Today I’d like to tell you about hyaluronic acid, one of my favorite skin care ingredients. And the reason it’s one of my favorites is because it’s so important both on the surface of the skin and inside the skin. On the surface of the skin it, is a great humectant ingredient in moisturizers, so it makes moisturizers work very well. Humectants are simply materials that retain moisture and the reason hyaluronic acid is such a great moisturizer is because it holds so much water because it is a very, very long molecule, longer than most humectants and as a result there are a lot of different interstites or little spaces in that molecule where it can hold water, so it just holds lots and lots of water. But in reality, we don’t normally find hyaluronic acid on the surface of the skin, we normally find it in the dermis inside the skin in the second layer and inside the dermis of the skin, it’s this pink material, in that pink material you have a lot of hyaluronic acid and a lot of water. Well because the hyaluronic acid binds water, it binds it very well there so it forms a lot of volume and that volume helps support the collagen fibrals and all of the organs and it’s very important in maintaining the volume of the dermis. Anything that maintains volume here helps prevent lines and wrinkles up here. As we get older we normally lose collagen and hyaluronic acid both as a function of age and also as a function of sun damage. And as a result, lines and wrinkles form because this area contracts and everything falls in. So, hyaluronic acid is a very valuable ingredient in filler materials that dermatologists use to inject into the skin to help restore volume and thereby fix lines and wrinkles. But here’s the catch, for the same reason that hyaluronic acid is such a good moisturizer because it holds onto so much water, and for the same reason it’s such a good filler material, you can’t get it into your skin by rubbing it into your skin to fix lines and wrinkles because that molecule is just much, much too big. So, while I encourage you to look for moisturizers with hyaluronic acid in them as ingredients, enjoy your hyaluronic acid as a topical moisturizer but if you want it to fix lines and wrinkles, you’ll have to see your dermatologist.