What is hyaluronic acid?
Hyaluronic acid may sound like something that’s brewed in laboratory with the sole purpose of melting plastic but actually, hyaluronic acid refers to a type of polysaccharide, sometimes known as hyaluronan. Essentially, a polysaccharide consists of a number of sugar molecules which have bonded together into a long-chain carbohydrate.
So, rather than being an artificial concoction, hyaluronic acid is something that is naturally found within your body. Around 50% of it is found specifically in your skin, with the rest being spread throughout your connective and neural tissues. It’s estimated that the human body contains around 15g of hyaluronic acid in total and of this sum, 5g is turned over every day.1
The reason why hyaluronic acid is now so popular is that it can act as a humectant, which means that it is able to retain moisture. In fact, it’s thought that 1g of hyaluronic acid is capable of holding as much as 1L of water! When it comes to skincare, this factor is what lends hyaluronic acid its credibility as it can help dry skin to retain collagen and increase its production of moisture.
Hyaluronic also helps to protect your muscles and joints as it is found in the synovial fluid that helps to cushion your bones and absorb any shock.
What are the benefits of hyaluronic acid for your eyes?
Your eyes rely on optimal levels of fluids in order to function properly – your eyes need fluids to produce tears, to absorb shocks, to transport nutrients and to protect the delicate tissues. When your eyes lack fluids they can become dry, sensitive and easily irritable, and sometimes your vision can become affected.
As I mentioned earlier, hyaluronic acid is excellent at retaining moisture and the structure in the central part of your eye known as the vitreous humour is primarily composed of this substance. It helps to keep your eyes lubricated and replenishes any moisture that is lost – in fact one study even found that hyaluronic acid can help to reduce oxidative stress in corneas affected by UV radiation!2
This is why, when your eyes are dry and aching, hyaluronic acid can come in useful and sometimes drops are recommended, particularly in older eyes as your production of hyaluronic acid diminishes as you age.
When dry eyes occur, normally we’d call upon our Eye Drops, which contains extracts of Euphrasia, eyebright, in addition to hyaluronic acid. However, in some cases we feel that a little more nourishment is needed, which is why we’re happy to present our new Extra Moisturising Eye Drops.
Containing twice as much hyaluronic acid as our traditional formula, our Extra Moisturising Eye Drops are ideal for extremely dry eyes that have been exposed to intense heat or inflammation. Extremely soothing and gentle, like our regular eye drops, our Extra Moisturising Drops still have extracts of Euphrasia which helps to reduce inflammation, while the hyaluronic acid hydrates the connective tissues, keeping your eyes moisturised and enhancing the flow of nutrients!