Hyaluronic acid serums: hailed as fountains of youth, but no proof exists
Do facial serums that contain hyaluronic acid work? And are they safe? Maybe they work, but there’s no evidence. And where safety is concerned, what researchers have found so far is that there are no major hazards associated with the use of hyaluronic acid serums — but there aren’t enough safety studies to say this for sure.
Doctors say they’re safe when used the way they’re supposed to be: to treat osteoarthritis and to replace eye fluid during eye operations. Still, they’re generally safe and allergic reactions are rare.
But women should know that doctors advise against the using hyaluronic acid when you’re pregnant and or breastfeeding.
The safety of hyaluronic acid when taken by mouth or applied to the skin during pregnancy is unknown, so doctors advise pregnant women to stay on the safe side and avoid use.
As for nursing mothers — don’t use hyaluronic acid, even by injection for osteoarthritis or other purposes. Researchers don’t know whether it can get into breast milk and what effect that might have on an infant.
Still, these warnings didn’t stop a facial serum based on hyaluronic acid from selling out just 48 hours after its launch last week.
Hyaluron, from beauty firm Swisscode, has been hailed as the ‘super serum’ alternative to minor cosmetic procedures and expensive facials and it sold out in the United Kingdom within 48 hours of its launch.
According to the Daily Mail, it’s predicted to be the biggest beauty launch of 2012, with preorder sales of the £45 (US$71) serum topping 10,000.
It’s supposed to be a hit with celebrities. “Jennifer Aniston and Courtney Cox are believed to be fans,” The Mail reports, “while Emma Thompson and Helen Mirren are said to be using the serum ahead of the Oscars.”
“Hyaluron instantly plumps the skin and leaves an admired dewy complexion — it’s the staple of my kit,” make-up artist Lou Page, who headed the teams at the Oscars last week, was said to reveal to the Mail.
Swisscode says its serum gives its users the benefits of dermal fillers — but without that too-plumped, ‘frozen’ look sometimes caused by Botox.
Hyaluron’s astounding success is put down to the fact that it promises to shave off at least five years of aging from the faces of those who use it — but there’s really no scientific evidence to back up this bold claim.
A spokesman for the brand reveals that the active ingredient is hyaluronic acid and Hyaluron offers the compound “in its purest form.” “Hylauron rebalances the proportion of mediators; these are very important for the regulation of the immune system,” he said.
The serum is supposed to work by penetrating into skin’s deepest layers, forming an invisible film on the surface and by doing so hydrating the skin layers and reducing environmental damage at the same time.