Hyaluronic Acid (HA), a naturally occurring molecule (glycosaminiglycan), is found in high concentrations in the skin, eyes, joints and between individual cells. A natural humectant, HA molecules can hold up to 400 times their own weight in water. This ability to bind and retain moisture allows HA to help regulate water balance, provide structural support to tissues and act as a lubricant.
HA plus the connective tissue molecules collagen and elastin - known as ground substance - are the structural components of the epidermis and the dermis. These connective tissue molecules form a sponge-like matrix, the spaces of which are filled with HA and water. This HA-water complex ensures sufficient hydration so that normal skin function and cell turnover can occur.
Hyaluronan, which is the basis of all Visible Youth™ products, is a naturally occurring sugar polymer of central biological importance. Hyaluronic acid is present in every tissue of the body. It has many functions, including stimulating the tissue's water retention capabilities. 3% of the human body, by dry weight, is composed of HA. For example, hyaluronic acid is found in the eye and keeps them round and it is found in joints as part of the synovial fluid and acts as a lubricant and shock absorber. However, 56% of the HA in our bodies is found in the skin, where it helps retain moisture and structure. Together with collagen and elastin, HA forms the cement that holds cells together.
Studies have shown (Stern, RJ, 2006, Hyaluronan: Key to Skin Moisture, 246-277, In: Dry Skin and Moisturizers, Loden, M and HI Maibach Eds.) that fragmentation of the HA polymer generates size-specific pieces, or oligomers, with widely differing biological activities. However, it is difficult to synethsize HA free of contaminating glycoprotein, lipids and other tissue material in the laboratory setting. In spite of these drawbacks, many cosmetic and cosmeceutical manufacturers continue to incorporate "cosmetic grade" HA into their products and claim their beneficial effects for their products. This grade of HA can be impure and ill-defined as to molecular size and biological activities and can therefore be less effective.
Dr. Samuel Asculai, our Chief Executive Officer and President, has, in the course of his career, worked to define the size and purity of the HA molecule that would result in maximum hydration, dermal delivery, systematic targeting and safety. His work has resulted in over 30 patents defining the discovery of what the company believes is a HA oligomer of extremely high purity that provides the hydrating, delivery and targeting characteristics not found in"cosmetic grade" HA. The Visible Youth™ line is the product of Dr. Asculai's work.
The Visible Youth™ skin care line currently has six products, all of which use medical grade HA and are hypoallergenic, non-irritating, fragrance free, non-comodegenic and oil free:
Visible Youth Revitalizing Cleanser™ Visible Youth Revitalizing Lotion™; Visible Youth Revitalizing Moisturizer™; Visible Youth Eye Zone Gel™; Visible Youth Healing Complex™; Visible Youth Healing Complex + 3% lidocaine™ (only available at this time for physician purchase in the USA).