POSTED: 9 Jun 2023

Move Over Hyaluronic Acid, Is Polyglutamic Acid the new Skincare Icon?

As the beauty industry continues to evolve, new skincare products are constantly being introduced. One such ingredient that’s been making waves recently is Polyglutamic Acid (PGA). PGA is a naturally occurring polymer that more better at attracting and retaining moisture than hyaluronic acid. It can also bind to and remove heavy metals from the skin. Given all the hype, we’ve done a deep dive into PGA to find out what it is, how it works, what benefits it offers and how to use it properly.

What is Polyglutamic Acid?

Polyglutamic acid is a type of peptide made up of the amino acid glutamic acid. It is derived from fermented soybeans and is a potent hydrating ingredient. PGA is a water-soluble, non-irritating, and non-sensitizing substance. It is also a powerful humectant, meaning that it attracts and retains moisture. Even more incredible, PGA happens to be a chelator. This means that it can bind to and remove heavy metals from the skin which are associated with acne breakouts, skin ageing, hyperpigmentation and inflammation.

These properties make it a promising skincare ingredient particularly for treating dry, ageing and sensitive skin. Yet despite the fact that PGA has been used for years in the medical field, it’s only recently made its way into the skincare world.

Benefits of PGA Skincare

The primary benefit of PGA is its exceptional hydrating ability. PGA can hold up to 5000 times its weight in water, making it a superior humectant so it can retain moisture. It forms a thin, smooth film on the skin’s surface that prevents water loss, keeping the skin plump, hydrated, and supple. In addition to its hydrating properties, PGA can also help improve skin elasticity, chelate heavy metals, reduce the signs of ageing and give rise to brighter and smoother skin. The main benefits of using PGAs for skin health include:

  • Improved hydration: PGA can help to improve skin hydration by attracting and retaining moisture. This can lead to softer, smoother, and more radiant skin.
  • Reduced wrinkles and fine lines: it can help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines by plumping up the skin and smoothing out the surface.
  • Improved skin elasticity: PGA can help to improve skin elasticity by increasing collagen production. This can lead to firmer, more youthful-looking skin.
  • Reduced inflammation: PGA has anti-inflammatory properties that can help to reduce inflammation in the skin. This can lead to clearer, healthier-looking skin.
  • Protection from sun damage: PGA can help to protect the skin from sun damage by absorbing UV rays. This can help to prevent premature aging, wrinkles, and skin cancer.
  • Treat hyperpigmentation: heavy metals can cause the skin to overproduce melanin leading to dark spots and discolouration. PGA chelates these metals to help brighten the skin.

Polyglutamic Acid vs Hyaluronic Acid

Although Polyglutamic acid is often compared to Hyaluronic acid (HA), another well-loved hydrating ingredient in skincare. There are some key differences. Whilst both PGA and HA are excellent hydrators, PGA has been found to retain moisture even better than HA. this is because it forms a larger, more flexible film on the skin’s surface, which locks in moisture more effectively. Furthermore, unlike hyaluronic acid, PGA helps increase the skin’s natural production of HA. This amplifies the hydrating effects and also improves elasticity and plumpness of the skin. Moreover, PGA is also a powerful chelating agent which means it can rescue skin from heavy metal associated damage, inflammation and ageing.

Suitable Skin Types for Polyglutamic Acid

One of the great things about PGA is that its suitable for all skin types. Its lightweight, non-sticky texture is easily absorbed, making it ideal for oily and acne-prone skin. At the same time, its potent hydrating properties make it a great choice for dry and mature skin. Its also gentle and non-irritating which is great news for those with sensitive skin. Although PGA is widely considered safe and effective, it can cause allergic reactions in some people. If you have any concerns or a history of allergies, it is always best to talk to your doctor before using. As with any new skincare ingredient, it’s always a good idea to patch test before applying it all over your face to check. if you experience any irritation or signs of allergy, discontinue use and seek medical help.

How to Use Polyglutamic Acid Skincare

PGA can be found in various skincare products, including serums, creams, and masks. PGA can be used both morning and night, and it’s safe to use with other active ingredients like retinoids, exfoliating acids and Vitamin C. In fact, it can help enhance the absorption of other products, making your skincare routine even more effective.

For best results, use it as a serum and apply PGA after cleansing but before your moisturiser. Make sure your skin is a little wet when you apply it as this allows the PGA to draw the water into the skin. After that, lock-in in this hydration with a moisturiser. You can use PGA in the mornings, evenings or both. If however, you’re using a retinoid like Retinol or Tretinoin at night then use the it in the mornings instead. If you’re using an exfoliating acid, Vitamin C or other toner or serum, apply the PGA after these products and before the moisturiser.

Polyglutamic Acid is a powerful hydrating and skin reparative ingredient that can be a great addition to your skincare routine, regardless of your skin type. It offers a significant boost in skin moisture, elasticity, and overall health. PGA also works very well with other skincare ingredients and enhances their effects when used as part fo a regular skincare routine.

Remember that skincare is personal and what works for one person may not work for another. If you’re unsure about introducing a new ingredient like Polyglutamic acid into your routine, consulting with a skincare professional can provide valuable guidance. If you would like to learn more about personalised skincare then book a virtual consultation with one of our doctors. Contact us today to schedule your consultation and take your first step towards better skin.



Authored by:

Dr Amel Ibrahim
Aesthetic Doctor & Medical Director
Founder City Skin Clinic
Member of the Royal College of Surgeons of England
Associate Member of British Association of Body Sculpting GMC Registered - 7049611

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