Hyaluronic acid is an ingredient commonly used in skincare topical products, but there has been a trend of incorporating it into beauty-from-within supplements in recent years.
An example is Amorepacific’s brand CUBEME, which developed collagen, hyaluronic acid, and vitamins into chewable tablets. In China, Shanghai stock exchange listed Bloomage BioTechnology also made waves last year for becoming one of the frontrunners after the country allowed the use of hyaluronic acid in health foods.
The ingredient is synthesised in all animals and is present in all connective tissues and organs, including the skin, joint fluid, blood vessels, serum, the brain, cartilage, heart valves, and the umbilical cord.
Writing in Nutrients, a group of researchers from Taiwan’s Hung Kuang University and Providence University said the ingredient, trademarked Hyabest by Kewpie, could reduce wrinkles and improve skin moisture.
Forty Asian men and women between 35 and 64 years old completed the trial, in which they were randomised to take a placebo capsule or a capsule containing 120mg of Hyabest daily.
After 12 weeks, skin hydration had improved in the intervention group in terms of their stratum corneum water content and transepidermal water loss.
Findings showed that the intervention group had a significantly higher stratum corneum water content in the face as compared to the placebo group.
Using measurements from the corneometer, skin hydration in the face improved significantly from 49.5 ± 8.53 AU to 54.9 ± 7.06 AU by week 12. In contrast, that of the placebo dropped from 49.1 ± 8.13 AU to 48.8 ± 8.99 AU.
However, measurements taken on the arm and waist did not show significant differences in skin hydration between the intervention and placebo groups.
On the other hand, the intervention group had a significantly lower transdermal water transpiration in the face versus the placebo group.
A higher transdermal water transpiration is associated with rougher and unhealthy skin.
Using measurements from the Tewameter, trans-epidermal water loss from the intervention group decreased from 12.8 ± 2.39 (g/h/m2) 2 to 10.8 ± 2.49 (g/h/m2) 2 while that of the placebo group increased from 12.6 ± 3.23 (g/h/m2) to 13.3 ± 3.09 (g/h/m2).
As for reduction in wrinkles, measurements based on facial photography showed that the percentage change from baseline was significantly improved in the intervention group compared to the placebo group from week eight.
No adverse event was found to be linked to the consumption of hyaluronic acid in this experiment.
The researchers added that findings from this experiment could be generalised, since existing studies showed no difference in the effects of hyaluronic acid consumption across different ethnic groups.
“Ingested hyaluronan is degraded to four to six sugars by the gut microbiota and absorbed into the body to reach the skin.
“Enterobacteriaceae, which produce hyaluronidases, are widespread in the gut of Asians and Caucasians. Since there is a constant number of bacteria with hyaluronan-degrading capacity in the gut microbiota regardless of race, there is also no major racial difference in the absorption of hyaluronan,” the researchers explained.
For future studies, the researchers said that there was a need to study the synergistic anti-aging effect of hyaluronic acid and lifestyles habits.
“Skin condition is associated with various components, including diet, sleep, exercise, aging, hormonal balance, ultraviolet radiation, and seasonal variation. It is desirable to review hyaluronic acid intake and lifestyle habits as a whole for maintaining healthy skin,” they said.
Oral Hyaluronan Relieves Wrinkles and Improves Dry Skin: A 12-Week Double-Blinded, Placebo-Controlled Study
Authors: Ryosuke Matsuoka et al