The best skincare ingredients are SO underrated.
Take amino acids, for example. The building blocks of all proteins, they make up 75% of the human body. They’re essentials to almost all of its functions, including the synthesis of collagen. There is no way skin can function without them. And yet, everyone ignores them.
Amino acids are vital to skin's health. They help hydrate, repair, and renew.Click To Tweet
What happens when skin doesn’t have enough amino acids?
You can always tell when skin lacks amino acids. It ain’t a pretty picture:
- Amino acids are involved in the production of collagen and elastin, which keep skin elastic and firm. When amino acids become scarce, skin gets thinner.
- Amino acids hydrate skin. The fewer are in the skin, the rougher it becomes.
- Amino acids help skin heal faster. Without them, the healing process proceeds at a snail’s pace.
How do I spot an amino acid in the ingredient list?
Ok, so now we know why we have to add them to our skincare routine. But, how do we spot them?
If you paid attention in your science classes, you know that there are around 20 different amino acids. 8 of these are called essentials because we can only get them through food. These are:
Other amino acids can be synthetize by the body. They are:
- Aspartic acid
- Glutamic acid
What are the most common amino acids used in skincare?
Ok, those are a lot of amino acids. We can’t possibly remember them all, can we? We don’t have to.
Of course, the more amino acids you use, the happier your skin will be, but, there are some that work better than others. These don’t just hydrate skin, but can also speed up the healing process, make wrinkles look smaller, and even soothe irritations.
Here are the main ones you should look out for:
- May help wounds and skin cell damage heal faster.
- Restores collagen synthesis after UV exposure (when used with proline).
- Helps repair damaged tissue.
- Speeds up the healing process.
- Antioxidant, fights the free radicals that cause wrinkles.
- Anti-inflammatory properties that soothe skin.
- Helps improve the appearance of wrinkles (when used together with glycine and proline).
- Hydrates skin.
- Plays an important role in the formation of collagen.
- Reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines (when used with glycine and leucine).
- Restores collagen synthesis after UV exposure (when used with glutamine).
Helps other ingredients (especially proteins) penetrate the skin.
What are the best products with amino acids?
So, now that we know we need amino acids, where can we get our fix from? Here are my fave products with amino acids:
AminoGenesis Perfect Reflection Anti-Aging Serum ($69.00)
As you’ve guessed from the name, pretty much all the brand’s products are loaded with all kinds of amino acids. This serum is my favorite. It also contains vitamins A and E, which can boost collagen production and reduce both wrinkles and dark spots. Available at Amazon.
Mukti Age Defence Night Serum (£54.69)
Talking about underrated ingredients, niacinamide is another one. This multi-tasker hydrates, brightens, soothes, reduces the appearance of wrinkles and busts acne. Here, it’s used with a blend of amino acids (of course!), retinol to fight wrinkles, and a bunch of natural extracts to moisturize skin. Available at Mukti Organics.
Sciote Vitamin C Eye Treatment ($65.00)
This hydrating serum contains 13 amino acids, plus 5% vitamin C to brighten up the eye area and a sprinkle of other antioxidants to keep wrinkles at bay. Available at Truth In Aging.
The Bottom Line
Amino acids aren’t optional. Your skin needs them to look and feel its best. So, make sure to add them to your skincaere routine (if you haven’t already, that is!).
Are amino acids part of your skincare routine?