Hyaluronic acid and collagen are two naturally occurring substances found in the human body. Each compound has a different purpose and benefit, and the main connection between them deals with the skin. Both substances can be used to treat the signs of aging and may help maintain the healthy, youthful appearance of skin.
The main job of hyaluronic acid, also known as hyaluronan, is regulating and repairing cell growth. Hyaluronan is a polysaccharide, which is a type of carbohydrate structure found all over the body. Despite being called a “fountain of youth,” this popular antiaging ingredient does not actually prevent aging. Hyaluronic acid may minimize the older, wrinkly appearance of skin by attracting and holding in water, however. This results in a plumped up look that can temporarily mask wrinkles and fine lines.
Collagen also plays a supporting role in keeping body tissues healthy. This protein occurs throughout the body and acts as a sort of glue by holding cells and tissues together. When teamed with keratin, collagen promotes strong, firm and flexible skin. Collagen production slows with age and diminishes skin flexibility, which can lead to the appearance of lines and wrinkles. Many antiaging products contain materials such as keratin and hyaluronic acid, which may boost collagen and lead to younger-looking skin.
Both hyaluronic acid and collagen play a role in maintaining the appearance of youth. Some antiaging products may amplify collagen and its benefits, and these typically come in the form of a face or body cream. Antiaging creams and lotions do not actually contain collagen because it is too dense to be absorbed directly through the skin. The focus is on increasing collagen levels via other materials in order to fight against the signs of aging and promote tissue repair. Some oral supplements claim to promote the production of hyaluronic acid and collagen, but there are few studies to confirm these claims.
Antiaging treatments proclaiming the benefits of hyaluronic acid and collagen have been found to reduce the signs of aging, such as wrinkles, fine lines and discoloration. It is thought that the hyaluronic acid may induce collagen production and help achieve more normal skin function. In most cases, treatment with products containing these substances must be ongoing in order to see the best results.
Although the skin-care market offers creams and lotions containing hyaluronic acid, this substance is also sold as an injection under various brand names. When injected directly into the skin, hyaluronic acid products fill in creases and fine lines. These injections can temporarily reduce the appearance of wrinkles for up to six months, but the treatment is temporary. Hyaluronic acid is also injected into lips to achieve the same plumping appearance.