But you're probably more accustomed to putting it on your face... than in it, yes? As an ingredient, the beautifying benefits of hyaluronic acid (HA) are well-documented (it can hold up to 1000 times its own weight in water, people), making it ideal for anyone looking for hydrated, glowy, plumped up skin *frantically raises hands*.
HA works in a similar way to collagen in that it occurs naturally in the skin, but we make less and less of it as we get older, leading to fine lines, then the odd wrinkle, then mid-life crisis-inducing volume loss. Enter Emervel: the latest in hyaluronic acid dermal fillers brought to you by Galderma Australia (the same company that gave the world Actinica sunscreen, so they've earnt our respect). Offering immediate, noticeable yet natural results, HA fillers are safe, long-lasting (generally up to 18 months) and boost volume and definition to the cheeks, lips and corners of the mouth.
We asked leading Australian cosmetic physician Dr Van Park to talk us through the new fillers (plus how to stop those pesky lines forming in the first place). Start taking notes now.
Where do hyaluronic acid fillers work most effectively?
HA fillers mimic your natural skin structure and are designed with subtle different properties to match different facial areas and issues with ageing such as:
- Nasolabial folds (smile or laugh lines): provides volume and lifting effect.
- Lips: enhances fullness, adds definition to the border and lip contour.
- Cheekbones: enhances lost volume in the cheeks by restoring and adding support to your skin's structure and can also enhance bone structure and create definition.
- Marionette lines (corners of the mouth): replaces lost volume, provides projection, shape or definition.
What age group would you suggest HA fillers for?
Everyone's skin is unique and we all age differently depending on our genetics, facial structure, diet and sun exposure. So over time we experience a gradual loss of facial volume and HA decreases - generally this starts in our early 20s. However, most women do not need HA fillers until at least mid-30s when volume loss becomes more evident.
If and when we need to address subtle contour and volume changes due to ageing, I like using Emervel which allows us to provide women with a more tailor-made approach. It also contains the Optimal Balance Technology which means there is much less swelling during and after treatment. This means there is much less downtime and women can virtually have their treatment done and go out straight afterwards.
Is hyaluronic acid still beneficial when applied topically?
Whether it's injected into the skin or applied topically, HA is an important part of a skincare regime. Its water-binding properties work to stabilise and strengthen the skin's natural protective barrier and increase hydration, improve elasticity and minimise the appearance of wrinkles. HA is also great to use for pimples, blackheads, pores and skin impurities. HA can be found in good serums. I generally see my patients twice a year and I encourage them to apply HA daily.
Fillers aside, what are the best ways to slow the ageing process?
For women in their 20s and 30s, it really is about prevention. On a daily basis, cleanse morning and night (never ever go to sleep without taking your make-up off!). In the evening, apply eye cream, followed by a Vitamin B serum and as you get older, add a Vitamin A serum or Retinol. After cleansing in the morning, apply a Vitamin C which neutralises free radicals and helps prevent premature signs of aging. The combination of vitamin A and C is a must for tackling wrinkles, enlarged pores, dehydrated skin, even out skin tone, brightening dull texture and pigmentation. Always, and I mean always, apply a SPF 50+ sunscreen. I quite like Actinica Sunscreen SPF 50+ as I can still apply my make-up without the heavy thickness of usual sunscreens.
Want to know more about topical HA and which products contain it? Read our story here.