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Hyaluronic acid (HA) is one kind of polysaccharides composed of repeat disaccharide units of N-acetylglucosamine and glucuronic acid Commercial HA is commonly its sodium salt form. Sodium hyaluronate is the key water maintaining substances in human skin. Bad living environment and aging can cause the decrease of HA content in skin, and as a result the water maintaining ability of the skin is weakened and the akin looks dry and rough .One of the main causes of skin senility is also the decrease of polysaccharides, such as HA. The special structure characteristic of HA makes it has high moisturizing and water content reguating function and its solution has high viscoelasticity and lubricity. When HA solution is applied on the surface of skin, it can form an air permeable layer and keep the skin moist and smooth. Small molecular weight HA can penetrate into dermis layer, fully combine with water, promote skin blood microcirculation and nutrient absorption and maintain normal metabolism, and as a result it plays a role of wrinkle removing, look improving and health protecting.

Topical grade HA can be used in many kinds of cosmetics, such as cream, milk, water shampoo, lotion, etc. HA is one of the best natural moisturzing components used in cosmetics.

Hyaluronic Acid with MSM is not just for arthritis patients, either. Many are taking the supplements as a preventative measure. Hyaluronic Acid lubricates not just the joints, but the whole body - the eyes, the organs, tissues, and skin. It is often referred to as "nature's moisturizer" and is found in many cosmetic creams. Hyaluronic acid is known to reduce wrinkles. We advise taking Vitamin C separately. HA works more effectively alone.Taking Hyaluronic Acid with MSM and keeping an active lifestyle should help prevent from arthritis symptoms.

About Hyaluronic Acid:

Hyaluronic acid (HA, hyaluronan) is a special protein that exists naturally in all living organisms. In the human body, it is found in greatest concentrations in the synovial fluid of articular joints for lubrication, the vitreous humor (fluid) of the eye, and most abundantly in the skin. As we age, the body produces less Hyaluronic Acid. The joints become stiff and the movement painful, the skin becomes dry and wrinkly.

Hyaluronic acid exists naturally in all living organisms and is a universal component of the spaces between the cells of body tissues (extracellular space). It is a mucopolysacharide that has an identical chemical structure whether it is found in simple bacteria or in human beings.

HA is a double molecule, glucosamine combined with glucuronic acid. Glucosamine is only one-half of the HA molecule, which is why glucosamine yields results much slower and much less dramatic than HA. Chondroitin raises the production of HA in the body, and thus for those on large doses, there may be some of the same anti-ageing benefits.



Hyaluronic Acid in the Skin:

In the skin, the extracellular matrix is composed of hyaluronic acid and other sulfated GAGs, combined with collagen and elastin.  Large amounts of water are held in the ECM.  When elastin is not bathed in water, it becomes dry and brittle, thus the look of dry, brittle, wrinkled skin.1

Half-life is defined as the time required for one half of the total amount of a particular substance to be consumed, broken down, or depleted.  The half-life of hyaluronic acid in the cartilage is 2-3 weeks.  But the half-life of hyaluronic acid in the skin is less than 1 day!  Hyaluronic acid is present in both the dermis and the epidermis.  50% of the body’s naturally produced hyaluronic acid that is found in the epidermis is metabolized and excreted in less than 24 hours.  Like hyaluronic acid produced in the body, hyleronic acid taken as a nutritional supplement moisturizes from the dermis to the epidermis - from deeper layers of the skin to the outer layer.

The extracellular matrix fills up the space between the skin cells.  This makes the skin soft, smooth and elastic.  But as we age, hyaluronic content in the skin changes due to two separate clinically proven factors.

1.          There is a decrease in synthesis of hyaluronic acid.

2.          Recompartmentalization – from the epidermis to the dermis.

Both changes leave the epidermis depleted in hyaluronic acid resulting in thinning, aging, and decreased moisture in the skin.

Hyaluronic acid injection can be used to improve the skin's contour and reduce depressions in the skin due to acne, scars, injury or lines.  Immediately or within a few hours after injection the site may be red and swollen. This usually disappears within a week.  Another one or two treatments (at least a week apart) may be necessary to achieve the desired correction.  Hyaluronic acid implantation is not permanent. Like natural hyaluronic acid, manufactured hyaluronic acid once injected into the skin will gradually break down and be absorbed by the body. In most cases, the hyaluronic acid augmentation usually lasts between 6-9 months. Compared to collagen implants hyaluronic acid appears to have a longer augmentation effect, possibly lasting 2 to 3 times longer than the average collagen implant. To maintain the initial results, repeat hyluronic acid injections or top-up treatments will be necessary. Most people following this protocol have 2 to 3 treatments per year.

