As avid skin care enthusiasts, you can definitely relate to us when we say we are now interested in the science of skin care.
As you’re building your skin care routine, you’ve probably come across a few scientific concepts, and one of these are amino acids.
Specifically, what we care about is how amino acids work, particularly for our skin care routine.
You’re in luck because you’re about to have a CRASH COURSE on amino acids for skin!
8 Benefits of Amino Acids
Amino acids are natural components of our skin and considered as building blocks in maintaining our well being.
Top layers of our skin contain amino acids, and their natural moisturizing factors help with this.
It’s the job of these acids to maintain hydration on the skin. Amino acids do this by pushing moisture deep into our dry skin.
Of course, we all know how important it is to keep our skin WELL-HYDRATED. Apart from dryness, we can also get acne, rough skin, fine lines, and wrinkles, which are obvious evidences of visible skin damage.
This is why the typical moisturizer contains them, as they effectively hydrate the skin for a better, healthy appearance. This is especially important for those with very dry skin types.
2. Increases Water Retention
Closely related to hydration, amino acids not only push water into the skin, but also help RETAIN MOISTURE already within it.
Amino acids work with other skin care ingredients like hyaluronic acid in order to do this.
Hyaluronic acid is a substance often used as a serum or taken in as supplements to help your skin feel more supple. With these, you can boost this effect further due to the retention increase.
3. Skin Protection
We all have heard of antioxidants, the ALL-POWERFUL fountain of youth that delays or even reverses AGING. They do this by protecting the skin from harmful oxidizers that damage it.
Many amino acids work to prevent skin damage by making it produce its own antioxidants.
However, some also work as antioxidants themselves. This is the case in aspartate, another form of aspartic acid. A study has shown that taking in aspartate can relieve oxidative stress.
4. Reduces Inflammation
The effects of hydration, fluid retention, and protection also results another additional effect. It REDUCES inflammation.
By keeping the skin hydrated, you promote healing of damaged tissue and are able to soothe skin. With skin protection, you reduce the chance of infection so you prevent inflammation again.
5. Builds Collagen
Along with antioxidants, collagen is crucial to having firm, baby-like skin that prevents dryness and aging.
Amino acids promote collagen regeneration, which is why certain cultures have taken a liking to collagen-rich foods like BONE BROTH or even CHICKEN FEET.
6. Makes Other Products Work Harder
Other ingredients in skincare work better in conjunction with amino acids.
As mentioned before, hyaluronic acid works better at retaining water with amino acids.
This is because they can combine to form protein fragments called peptides. Peptides known to INCREASE firmness of skin as well as REDUCE wrinkles when used as active skincare ingredients.
7. Promotes Cellular Repair
Peptides can be absorbed from skincare products applied topically such as an eye cream to promote cellular repair.
Aside from this, other benefits of peptides include slow down aging, and even give antioxidant properties that boost skin repair.
8. Reduces Wrinkles
Amino acids also reduce fine lines and wrinkles. If you’re concerned with you aging looks and wrinkles, look for skincare products rich in amino acids.
You can also try using retinol and retinoids.
Amino Acids in Skin Care Products
Before we dive into the vital role amino acids play for the health of our bodies, let’s look at the best amino acids in skin care products to help build your skincare routine.
Arginine and Glycine
Arginine and Glycine (not to be confused with Glycerin in face products) help with speeding up the recovery process of wounds.
When used together with proline, glutamine enables collagen formation even after being exposed to UV.
This is also not to be confused with Glutamic Acid.
Histidine can soothe skin and provides antioxidant protection, which helps in preventing wrinkles.
When used in conjunction with glycine and proline, leucine REDUCES fine lines and wrinkle formation
Tyrosine hydrates the skin and helps promote collagen production for the skin.
What is an Amino Acid?
Amino acids are building blocks of protein. They are essentially what proteins are made up of.
They are involved in all sorts of biological processes, from helping promote cellular regeneration to collagen synthesis.
In particular, collagen synthesis is a key component that gives skin firmness and elasticity. This is why amino acids are not just important for nutrition, but also for skin care.
9 Essential Amino Acids
Essential amino acids are amino acids the body CAN’T produce.
So how do we get these amino acids if our bodies can’t make them? We get these amino acids from NUTRITION, from eating food.
Here are the nine essential amino acids:
GREAT sources of these amino acids from food are:
Non-vegan sources of amino acids are still the BEST as they provide you with the most nutrition per weight.
Studies even show the amino acids provided by animal products and are better utilized by your body than other sources like peanuts or soy.
Eggs are PACKED with a lot of proteins, and has ALL of the essential amino acids. This is why you notice a lot of body builders consuming tons of these like there’s no tomorrow.
Your average turkey contains a lot of tryptophan, an amino acid that our body uses to make niacin. Niacin is a form of Vitamin B3, which is necessary for digestion and healthy skin.
Amino acids, tryptophan specifically, also helps produce serotonin, an important hormone, which stabilizes your mood and allows you to have feelings of RELAXATION and BLISS.
Just 100 grams of cottage cheese gives you around one-fourth of your daily protein needs and contains significant amounts of several amino acids like tryptophan and threonine.
Most fish have amino acids and other important micronutrients.
In particular, Salmon is high in amino acids and Omega 3s, which are important fatty acids that support the heart.
If you’re vegan, don’t worry! There still are many PLANT-BASED food sources for amino acids.
Quinoa is LOADED with a truckload of nutrients. Aside from being a good source of fiber, it has all the amino acids your body needs.
Also, it has more lysine than rice or wheat, making it a better source than other grains.
These have a total of 17 amino acids, and that includes all of the ESSENTIAL ones. A study showed adding mushrooms to a cereal diet will help with issues of lysine deficiency.
Beans and Legumes
Beans and legumes are RICH in amino acids.
Among all kinds of beans, great northern beans have the most proteins per half cup, at 9.7 grams. Lentils come in next at 9 grams per half cup.
11 Non-Essential Amino Acids
Aside from the nine amino acids we’ve already discussed, we also have ELEVEN non-essential amino acids.
Before anything else, just a disclaimer. Just because these are called non-essential amino acids, doesn’t mean they actually aren’t needed by the human body.
In fact, our bodies even MAKE THEM. And that’s why they’re called non-essential amino acids.
Here are the eleven non-essential amino acids:
- Aspartic acid
- Glutamic acid
As building blocks of proteins, amino acids work and have a ton of BENEFITS.
They are truly versatile skin care ingredients, which are used in all types of skincare items. From cosmetics, to topical creams, and even as a moisturizer, in the world of skincare, amino acids reign SUPREME.
They are beneficial to all kinds of skin types, from those with dry skin, to those with sensitive and aging skin types.
If you’re looking to build your skincare routine, amino acids are the way to go. They function in many different aspects of your skin health, so you get more BANG for your buck with the best products!
September 9, 2021 – Updated article links and content
September 3, 2021 – Improved article formatting, reviewed and updated overall content
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