While there are many fancy ingredients being introduced to skincare products, not all are scientifically supported. Some may even cause serious adverse effects. However, one category of ingredients seems to gain popularity among skincare enthusiasts for their benefits and safety. These are amino acids.
Amino acids are considered effective for skin, especially skin that is dry, flaky, cracked, or with a damaged barrier. Here, we discuss amino acids in skincare, their benefits, how to use them, and their potential side effects. Keep reading.
In This Article
What Are Amino Acids?
Amino acids are the organic compounds that combine to form proteins. They are left behind after proteins break down. The human body uses amino acids to make proteins to perform various functions (1).
Amino acids also play a role in maintaining overall skin health and appearance. These amino acids can be segregated into two major categories:
- Essential Amino Acids
Essential amino acids are those not produced by the body. You can only get their benefits from eating certain foods or supplements. Examples of essential amino acids include leucine, isoleucine, phenylalanine, histidine, threonine, lysine, methionine, tryptophan, and valine. They are found in animal meat (beef, poultry, seafood), animal products (dairy, eggs), and certain high-protein plant foods (nuts, legumes, soy products, and beans) (2).
- Non-Essential Amino Acids
Non-essential amino acids are produced by the body. These include alanine, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamic acid, arginine, asparagine, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamic acid, glutamine, serine, proline, glycine, and tyrosine. Most healthy adult bodies make these amino acids naturally (3).
Amino acids are a natural part of the skin and help keep it hydrated and supple. They also make up collagen, which is a part of various connective tissues, muscles, and tendons. Collagen is also present in the skin (4).
In the next section, we discuss the key benefits of amino acids for the skin.
Key Benefits Of Amino Acids For Skin
The key benefits of amino acids in skincare include promoting cellular repair, increasing skin moisture, stimulating collagen production, etc. We have further elaborated on these benefits below.
- Hydrate The Skin
The skin’s top layers contain amino acids that help keep the skin hydrated. They also help treat skin dryness, acne, and rough texture (5).
- May Protect Skin Against Damage
Amino acids help protect skin by promoting cellular repair, boosting hydration, and offering antioxidant protection (6).
- May Enhance Water Retention
Amino acids, used in conjunction with other ingredients, plump the skin by helping boost moisture. It is believed that amino acids, when used with hyaluronic acid, may help fight the signs of aging (7).
- Help Build Collagen
Studies suggest that amino acids help restore collagen synthesis that otherwise would have been impaired by UV radiation (8).
- HelpSmooth Fine Lines
Amino acids may help make the skin firmer and diminish fine lines and wrinkles (9). Their ability to promote collagen production may also have a role to play here.
- Promote Cellular Repair
Amino acids are easily absorbed from topical creams and help stimulate collagen production. Certain amino acids also reduce inflammation and promote skin repair (10).
These are the major benefits of using skin care products with amino acids. That said, these acids may also cause certain side effects.
Side Effects Of Using Amino Acids
Amino acids usually work well for most skin types and are generally safe. However, do exercise caution while introducing them to your skincare routine. Perform a patch test before using the product. Stop use if you observe any reaction.
The next section will discuss the ways to use amino acids for better, healthy-looking skin.
How To Use Amino Acids For Smoother Skin
The safest and easiest way to reap the benefits of amino acids is through your diet. You may start consuming various dietary sources of amino acids.
Protein also contains all nine essential amino acids. These complete proteins include meat, fish, eggs, poultry, and dairy. Essential protein options for vegans include buckwheat, soybeans, and quinoa.
In addition, amino acids must also be an essential part of your daily skincare regimen. The most common source of amino acids is facial creams, especially those meant for sensitive areas (like the area around the eyes). If you want to introduce facial creams rich in amino acids to your skincare routine, start with a moisturizer or eye cream. Some of the amino acids to look for in skincare include lysine, arginine, histidine, glycine, and leucine (8).
In the following section, we have listed a few skincare products rich in amino acids. Take a look and pick what suits your needs the best.
Best Skin Care Products With Amino Acids
This is a brightening serum suitable for all skin types. It is packed with various radiance-enhancing ingredients. It is super lightweight and absorbs quickly to reduce dullness. It also helps reduce dark spots for even, glowing skin.
This is a very soft and silky gel eye cream that hydrates and nourishes the under-eye area while reducing the appearance of dark circles and fine lines. It contains Alanyl Glutamine amino acid that maximizes moisture retention to reduce wrinkles and fine lines.
Amino acids work with other beneficial skin ingredients like peptides, glycerides, and hyaluronic acid. Each of these amino acids, both essential and non-essential, benefit skin in numerous ways. For instance, arginine repairs visible skin damage, methionine protects skin from harmful substances, histidine soothes skin, and lysine strengthens the skin’s surface. Choose the right product containing the required amino acids. You should see desirable results with regular use.
Frequently Asked Questions
What amino acids are good for reducing signs of aging?
Amino acids contain creatine known for its anti-aging properties. Creatine is primarily found in methionine and arginine. While it is naturally produced in the body, creatine from amino acid supplements may give better results.
Do amino acids make you look younger?
Because of their antioxidant properties, amino acids may make you look younger. However, research is limited in this regard.
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- Protein and Amino Acids
- Biochemistry, Essential Amino Acids
- Amino acids
- Collagen: The Fibrous Proteins of the Matrix
- Effect of amino-acid intake on physical conditions and skin state: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial
- Antioxidative, Anti-Inflammatory, and Anti-Aging Properties of Mycosporine-Like Amino Acids: Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms in the Protection of Skin-Aging
- The role of hyaluronic acid and amino acid against the aging of the human skin: A clinical and histological study
- Importance of amino acid composition to improve skin collagen protein synthesis rates in UV-irradiated mice
- Antioxidative Skin anti-aging strategies
- Nutritional support for wound healing
- Protein and Amino Acids