Beauty bi­ble

Lisa Arm­strong on an acid ally

The Daily Telegraph - Telegraph Magazine - - CONTENTS - Lisa Arm­strong

HYALURONIC ACID IS the dar­ling of the beauty in­dus­try. Rightly so. A gel­like mol­e­cule that holds more wa­ter than a camel (rel­a­tive to its size), it hy­drates hair, plumps skin (thereby smooth­ing wrin­kles), pro­motes elas­tic­ity and cush­ions nerves and joints – some have it in­jected to treat arthri­tis. It’s even thought to im­prove gum and eye health by boost­ing lev­els of fluid in the sur­round­ing tis­sues.

One of the many ir­ri­tat­ing things about be­ing young is that we pro­duce oo­dles of the stuff with­out a thought. It’s only when pro­duc­tion slows (by the age of 40 it’s prob­a­bly dropped by half ) that we re­alise how good we had it. Too late. Now it’s scan-the-in­gre­di­entson-every-last-bot­tle-of-gunk time. Or find 5,000 ways to spice up tofu.

An ABC TV doc­u­men­tary on the agede­fy­ing ap­pear­ance of some vil­lagers in Ja­pan, which went the equiv­a­lent of vi­ral in 2000, traced their re­mark­able well-be­ing and un­lined skin to a soya, oe­stro­gen-rich diet that sent sig­nals to the brain to pro­duce more hyaluronic acid. Not ev­ery­one wants to eat un­re­stricted soya, how­ever – hence the spurt in hyaluronic acid supplement­s and top­i­cal prepa­ra­tions.

The problem is that not all HA in­gre­di­ents are cre­ated equal. ‘Of­ten when in­gre­di­ents on the side of a bot­tle re­fer to hyaluronic acid, what they re­ally mean i s s o dium hyaluronat­e,’ says Shabir Daya, chemist in res­i­dence at vic­to­ri­a­health.com. ‘That is a smaller mol­e­cule that pen­e­trates deeper down and helps to hy­drate skin. But it’s of lit­tle value in the re­pair process car­ried out by pure hyaluronic acid.’

When you do find a good po­tion, the im­pact i s star tling and im­me­di­ate. I road-tested Alexandra Soveral’s Su­per Hero Re­ju­ve­nat­ing & Plump­ing Po­tion re c e ntly a nd c oul dn’ t be l i e ve the re­sults. Even my lips looked fuller. Place a gauze in­fused with the tin­ture (which con­tains an­tiox­i­dants, vi­ta­mins and nat­u­rally oc­cur­ring HA) on your face for 20 min­utes – and marvel. At £95 for a 15ml bot­tle and three gauzes, it seems pricey, but you could make your own gauzes once you’ve run out. Or ap­ply with your fin­gers. It’s a won­der­ful tool to help you feel your most youth­ful.

Nio d’s s e cond- gen­er­a­tion Mul­tiMolec­u­lar Hyaluronic Acid con­tains 15 forms of hyaluronic com­pounds. It’s de­signed for daily use – un­der a mois­turiser. The chronol­ogy is im­por­tant: used wrongly, and HA could draw mois­ture out of the skin. Ap­ply­ing mois­turiser on top will seal it and pre­vent that.

For in­ter­nal health, a daily sup­ple­ment is a good ap­proach. Food Sci­ence of Ver­mont ’s Hyaluronic Acid High Streng h pro­vides 225mg per cap­sule – more than enough. It’s hard to overdo it ap­par­ently, though preg­nant women should con­sult their doc­tors first.

A mol­e­cule that holds more wa­ter than a camel, it hy­drates hair, plumps skin, smoothes wrin­kles

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