Does Hyaluronic Acid really have a natural anti-wrinkle action?

You read it everywhere, all the advertising claims praise its anti-aging properties, but it will be true that hyaluronic acid plays a part in maintaining our skin. skin a natural anti-wrinkle action ? Let's find out together :)

To prevent the signs of skin aging , one of the most important rules to respect is to maintain skin hydration at an optimal level.

One of the possibilities we have available to prevent and fight wrinkles is to integrate the hydrolipidic film with substances that enrich its composition and thickness. Unfortunately, as the years go by, the hydrolipidic film that covers the skin, hydrating and protecting it, changes both in composition and in quantity, causing the skin to dehydrate more quickly.

READ ALSO: Which Antioxidants to Counteract Premature Aging?

natural anti-wrinkle

Consequently, to maintain an excellent level of skin hydration, we need to replenish the hydrolipidic film. Fortunately, we have moisturizing substances of a fatty nature (oils, butters, waxes, ceramides) or hydrophilic substances such as:

  • micromolecules: mineral salts, sugars, urea, allantoin or
  • macromolecules: proteins (collagen or elastin) and protein hydrolysates, polysaccharides such as: hyaluronic acid or acemannan (main component of aloe)

But first of all, what is hyaluronic acid?

Hyaluronic acid

it is a natural substance present in our skin, capable of maintaining the hydration and plasticity of the tissues. It is mainly found in the dermis and allows you to maintain the right degree of hydration and turgidity of the tissue, thanks to its particular chemical-physical characteristics which give it a high hydration capacity.

Going specifically, hyaluronic acid is a glycosaminoglycan, a macromolecule composed of a sugary part combined with another protein, naturally synthesized by the fibroblasts of the dermis in our body with the aim of hydrating and protecting the tissues.

We are born with a high level of hyaluronic acid in our body, which is why babies have tight, smooth and well hydrated skin. Unfortunately, as the years go by and especially after the age of 30, the concentration of hyaluronic acid in the tissues tends to decrease, favoring the formation of wrinkles and the loss of tone and turgidity typical of young skin.

What is the function of hyaluronic acid ?

Its main function is a trophic, lubricating and also immuno-regulating function, stimulating the formation of collagen and connective tissue, being one of the fundamental components of human connective tissue.

The hyaluronic acid molecule has a strong polarity, and consequently a high degree of hydration and high water solubility.

In simple words, hyaluronic acid is a kind of chemical sponge that retains water for a very long time, preventing our skin from dehydrating, thus maintaining an excellent degree of hydration , turgidity and viscosity of the skin.

READ ALSO: Moisturizing or Nourishing Cream for Dry, Dehydrated Skin?

Where is hyaluronic acid extracted from?

Present in many animals and in some bacteria, in the past it was extracted from the cockscomb, but today, thanks to biotechnology, through the use of biotechnological derivatives obtained from bacterial fermentation, different types of hyaluronic acid are extracted with characteristics and fields of different applications (injectable or applicable on the skin surface).

Its biotechnological extraction has also increased the safety factor, in fact, it is difficult to run the risk that by applying products containing it to the skin, one may run into sensitization or allergy phenomena.

What are the uses of hyaluronic acid?

hyaluronic acid

Hyaluronic acid, thanks to its particular molecule, has many properties that make it useful both in the medical, aesthetic and/or cosmetic fields.

Hyaluronic acid is widely used in fillers, which dermatologists or plastic surgeons inject directly into the affected areas, to fill expression lines and to reactivate mature skin, stimulating cellular functionality. Injected, it is also used to reduce the burdensome symptoms of osteoarthritis or other phenomena related to rheumatic pathologies, and often to improve the healing of surgical wounds.

As a cosmetic ingredient, it is widely used as a moisturizer and anti-aging agent, but its anti-wrinkle action mechanism has not yet been perfectly demonstrated.

The natural anti-wrinkle action of hyaluronic acid is carried out above all as an excellent and effective moisturizer, helping the skin to remain hydrated, soft and elastic.

Natural anti-wrinkle hyaluronic acid


Taking dehydrated grapes as an example, it can be clearly seen that in the presence of good hydration, wrinkled skin relaxes and fine lines disappear. As soon as skin hydration is reduced, the wrinkle becomes visible again.

It is an effect similar to the effect obtained with good hydration which makes the skin appear much more taut, turgid and elastic and makes it seem that finer and smaller wrinkles have almost disappeared.

Being only a transitory effect which is due to the temporary level of hydration of the stratum corneum, hyaluronic acid and its derivatives cannot be considered at the level of other anti-wrinkle active ingredients, but certainly to prevent skin aging or in any case to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, plays its part in keeping the skin always well hydrated.

The issue is complex, as despite all the advertising claims decant hyaluronic acid, in anti-wrinkle cosmetics with hyaluronic acid we find the salts of hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid as it is which is NEVER used in cosmetics:

  • both for a question of solubility
  • and because the barrier action carried out by the stratum corneum of the skin does not allow the macromolecules to penetrate.

If you want to learn more about the topic, you can do so in the dedicated blog post " Hyaluronic Acid vs. Sodium Hyaluronate: what no one tells you about your anti aging face cream... "

It therefore appears that the cosmetic function of the sodium salts of hyaluronic acid or hydrolysed hyaluronic acid is above all that of maintaining an optimal skin hydration level which allows the hyaluronic acid to also perform a slight natural anti-wrinkle action.

In recent years, the concept of beauty has increasingly been associated with well-being and self-aware care. And if you have reached this point with reading, it means that you too are reflected in the concept of conscious beauty in which the information on what you spread makes the difference. Compliments! :)

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Manuskiatti W., Maibach HI Hyaluronic acid and the skin
Rieger MM Hyaluronic acid in cosmetics
Giulia Penazzi - Anti-aging cosmetics

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