Hyaluronic Acid is present in all living organisms. In your skin it creates volume, resulting in a healthy and vital appearance.

Identified biochemically as a glycosaminoglycan (GAG), hyaluronic acid was isolated about sixty years ago. Its name is derived from the Greek word for glass (hyalos) which accurately describes its transparent, glassy appearance.

The surface layers of the skin are supported from below by columns of fibers made up mostly of collagen and elastin. This network of fibers form the molecular sponge known as connective tissue. The spaces within this sponge are filled with a composition of water, protein complexes and hyaluronic acid. This jelly-like complex is necessary for transportation of essential nutrients from the bloodstream, via the capillary network, to the living cells of the skin.

A Significant Innovation With Many Clinical Applications:

The dermal tissue contains collagen fibre bundles which support the tissue and hyaluronic acid molecules that bind water and create volume. Biodegradable. implants are usually composed of one of these two components. Both can be extracted from animal tissues. Collagen fibres are often  extracted from bovine skin and hyaluronic acid from rooster combs. The hyaluronic acid in Restylane, however, is derived  from a very defined non-animal source.

The interstitial volume is composed of water bound by hyaluronic acid. Restylane is fully biodegradable and the metabolism turns it into water and carbon dioxide. The metabolism of Restylane has two phases. The first phase consists of slow, local degradation with a half life of about a year. The second phase consists of quick degradation in the blood with a half life of just a few minutes. This means that the product has an extremely low systemic impact. The normal daily metabolism of hyaluronic acid in man corresponds to 3 g, that is 200 Restylane 0.7 cc syringes.

Hyaluronic acid plays a vital role in connective tissues such as the skin. Approximately 56% of the hyaluronic acid concentration in the body is found here. The elastic properties of hyaluronic acid offer resistance to compression, so that the skin protects underlying structures from damage. At the same time, the non-Newtonian properties of hyaluronic acid allow the collagen fibres to move easily through the interstitial substance. This lubrication by hyaluronic acid allows the skin to accommodate the changes in shape and volume that occur when the underlying bones and joints move.

The hyaluronic acid gel in the skin also inhibits the movement of foreign particles, such as bacteria. This makes an important contribution to the skin's defensive function as a barrier to infection. The barrier also affects the free passage of other exogenous material, such as some drugs. This is the reason why some subcutaneous injections and drugs in creams or ointments include a small amount of the enzyme hyaluronidase. The enzyme degrades the hyaluronic acid gel around it, so that the drug is able to pass more freely through the tissues of the skin.

When we get older, the amount of hyaluronic acid in the skin diminishes, as the skin cells lose their ability to produce hyaluronic acid. In addition, the molecular weight of the hyaluronic acid decreases with age, so that it does not hold water as well as before. This can be demonstrated by squeezing the skin between the fingers. In young people, the skin rapidly restores itself to its original volume. However, as we get older, the ability of the skin to restore itself is reduced. The reduction in volume then leads to wrinkles.

Structure of Hyaluronic Acid:

Hyaluronic acid is a glycosaminoglycan (GAG). GAGs are giant molecules (macromolecules) made up of repeating disaccharide units.

Although glycosaminoglycans are complex molecules in their own right, individual GAGs can be used as building blocks in the formation of larger, even more complex proteoglycan molecules. A proteoglycan comprises a core protein with attached GAG side chains, and almost any combination of protein and polysaccharide is possible. However, many of the important biological proteoglycans use hyaluronic acid as their backbone.

Molecular size:

The molecular length of hyaluronic acid varies between different tissues and species. It may also vary depending on the condition of the tissue. For example, the molecular size of hyaluronic acid in synovial fluid is often lower than normal in joint diseases.

A hyaluronic acid molecule of 10,000 disaccharide units could extend to 10 Mym if stretched out straight, a length approximately equal to the diameter of a human red blood cell. This may not seem very large, but in comparison with most chemical substances, it is a very large molecule indeed.

Metabolism:

Hyaluronic acid is produced inside the cell membrane. The metabolism of hyaluronic acid is very dynamic and synthesis is usually balanced by catabolism. The catabolism or turnover of hyaluronic acid is very fast compared to other biological molecules (e.g. its half-life is less than one day in the skin).

