One ingredient that the skin care industry pushes and advertises unlike any other would be hyaluronic acid (HA). Thanks to its varying molecular sizes this ingredient can be and has been used in a multitude of products ranging from topical serums to filler injections. “HA is an extracellular matrix glycosaminoglycan (GAG), which is a key molecule involved in skin moisture due to its capacity to retain water,” explains Alan D. Widgerow, MD, MHS, FACS, chief medical officer of Alastin Skincare.
While once considered simply a space filler, HA is now considered a major structural molecule that aids in the lubrication and moisturization of the extracellular matrix while also facilitating cellular movement and migration. More recently, it has been identified as a modulator for inflammation. Safe to say this clear, gooey substance does a lot.
Dr. Widgerow credits its recent boom in the skin care industry to the fact that recent studies have demonstrated multiple added functions of this molecule and recognized it as an important component to overall skin health.
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Maggie Walker is the associate editor of MedEsthetics.