The Building Blocks of Skin
Building blocks of peptides and proteins
Nourish your skin and boost hydration
Help production of antioxidants
Strengthen the immune system
Maintain the skin’s hydration, resilience and an overall healthy appearance
Protect skin from free-radical damage including UV
Help repair skin’s natural barrier – reduce the signs of aging
What are Amino Acids?
Amino acids are the building blocks of both peptides and proteins. They maintain the skin’s hydration, texture, resilience, and an overall supple, healthy appearance. There are many amino acids, but most scientists agree that there are twenty (20) that are important to our health, divided into two types: essential and non-essential.
- The “non-essential” term doesn’t mean that those amino acids aren’t important; rather, it means that your body can make them on its own, so it’s not “essential” for you to get them elsewhere, such as from food or supplements.
- “Essential” amino acids, on the other hand, are essential because they must be obtained from foods or supplements; a deficiency in even one of them can result in health problems.
Amino acids are naturally present in skin, as part of what’s called our natural moisturising factors (NMFs). Within skin’s uppermost layers, they work as conductors, orchestrating an incredibly complex “concert” that allows our skin to thrive and to stay hydrated. When added to skin care products, they improve hydration while making your skin more resilient to harmful environmental stressors.
Without amino acids, our skin would not be unable to synthesize or boost important structural proteins, including collagen and elastin. And without these, our skin would quickly become thin, dry, and rough and would not be able to heal itself properly.
There are 9 essential acids: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine. They are found mainly in products that contain animal proteins (such as seafood, beef, poultry, dairy products and eggs) but also in vegetables such as quinoa and soy products.
The 11 non-essential acids are: alanine, arginine, asparagine, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamic acid, glutamine, glycine, proline, serine and tyrosine. Some of these non-essential amino acids are only produced when we are sick or stressed.
What are the Best Amino Acids for Skin Care?
All essential and non-essential amino acids play a role in getting beautiful skin, however, there are some that have extra benefits;-
- Lysine – Firms your skin, providing anti-aging benefits.
- Histidine – Provides antioxidant benefits.
- Glycine – Improves the skin’s elasticity.
- Arginine – Helps to repair your skin.
- Leucine – Helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
- Glutamine – Repairs the skin’s barrier function and provides moisture.
Who can use Amino Acids?
Amino acids are a natural, organic compound and therefore present little to no side effects. They act as water-binding agents, and some have antioxidant properties. They work best when they are combined with other ingredients that have skin-restorative ability to work in unison to fight signs of aging. They can be used safely by all skin types, even on those with sensitive skin.
They have a distinct ability to bind to water molecules, allowing them to greatly increase hydration in the skin. They can also help protect the skin’s moisture barrier by helping to balance pH levels. When the skin’s acid/base levels are off, your skin can’t effectively prevent dangerous substances, including bad bacteria, from entering the skin, which can result in acne breakouts and other undesirable blemishes, even skin infections.
If your skin is dehydrated, it will often produce more oil to compensate, resulting in an oily, congested complexion. If your skin is properly hydrated – the less visible lines and wrinkles will be, leaving your skin supple and firm.