.
Learn more about allergies and rashes here.
People may be aware of the benefits of hyaluronic acid as an ingredient in skincare but may not be aware of its versatility.
Using hyaluronic acid supplements or topical products can help people maintain a youthful appearance and tackle many signs of aging. However, it can also help treat some medical conditions, such as vaginal dryness or joint pain.
People should consult a healthcare professional before taking supplements. They should make sure that any provider of injectable hyaluronic acid has registered with the appropriate governing bodies.