Navigating your way through the many active ingredients present in the modern beauty world is a difficult task with a high risk of running aground. There are a mind-numbing number of trends to choose from – Vitamins, exotic kinds of butter, biodynamic crops, wild extracts and minerals to name but a few. But, did you know that amino acids also have several noteworthy skin benefits? In case you don’t, we’ve prepared a guide with everything you need to know about these versatile molecules and their important role in our skin health.
A brief introduction
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and peptides, a vital part of the human body and its biological workings, including that of the skin. There are around 100,000 varieties of proteins made up of just 20 amino acids. It’s safe to say that amino acids make up the largest part of our body after water.
Are they all beneficial?
They are two basic groups of amino acids: ‘essential’ and ‘non-essential’. Of the 20 different types that exist, there are 9 that our body cannot synthesize itself and, therefore, we need to absorb them through our diet or from other sources. Hence being classed as “essential”. These are:
Isoleucine: Helps in the healing of wounds, skin and bones.
Leucine: Helps keep skin’s youthful appearance and prevents signs of ageing.
Histidine: A precursor of histamine and has anti-inflammatory properties.
Methionine: Works as an antioxidant for hair, skin and nails.
Lysine: Helps increase the natural production of collagen, as well as increasing skin hydration.
Tryptophan: Plays an important role in the synthesis of melanin and serotonin.
Phenylalanine: As a basic component in the formation of melanin, it helps to improve skin discolouration.
Threonine: Necessary for the formation of collagen.
Valine: Absorbed through physical activity and acts as a source of energy for muscles.
Non-essential amino acids, however, are those that the body can produce on its own, such as: Aspartic acid, glutamic acid, alanine, arginine, asparagine, cysteine, glutamine, glycine, proline, serine, and tyrosine.
Gentle cleansing power
The use of amino acids as surfactants has garnered a lot of attention in recent years, although they are not very common due to their high cost. Sodium Cocoyl Alaninate is known as one of the mildest cleansing agents. Derived from the amino acid L-Alanine, one of the key amino acids in the NMF (Natural Moisturising Factor), it cleanses the skin without over-drying, making it a great choice for even the most delicate skin. This skin cleansing hero can be found in Antioxidant Burst Shower Gel, our botanical alternative to traditional body washes.
Peptides: There’s strength in unity
Peptides are strings of amino acids. There are hundreds of variations, each one made up of different combinations and each one with a unique skin benefit. Due to their great versatility and effectiveness as active ingredients, many modern skincare brands combine various peptides in their formulas. The innovative blend of peptides found in Rapid Eye Treatment targets dark circles by activating micro-circulation and strengthens the capillaries to reduce puffiness. The most important action provided by this wonder product, however, is protecting our delicate eye area’s collagen and elastin matrix.
Strengthen your collagen from the ground up
Collagen is synonymous with healthy skin and thanks to the latest advances in biotechnology, there is now a vegan collagen molecule identical to that of human type I, capable of strengthening both the dermis and epidermis. These powerhouse plant-based amino acids work in synergy with probiotics, micro-algae and tetrapeptides in one of our best-selling formulas, Plant Perfection Gel Serum, to reduce fine lines and increase the skin’s natural collagen production.
Thanks to their multifaceted nature, amino acids provide numerous skin benefits regardless of age or skin type. Meaning, it’s never too late to include them in your beauty routine. The results will not disappoint.