Hyaluronic acid is one of the most popular ingredients in skincare products, but it turns out the benefits extend well beyond your face. Many women experience vaginal dryness and painful sex as they go through menopause, but traditionally estrogen creams are the main treatment option. Hyaluronic acid is a clinically studied, effective, naturally occurring ingredient used to manage vaginal dryness and the associated symptoms like burning, irritation, and painful sex. Hyaluronic acid offers relief without having to use hormone therapy – making it an alternative for women.
“Hyaluronic acid is naturally produced in the body. This is a key molecule involved in maintaining the skin’s moisture. Hyaluronic acid has the unique capacity to bind to and retain water, however, with age, comes natural depletion,” says Bonafide Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Alyssa Dweck. « A steep decline begins after the age of 40 – this is due to decreased production of the hyaluronic acid by our cells, » says Dr. Dweck. Keep reading for everything you need to know about hyaluronic acid, including the ingredient benefits and how it works to relieve vaginal dryness.
What Is Hyaluronic Acid and How Is It Made?
Hyaluronic acid is found naturally throughout the body, including in the skin and joints. It has the natural ability to bind and retain water, which is why it’s so great for hydrating the skin. The word « acid » might make you think that it’s a harsh ingredient, but it’s actually very hydrating.
In order to create Revaree ® , a hormone-free, steroid-free and paraben-free vaginal insert that contains hyaluronic acid, Bonafide uses a unique, proprietary process to create this key ingredient without any animal-based ingredients or by-products.
« Traditionally, hyaluronic acid was sourced from rooster combs, the red part of the top of the rooster head, which is kind of odd, but it’s super high in hyaluronic acid, » says Bonafide Chief Science Officer, Jim Komorowski. « More recently, over years, technology has found a way to have it synthesized from bacteria. And so, you can microbially generate and mass produce hyaluronic acid, » says Komorowski.
According to Komorowski, hyaluronic acid can be somewhat difficult to absorb into the skin. However, Bonafide uses a special type of hyaluronic acid called sodium hyaluronate, that is more easily absorbed into the dermal layer of skin but does not get absorbed into the bloodstream.
Using Hyaluronic Acid for Vaginal Dryness Relief
The hormonal changes associated with menopause can cause a lot of things to change – including sex and vaginal comfort. Reduced estrogen levels can cause vaginal dryness and discomfort with sex, which is why a topical moisturizer can help reduce dryness and pain. “Vaginal dryness naturally occurs with diminished estrogen levels. Less estrogen, which happens during menopause leads to less blood flow to the vaginal tissue. Less blood flow means less natural lubrication and potential for uncomfortable symptoms including dryness and painful intercourse, » says Dr. Dweck.
Many women have traditionally used estrogen prescription products to help remedy vaginal dryness, but some women, like those with a history of some types of cancer, may not be able to or want to use hormonal therapies. “First, hyaluronic acid has been shown in multiple studies to be quite effective in treating dryness and painful sex and is safe for topical use in the vagina. 1 In fact, studies 2 have suggested equal efficacy of hyaluronic acid to vaginal estrogen without any hormone exposure, » says Dr. Dweck. « Many women cannot or will not take hormone therapy. For example, those with hormonally sensitive cancers, such as breast or uterine cancers, will typically avoid estrogen exposure.”