Polyglutamic Acid: The Potent Peptide For Glowing, Dewy Skin
There is, however, a new molecule on the market that is changing things. Technically it is not a humectant, but a peptide and it is called polyglutamic acid (PGA). It actually holds 5,000 its own weight in water*! Four times that of hyaluronic acid! Polyglutamic acid is a naturally derived ingredient that is formed by the bacterial fermentation of soybeans, called Nattō in Japanese. Like many things that are good for the skin, bacterial fermentation could be great for the skin's microbiome. The ingredient is a natural polymer that was originally used in wound healing. PGA is water soluble, anionic, non-toxic, biodegradable and edible. This molecule is, however, very large and does sit on top of the skin, actually plumping it. Thus it increases luminosity and makes the skin glow. It kind of acts like a natural highlighter on the skin, making it great for skin that is dry and dehydrated (*"These claims have been done in vitro evaluation, and while valuable, are laboratory studies where you are simply mixing the hydrogel into a beaker and unlikely it will behave on the skin in that capacity.", says cosmetic chemist Kelly Dobos "The formulation of a product matters. pH and presence of electrolytes can impact performance.").
Just like HA, polyglutamic acid is also a moisturizing wunderkid. It retains moisture from water and has excellent water-binding properties that allow it to have long-lasting moisture retention capacity. Originally it was used in the medical arena for wound healing and burns. Apparently many skincare advancements start with wound care, because you have to keep burns and wounds moist and hydrated. PGA has anti-aging properties. It improves the elasticity of the skin and can reduce wrinkles, by plumping the skin. PGA is a peptide, and its game changing quality it that it helps to inhibit hyaluronidase, an enzyme which breaks down the skin's naturally occurring hyaluronic acid that we have in our skin. This product can be used with HA, not just instead of hyaluronic acid. Because they both enhance the skin and give a beautiful luminosity, they work in tandem with each other, when one of them alone would only provide half the benefits.
The Inkey List has come out with their version of Polyglutamic Acid. It retails for $14.99 and comes in a 1 fl.oz/30mL bottle. The formula contains 3% high molecular weight PGA and is specifically designed to to enhance skin moisturization on the surface. This helps reduce the look of fine lines, as well as brighten the look of skin. The lightweight silky texture of the serum creates a perfect makeup canvas. 2% invisaskin maintains moisture levels in the skin. Use this serum in the am and pm as the last step before your makeup or right before a moisturizer if you prefer. For long lasting make-up, mix a pea-sized amount in foundation for smooth application.
JJ Labs Skin Solutions also sells a version of polyglutamic acid mixed with tranexamic acid, licorice, niacinamide and hyaluronic acid for $19.50 per 1.2 oz. or $29.50 per 2.3 fl.oz., available through Amazon. This version will not only moisturize but brighten the skin too. Niacinamide and Tranexamic acid are potent skin brighteners that are great for stubborn hyperpigmentation.
So, if you have dry, mature or dehydrated skin and are looking for an inexpensive way to make it glow, try polyglutamic acid. It will give your skin a luminosity and a glow to it that cannot be achieved by hyaluronic acid alone. In fact, you can use it alone or with hyaluronic acid to really pump up the hydration in your skin. Because PGA is a peptide and not a humectant, it acts in conjunction with HA. This potent peptide is a whole new new way to inject some moisture into your skin. All without breaking the bank!
Until Next Time~