What polysaccharide polymer is present in the human spinal cord, is produced synthetically by microbial fermentation, and is my go-to daily moisturizer?
Hyaluronic acid, of course!
Scientifically speaking, hyaluronic acid (HA) is a molecule renown for its viscoelasticity, high moisture retention capacity, and high bio-compatibility. Translation: HA is a naturally occurring, nontoxic water loving carbohydrate which helps keep skin plump and hydrated. Think of it as nature’s moisturizer.
In the body, HA acts like a liquid cushion between our bones and our skin. It binds with water to help lubricate our muscles and joints. And if you love the plump tushie a toddler near you is rocking, you can thank HA. Babies have high levels of HA in their skin, giving them a dewy glow so intoxicating you can’t resist pinching them.
HA is a versatile molecule, and in its gel or serum form, it’s a fantastic moisturizer. It’s lightweight, completely safe, and does for the skin what it does for other parts of the body. You can’t keep that new baby smell forever, but using HA can help keep your skin looking young and gorgeous.
So how did we find this fabulous “fountain of youth”? In the 1930s and 1940s, shortly after medical researchers at Columbia University isolated the HA molecule from bovine vitreous humor--basically the goo inside cow eye balls--they discovered that this clear gel was present in several other organic sources including rooster’s comb and human umbilical cords.
By the 1980s, HA was no longer extracted from animal sources and instead was being fermented in the laboratory causing less environmental pollution and saving the lives of some very friendly chickens and cows. This new, microbially derived HA and its unique chemical properties made it a perfect lubricant and stabilizer in medical applications including synthetic joint cushioning for arthritic knees, corneal protection during ophthalmological surgery, and wound healing.
The same molecular structure that makes HA so great for biomedical uses also helps plump and firm your skin. Even those with the most sensitive skin will find that HA smooths, softens, and moisturizes without clogging pores. HA serum can be worn under sunscreens, acne treatments, and makeup, and, best of all, it makes the perfect primer for mineral foundation (we love Sheer Miracle’s SPF 30 Mineral Foundation).
Many skin care companies--be they drug store or high end department store brands--use petroleum-based ingredients as humectants (a substance which retains or preserves moisture) to give their products a creamy texture and to keep skin glowing. But petrochemicals like petroleum jelly and mineral oil only create an illusion of moisture. What they actually do is seal off pores, trapping in bacteria and dirt that might have been there before it was applied. Even worse, petroleum-based products are by-products of the oil industry. They’re ecologically unsustainable, carcinogenic (cancer causing), and just plain nasty.
So what’s an ecochic diva supposed to slather her visage with to keep it soft and smooth? HA, baby! Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum deeply hydrates while helping keep your skin looking healthy and young. No petrochemicals, no animal products--no brainer.
About the Author: Gia Mora
Smart, sexy, sassy GIA MORA is an accomplished actor, a vocal dynamo with a four-octave range, and a writer with an astute sense of humor. She brings her unique blend of brains and beauty to her work on screen and stage, and now as the newest artist signed to Modern Songbook Records.