Identified biochemically as a glycosaminoglycan (GAG), Hyaluronic Acid was isolated about sixty years ago from vitreous humor. Its name is derived from the Greek word for glass (hyalos) which accurately describes its transparent, glassy appearance.
The surface layers of the skin are supported from below by columns of fibers made up mostly of collagen and elastin. This network of fibers form the molecular sponge known as connective tissue. The spaces within this sponge are filled with a composition of water, protein complexes and hyaluronic acid. This jelly-like complex is necessary for transportation of essential nutrients from the bloodstream, via the capillary network, to the living cells of the skin.
Hyaluronic Acid is a natural substance found in great abundance in young skin, synovial fluid and other tissues in humans and animals. Over time, oxy radicals, produced mostly through exposure to pollutants and sunlight, degrade and destroy Hyaluronic Acid. Fifty year olds are estimated to have less than half the Hyaluronic Acid they had in youth. Hyaluronic Acid is often used in conjunction with Vitamin C products because of its ability to help the Vitamin C to penetrate effectively.