There are plenty of benefits that come with getting older – we’re becoming smarter, more experienced, better equipped to deal with the things life throws our way. We get to have kids and watch them grow and have kids of their own. A lot of good things come with aging.

Then again, there are a lot of bad things that come with aging too, and most of them are health related. Our bodies deteriorate over time, try as we might to slow the process down. When we look in the mirror, we can’t notice the changes that come with age on the inside, but we can see the change on our skin.

Luckily, there are a lot of skin care products that might not be able to turn the clock back, but could help our skin look, feel, and actually be healthy in spite of the aging process. Among the components that are used to make these products, one of the most present – and most advertised – is hyaluronic acid. And if you've ever wondered what hyaluronic acid is and whether you should be having it on your skin, you’re in the right place.

Hyaluronic acid is a polysaccharide commonly found in the human body. Actually, it’s also found in other living beings, as well. In the human body, it’s usually found in joints, nerves, skin and the eyes – anywhere where you can find connective, neural or epithelial tissue. Its role in the human body is to provide cushioning and lubrication where needed. It also plays a part in skin tissue repair, especially when the tissue damage in question is caused by sunburn.

Medically, hyaluronic acid is used to treat pain related to osteoarthritis – injecting preparations containing hyaluronic acid into the knee is one of the way it’s used to treat osteoarthritis in this part of the body, although with questionable success. Medical lotions containing hyaluronic acid can be used to manage symptoms of eczema, and hyaluronic acid is also used to promote healing after eye surgeries.

As for the cosmetic uses, hyaluronic acid is used in two ways – as injectable filler, and as a component in lotions and creams. When injected, it is usually used to fill out the especially wrinkly areas of the skin, and it’s quite effective in doing so. The downside is that our bodies degrade hyaluronic acid pretty fast, so people who want to inject it need to do it often – and that can get quite expensive.

The other cosmetic use of hyaluronic acid, in creams and lotions, has less dramatic effects, but is also less invasive and expensive, and it works regardless of the skin type. When these lotions and creams are applied to the skin, they improve hydration and elasticity, and they work as antioxidants as well. That’s why hyaluronic acid can be found in everything from moisturizers to sunscreens – it can only do you good.