Hyaluronic acid is a basic element in connective skin tissue. It is also found in bodily fluids like spinal fluid and the eye’s aqueous humor. Hyaluronic acid has a hydrophilic quality–it has the ability to draw and hold water. It helps to nourish and moisturize the skin. Unfortunately, hyaluronic acid in the skin, like collagen, diminishes as we age.
The success of hyaluronic acid depends on its natural source and on its ability to attract water. Because it is natural, it integrates smoothly into the skin with a minimum of side effects. Most people experience only minor swelling. It is also harmlessly absorbed into the body over time. However, it gives long-lasting results because as some of the hyaluronic acid is absorbed, the remaining amount retains its volume by binding water. This allows hyaluronic acid to give long-lasting results that remain nearly constant for the entire period.
Since Restylane® was approved as the first hyaluronic-acid based filler in 2003, the market has exploded both among users and developers of cosmetic fillers. Now hyaluronic acid filler injections are the second most popular cosmetic treatment in the United States, after BOTOX® Cosmetic or Dysport® injections.