What is Hyaluronic Acid and How Can I Get More?


By now, you’ve probably read at least one rave review about hyaluronic acid in your favorite blog or magazine. Hyaluronic acid has been making waves in recent years for its incredible anti-aging properties. If you’re not familiar with what it does, don’t let the term “acid” fool you – it’s not an exfoliant or skin peel, as you might initially assume. Instead, hyaluronic acid is a superpowered moisturizer that can bind up to 1,000 times its weight in water.

The Basics of Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid works like a sponge to soak in and retain hydration from the environment. Best of all, it’s a substance your skin will willingly accept since your body already produces it naturally to keep your skin hydrated and elastic. That’s why hyaluronic acid benefits all ages, skin tones, and types.

As you age, you produce less and less hyaluronic acid, leading to troublesome signs of aging such as fine lines and lost facial volume. If you want to get more hyaluronic acid, you may be excited to learn that many popular anti-aging products include it as a key ingredient. You can apply these creams and serums topically to maintain a youthful complexion—though the results of these treatments are short-term. If you’re looking to achieve more long-lasting results with hyaluronic acid, cosmetic fillers are your best bet.

What Are Dermal Fillers?

Injectable skin fillers made with hyaluronic acid have become a go-to treatment among patients and doctors alike. They are available in different formulations that allow a skilled dermatologist to erase fine lines and plump up cheeks and lips. Injecting hyaluronic acid not only improves skin’s moisture barrier, but it also stimulates more collagen and elastin production.

Hyaluronic acid-based fillers have experienced a meteoric rise in fame, with everyone from celebs to schoolteachers embracing the treatments. Fillers are especially popular, because they are quick, relatively painless, minimally invasive, and provide instantly visible results with little to no downtime and no risk of allergic reaction.

Here are our favorite hyaluronic acid skin fillers:

  • Juvéderm – A non-animal-based, biocompatible option, the Juvéderm family of products is available in three different formulas, which are optimized for the depth of the area being treated. Juvéderm is effective at filling in fine lines around the mouth and eyes as well as adding contour to lips and cheeks. Juvéderm Voluma XC is specifically designed for filling in volume in the cheek area.
  • Restylane – Restylane products are designed to address more severe facial wrinkles and volume loss, and are suitable for deeper injection into facial tissue. The Restylane line is specially formulated not just for filling in wrinkles, but also for plumping up lips, cheeks, and the backs of hands that may have developed a bony appearance due to the aging process.

Though the effects of hyaluronic acid fillers are not permanent, they are long-lasting, and easy to maintain with periodic touch-up treatments.

Side Effects of Skin Fillers

One thing many patients appreciate about dermal fillers is how easily they fit into a busy lifestyle. The injections take place during a brief, easy in-office procedure. Immediately after your treatment, you may apply makeup, return to work, and resume your normal daily schedule.

The most common side effects of hyaluronic acid fillers are temporary and include swelling, bruising, redness, discomfort, and itching. These effects should resolve themselves a week or two after treatment.

Learn More About Cosmetic Injectables

If you’re ready to take the next step in discovering whether hyaluronic acid-based fillers are a good choice to meet your aesthetic goals, contact our San Francisco practice today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Matarasso. As an experienced cosmetic dermatologist, Dr. Matarasso can evaluate your needs and develop a customized plan for erasing your wrinkles and improving the quality of your skin with hyaluronic acid.