They say there's no such thing as a magic pill. But when the pill in question is hyaluronic acid, is there an exception? I'd been hearing a lot of buzz about ingestible hyaluronic acid (which our bodies produce naturally, but the production of which declines as we age, like everything good in life), so when a box landed on my desk, it was a no-brainer to put it to the test. If hyaluronic acid in my daily moisturizer makes my skin buttery soft, wouldn't it do wonders if taken as an ingestible? I was about to find out for myself.
What Is Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring carbohydrate found in the human body. It acts as a cushioning and lubrication agent for our joints, nerves, hair, skin, and eyes.
There’s a few reasons why hyaluronic acid is a top pick when it comes to skincare ingredients. For starters, it’s a naturally occurring carbohydrate throughout the body. According to Dr. Dendy Engelman, a New York-based board-certified and nationally-acclaimed dermatologic surgeon, it's found in all bones, connective tissues, cartilage and hair follicles. “Hyaluronic acid is an effective moisturizer because it can hold 1000 times its weight in water, meaning it does wonders in hydration.” And this is exactly why experts are obsessed with this powerful hydrator.
You can apply hyaluronic acid topically (which is the most popular method), but it’s also used for filler injections and can be taken as a supplement (more on that below).
Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid
- Helps retain moisture
- Creates a protector barrier for the skin
- Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
- Absorbs quickly into the skin
The benefits of hyaluronic acid are bountiful, but the main reason we're hooked is because it delivers moisture aplenty. We're not just talking about quick and gone-before-you-know-it moisture, hyaluronic acid actually helps bring additional moisture into the skin and locks it in which practically makes it a must in every skincare routine. "When you apply hyaluronic acid to the skin it creates a barrier that locks in moisture and improves texture," says Engelman. She refers to it as a magnet for moisture, making sure the skin stores hydration which results in soft, plump and even skin. But when taken topically, this hydrating ingredient can effect more than just your complexion. Engelman tells us by taking hyaluronic acid in supplement form, it benefits many areas like the skin, joints and follicles. And since this magical molecule naturally decreases in our bodies as we age, I figured adding this supplement to my morning vitamin routine might trick my body into being 17 again (I mean, you never know). Now you understand why this seemingly magic pill intrigued me to say the least.
What to Expect
The hyaluronic acid pills I tested were from Biocyte, a French brand that is extremely difficult to find online, but there are alternative options out there. I have chronic acid reflux (lucky me), so I was wondering if taking a pill with acid in the title would have any gastric effects, but it was surprisingly easy to stomach. I experienced absolutely zero physical side effects, which is all you can hope for when taking a new supplement. The box said to take one pill (200mg) every morning with breakfast and a large glass of water. I wondered why it had to be taken in the morning, and with food and water, but I followed the instructions and had no issues.
The Final Takeaway
The box also says that you are supposed to take the pills every day for three months, so I didn't expect to get the plumpest skin of my life after just seven days. When the week was over, I can't say that I had noticed a "lifted" look or any fine lines that looked less prominent, but something very telling did happen. When the test week began, I had been experiencing one of the worst outbreaks of my perioral dermatitis, a chronic skin condition I've had for several years marked by horrible, cystic scabs and red, inflamed skin. By the time the week had ended, my flare-up was completely gone—all without any other change to my diet and or my usual skincare routine. In short, nothing else in my life had changed except the pills, and a serious flare-up had completely gone away. For me, that was enough to demonstrate the product's benefits, and I definitely plan to keep taking it daily.
Next, see how this hydrating powerhouse, hyaluronic acid, can give you the skin you've always dreamed of.