Ingredient Highlight – Polyglutamic acid

Hyaluronic acid is a popular ingredient for a reason. This powerful and well-tolerated humectant is suitable for all skin types. Likewise, it is a widely available ingredient that can be found in skincare products at any price point. But another humectant on the market is generating a lot of buzz – Polyglutamic acid. What is Polyglutamic acid, and how it benefits the skin?

What is Polyglutamic acid?

Polyglutamic acid (PGA) is a peptide derived from the mucilage of fermented soybeans. Likewise, it can also be produced by the fermentation of Bacillus subtilis bacteria. It is a water-soluble humectant.

What are the skincare benefits of Polyglutamic acid?

As it is a humectant, Polyglutamic acid works similarly to Hyaluronic acid. But it can hold up to 5000 times its weight in water (Hyaluronic acid can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water). Because of its humectant properties, it can also help boost the production of natural moisturising factors. Some reports suggest Polyglutamic acid can increase the skin’s elasticity. In turn, this means less fine lines and wrinkles over time.

Another difference between Polyglutamic and Hyaluronic acid is it creates a film on the surface of the skin that prevents moisture from evaporating. That way, the skin is plump and stays hydrated for longer.

Hyaluronic acid naturally occurs in the body, but as we get older, its levels will deplete. Hyaluronidase is an enzyme that breaks down Hyaluronic acid in the deeper levels of the skin. Polyglutamic acid inhibits this process.

Who can use Polyglutamic acid?

As an ingredient, it is suitable for all skin types since we all need moisture. However, if you have sensitive or reactive skin and you never used a product with Polyglutamic acid before, patch test first.

What to look for in skincare products with Polyglutamic acid?

On the ingredients list, look for Polyglutamic acid. As an ingredient, it is nowhere near as prevalent and widely available as Hyaluronic acid. It is commonly found in serums and essences.

Should you replace your Hyaluronic acid serums?

Actually, no. These two ingredients work synergistically, so it’s beneficial to include both in your skincare routine. Hyaluronic acid works in the deeper layers of the skin, while Polyglutamic acid will hydrate the uppermost layer of the skin. Furthermore, because Polyglutamic acid creates a film on the skin, it prevents moisture from evaporating.
If you have dry and dehydrated skin, by all means, you can give Polyglutamic acid a try. Slot it into your routine after your Hyaluronic acid serum. If your skin is oily or combination, you might find Polyglutamic acid on its own provides enough moisture.

Roberta Striga