Amino Acids in skin care...Which have good supporting data?

Amino acids do not seem to get much attention on this site.  Are the chemist that are formulating really top end products using these, or are they primarily relegated to the claim catalog?

I am asking in a very broad scope....any benefits for skin or formulations, ie: NAC as an antioxidant, or Proline as a possible building block?  Are there any good papers that cover the possible benefits of any of the amino acids...essential or non as applied to skincare?  Not that interested in raising pH with Arginine, but concrete steps towards better skin health.

I enjoy reading a good paper...so links are appreciated.

Aloha.

Comments

  • The only amino acids I've seen with any sort of data on barrier repair are:
    • Proline
    • Arginine
    • Glycine
    However, some of these were amino acid derivatives (especially trimethylglycine) and applied in fairly high concentrations, like 2% or more. But these kinds of studies are very scarce.
    There are glycine derivatives (like capryloyl glycine) that is used to enhance preservation.
    Amino acids in cosmetics are mostly claims ingredients. I often see smaller cosmetic brands using the Prodew series. If you scrutinize the Prodew data, betaine and sodium PCA are doing most of the humectant/moisturizing effects, because many of those amino acids in those blends are in trace amounts.
    Slowly but surely, I'm seeing arginine as a pH adjuster in some AHA serums, because now there's the misconception that sodium hydroxide is dangerous for your skin. There's a certain highly misinformed and shady skinfluencer you can thank for that.
    There is some interest in arginine in diabetic foot creams... arginine is a precursor to urea, and that amino acid (topically applied) supposedly increases blood flow in diabetic skin, but there's not much hard data to support that.
    Now, for moisturizing effects... no one is really sure if they're better/superior than other humectants, like glycerin. However, trimethylglycine (betaine) and some other amino acids don't feel as sticky or tacky as glycerin, so I occasionally see them as supplementary humectants to "high humectant" blends. I can also confirm, via basic experiments, that trimethylglycine feels better on the skin than glycerin.
  • Here are some of the studies:
    An article on trimethylglycine. This was done by the manufacturer, so take the results with a grain of salt: https://www.personalcaremagazine.com/story/7496/betaine-trimethyl-glycine-a-review
  • GraillotionGraillotion Member
    edited August 11
    RedCoast said:
    The only amino acids I've seen with any sort of data on barrier repair are:
    • Proline
    • Arginine
    • Glycine
    However, some of these were amino acid derivatives (especially trimethylglycine) and applied in fairly high concentrations, like 2% or more. But these kinds of studies are very scarce.
    There are glycine derivatives (like capryloyl glycine) that is used to enhance preservation.
    Amino acids in cosmetics are mostly claims ingredients. I often see smaller cosmetic brands using the Prodew series. If you scrutinize the Prodew data, betaine and sodium PCA are doing most of the humectant/moisturizing effects, because many of those amino acids in those blends are in trace amounts.
    Slowly but surely, I'm seeing arginine as a pH adjuster in some AHA serums, because now there's the misconception that sodium hydroxide is dangerous for your skin. There's a certain highly misinformed and shady skinfluencer you can thank for that.
    There is some interest in arginine in diabetic foot creams... arginine is a precursor to urea, and that amino acid (topically applied) supposedly increases blood flow in diabetic skin, but there's not much hard data to support that.
    Now, for moisturizing effects... no one is really sure if they're better/superior than other humectants, like glycerin. However, trimethylglycine (betaine) and some other amino acids don't feel as sticky or tacky as glycerin, so I occasionally see them as supplementary humectants to "high humectant" blends. I can also confirm, via basic experiments, that trimethylglycine feels better on the skin than glycerin.
    Thank you.

    I already use betaine in everything (at those higher rates)....so that is what gives my products part of their package.

    I have been looking at PCA...but it likes to interfere with other ingredients I like to use.

  • I have been looking at PCA...but it likes to interfere with other ingredients I like to use.
    When I first started formulating, I used sodium PCA in high concentrations... but I didn't realize that it was an electrolyte, and not all emulsifiers and thickeners tolerate electrolytes. So that led to some interesting failures.
    Montanov 82 is resistant to electrolytes, but you might have a harder time finding other cost-effective ones based on where you live.
  • RedCoast said:

    I have been looking at PCA...but it likes to interfere with other ingredients I like to use.
    When I first started formulating, I used sodium PCA in high concentrations... but I didn't realize that it was an electrolyte, and not all emulsifiers and thickeners tolerate electrolytes. So that led to some interesting failures.
    Montanov 82 is resistant to electrolytes, but you might have a harder time finding other cost-effective ones based on where you live.
    I find it hard to live without Aristoflex AVC.... so that is where my issues lie.  I am going to try and find a suitable sub with some Proline, and Xylitol, and tweaking what I already have.... I think the Swiss will have me increase the betaine as well.
  • Did you ever try Ecogel (from Lucas Meyer) yet?
    Not a quick-break, but it is a gel-cream texture and has a high resistance to electrolytes.
    But geez, it's pricey!
  • PattsiPattsi Member
    NAC is a drug. FDA's issued a warning letter.
    With high % Amino acids you may cross the cosmetics line.
    the safest bet must be betaine.

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