Polyglutamic acid (PGA) is the new skin care ingredient making waves in the beauty industry. This ultra-hydrating polypeptide is dubbed as the new but improved âhyaluronic acidâ and is all set to replace this reigning skin hydrator. But is it really better than hyaluronic acid? What is the real deal about polyglutamic acid? If you have dry skin and the hullaballoo over PGA has piqued your interest, scroll through this article to learn the truth and understand how it may transform your skin.
In This Article
What Is Polyglutamic Acid?
Polyglutamic acid is a naturally occurring polymer produced from soybeans fermented with Bacillus subtilis (1). It is formed when glutamic acid (a type of amino acid) molecules are linked together. Polyglutamic acid is the main ingredient in nattÅ, traditional Japanese food prepared from fermented soybeans. It is water-soluble, non-toxic, and biodegradable and is often used as a thickener, biological glue, and humectant (1).
Polyglutamic acid hydrates the skin and maintains its elasticity (2). You may wonder if PGA functions in the same manner as hyaluronic acid, what is the point of using it? Unlike hyaluronic acid, PGA does not occur naturally in your skin. However, it works better than hyaluronic acid. Here are the benefits it offers.
Benefits of Using Polyglutamic Acid
1. Provides Hydration
Research suggests that PGA has moisturizing effects and can maintain skin elasticity better than hyaluronic acid (HA) and collagen. Its water retention capacity is 10 times more than hyaluronic acid, and 0.2% of PGA holds the same amount of water as 5% glycerol (2). This means if you have dry and parched skin, PGA can easily quench its thirst better than HA.
2. Keeps The Skin Youthful
Well-hydrated skin stays plump and youthful. Polyglutamic acid maintains skin elasticity, which helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and keeps your skin youthful, soft, and supple. Products with PGA may have anti-aging effects on the skin (3).
3. Has Wound Healing Properties
Animal studies reveal that PGA can heal wounds by improving collagen production and blood vessel regeneration. It also increases the levels of transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-Î²) and beta-catenin proteins to speed up healing (4).
4. May Heal Skin Infections
Although polyglutamic acid has multiple benefits and seems better than hyaluronic acid, both should not be compared. Letâs understand why.
Polyglutamic Acid Vs. Hyaluronic Acid
PGA is indeed an excellent hydrating ingredient. It can absorb moisture up to 5000 times its weight, while hyaluronic acid holds 1000 times its weight in water. However, the water retention capacity of PGA may change as per the acidity and pH of the product (gel, cream, or lotion).
Hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in your skin layers to keep it moisturized. Polyglutamic acid helps prevent hyaluronidase (an enzyme that degrades hyaluronic acid). In other words, applying PGA to your skin can prevent the breakdown of hyaluronic acid, keeping your skin hydrated for longer. It also creates a seal to prevent moisture loss.
While hyaluronic acid works within the skin layers to improve its hydration levels, polyglutamic acid stays on the skin surface to lock in moisture. Together, these ingredients can provide your skin with the ultimate punch of hydration.
Polyglutamic acid is not going to replace hyaluronic acid. Using both together can give the best effects. Now, letâs understand how you may use it.
How To Use Polyglutamic Acid And Who Can Use It?
Polyglutamic acid is best for dry and dehydrated skin. However, all skin types can use this ingredient for hydration. Polyglutamic acid is used as an ingredient in lotions, creams, gels, and serums. You may combine it with other ingredients like vitamin E, hyaluronic acid, ceramides, vitamin C, niacinamide, and peptides to keep your skin plump, bright, and visibly smoother.
Does Polyglutamic Acid Have Any Side Effects?
Polyglutamic acid is suitable for all skin types and does not have any side effects.Â However, before buying a product with PGA, check the ingredient list to ensure you are not allergic to any other ingredient in the formulation.
If you have sensitive skin and are new to this ingredient, do a patch test to avoid allergic reactions. In the next section, we have listed a few products containing polyglutamic acid.
Best Polyglutamic Acid-based Products
The serum has a lightweight, silky-smooth texture and helps refine fine lines and spots. It also doubles as a makeup base.
This product by Charlotte Tilbury combines polyglutamic acid with other ingredients to keep your skin supercharged, bright, and hydrated.
Polyglutamic acid is an ultra-hydrating ingredient that works on the skin surface and minimizes hyaluronic acid degradation in your skin to keep it hydrated. You can use polyglutamic acid along with hyaluronic acid to keep your skin nourished, plump, soft, and youthful.
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- Poly-Î³-Glutamic Acid (PGA)-Producing Bacillus Species Isolated from Kinema, Indian Fermented Soybean Food
- In Vitro Evaluation of New Functional Properties of Poly-Î³-Glutamic Acid Produced by Bacillus subtilis D7
- Poly-Î³-glutamic Acid Synthesis, Gene Regulation, Phylogenetic Relationships, and Role in Fermentation
- Promotion Effects of Ultra-High Molecular Weight Poly-Î³-Glutamic Acid on Wound Healing