Structure In The Solution:

The hyaluronic acid molecule is hydrophilic and attracts water molecules. This means that hyaluronic acid is readily soluble in water. In solution, the very long and thin hyaluronic acid chain molecules kink and bend and adopt the shape of an expanded random coil. These hyaluronic acid coils are so large that, even at a low concentration of about 0.1% (1 mg/ml), the hyaluronic acid molecules fill up the whole solution. At higher concentrations, the hyaluronic acid coils intertwine and entangle, forming a flexible molecular network of entangled molecules. This entangled network of hyaluronic acid molecules is able to hold large amounts of water, while permitting the passage of metabolites to and from the cells.

Water-binding Ability:

Proteoglycans containing hyaluronic acid are found in most of the body's connective tissues (e.g. cartilage and the dermis of the skin), one of their most important functions being to bind water and thereby maintain a high level of hydration in the tissues. This ability to bind water is provided by the hyaluronic acid component of the proteoglycans, which can bind many times their own weight in water.

The water-binding ability of hyaluronic acid stems from the unusual three-dimensional structure of the hyaluronic acid molecule, which (as previously described) occupies a very large volume in proportion to its molecular weight. The presence of numerous small particles in the spaces within the hyaluronic acid molecule draws water into the molecule. As the spaces fill with water molecules, the hyaluronic acid molecule is forced to expand and becomes fairly resistant to compression. The longer the hyaluronic acid chain, the more water it can hold.

Because the gel contains such large amounts of water, hyaluronic acid can act as a medium through which diffusion can occur. In a connective tissue without a blood supply of its own, such as articular cartilage, hyaluronic acid is essential for the transport of nutrients, gases and metabolites to and from the living cartilage cells.

Viscoelastic Properties:


The ability of hyaluronic acid to bind water also gives it viscoelastic properties. This means that it is compressible and will return to its former shape once the compressing force is removed, yet it can be poured like a liquid.



Structurally the scalp is identical to the skin tissue located throughout the body except it also contains about 100,000 hair follicles that give rise to hair. Actually the hair and the hair follicle are a derivative of skin tissue.  There are two distinctive skin layers, one, the epidermis (outer layer)  which gives rise to the protective shield of the body and the other, the dermal layer (deep layer) which makes up the bulk of the skin and is where the hair follicle is located. This dermal layer is composed of connective tissue and the connective tissue, with its gelatinous fluid like characteristics provides support, nourishes and hydrates the deep layers of the scalp.  The result is healthy lustrous hair and a moisturized scalp. Again, all of this is made possible because of the presence of HA in the scalp tissue and its ability to form this fluid and hold water.



Lips:

The lips are a core of skeletal muscle covered by skin tissue.   The dermal layer of the lips is composed primarily of connective tissue and its components hyaluronic acid and collagen that give the structure (shape) and plumpness to the lips.  The hyaluronic acid binds to water creating a gelatinous fluid that hydrates the surrounding tissue and keeps the collagen (responsible for keeping the skin tight) nourished and healthy.  The result is healthy well hydrated and plump lips that are well protected from the environment.

Although Hyaluronic Acid (HA) can be found naturally in most every cell in the body, it is found in the greatest concentrations in the skin tissue. Almost 50% of the bodies HA is found here. It is found in both the deep underlying dermal areas as well as the visible epidermal top layers. Young skin is smooth and elastic and contains large amounts of HA that helps keep the skin stay young and healthy. The HA provides continuous moisture to the skin by binding up to 1000 times its weight in water. With age, the ability of the skin to produce HA decreases leaving the skin unhealthy and wrinkled.

The skin is the largest organ in the body comprising about 15% of the body weight. Roughly 50% of the Hyaluronic Acid in our body is found in the skin. Hyaluronic Acid and Collagen are vital to maintaining the skin’s layers and structure. It is the collagen that gives the skin its firmness but it is the HA that nourishes and hydrates the collagen.  Imagine the collagen as the stretchy fibers that restore the skin back to shape when stretched. Collagen is like a rubber band but stretch that rubber band a million times, like what we do with our skin and without any moisture. Eventually that rubber band gets overstretched (saggy) and dried out and will most likely break. This is much the same way the collagen in our skin reacts leaving our skin dry and wrinkled. Now imagine that same rubber band stretched a million times while under water the whole time. Chances of that rubber band drying out and breaking are minimal. Consider the Hyaluronic Acid as the water that keeps the collagen moist and elastic. Collagen is continuously surrounded and nourished by the gelatinous HA substance. Young skin is smooth and highly elastic because it contains high concentrations of Hyaluronic Acid, which helps skin stay healthy. As we grow older, the body loses its ability to maintain this same concentration in the skin.  With decreasing levels of HA in the skin, so goes the ability of the skin to hold water. The result, the skin becomes drier and loses its ability to restore itself. Hyaluronic acid acts as a space filler by binding to water and thus keeping the skin wrinkle-free.

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