Medically reviewed by Minimalist Health Specialist - Written by Viddhi Patel (Journalist) on 30th Jan 2021
Amino Acids For Plump and Healthy Skin
Amino acids and everything about it might seem a little too scientific, full of jargon, and something that may make you yawn halfway through. Honestly, we can all agree that science is not something that gets everyone excited, but you will want to know all about it when personal beauty is concerned.
Your science books may have initiated you to amino acids and why they are essential for the body. But what we are interested in is what amino acids can do for your skin. Many brands and companies have made claims about these acids: these claims sometimes seem too good to be true.
Your enthusiasm for skincare ingredients and all the new entries in the field may have made checking the ingredients list of skincare products a second nature. So, next time you check the list, make sure you spot on some amino acids too. Here's why:
By now, your curiosity for skincare may have let you know the importance of peptides in the skin, and we all know the importance of proteins, well, amino acids are the building blocks of both these skin health essentials. Your body and skin's innate functions rely a lot on amino acids.
Don't let the science bit get to you! Know this: amino acids act as building blocks to produce protein in your skin. And the absence of these compounds will lead to thinning and drying of your skin since your skin will be rendered helpless and unable to produce structural proteins like collagen and elastin.
Many skincare brands have now jumped on the bandwagon of incorporating amino acids in their products since amino acids have an irreplaceable role in maintaining and supporting skin's health and youthfulness.
Let's get to the basics of how exactly amino acids help our skin.
Your skin's hydration, texture, resilience, suppleness, and even how healthy it is appears to depend on amino acids. Without them, your skin won't even be able to heal itself properly.
Your body naturally produces certain amino acids. Your skin's different needs can be fulfilled by topical treatment since they have proven effective in providing anti-aging effects by boosting naturally produced collagen and elastin in the body. The addition also makes your skin resilient to free radicals and other environmental aggressors while giving the skin the hydration it deserves.
Amino acids are to the skin what butter is to brownies; a proper balance of these acids is all you need for a healthy glow. It will not be an overstatement to say that our body and our skin will be dysfunctional without amino acids to save the day.
What are amino acids?
Not all skincare products are deserving of your attention; many of them, without fail, boast as much as they possibly can. But some ingredients prove to be real treasures, and among these darlings are amino acids.
They are the primary building blocks of proteins and play an indispensable role in the human body's biological processes. How they combine decides what protein they will form and also the functions they will perform.
The 20 amino acids are further bifurcated into two categories.
Nine of the 20 amino acids are considered essential since your body cannot make them on its own, and you have to provide them to your body through diet.
11 of the 20 are considered non-essential since your body makes them on its own.
Regardless of their names, both are essential to your body's health and survival.
Not to bore you with the chemistry, but amino acids contribute to cellular metabolism and are potential chemical messengers. And since our body's survival is partially dependent on it, amino acids continue to remain intrinsic to our skin's health.
Studies show that amino acids and their derivatives prove to be effective in diminishing the signs of aging. This makes amino acids a desirable option to be added in topical anti-aging formulations.
Moreover, the other benefits of amino acids are too attractive to ignore; they maintain and improve skin elasticity. Amino acids prove to be very good at improving your skin health and beautiful skin.
What amino acids can do for your skin?
Well, we now know that amino acids are kind of a life and death deal, but how do they work on the skin and within it?
While naturally present in the skin as natural moisturizing factors (NMFs), amino acids work as hydration. Furthermore, amino acids also work as antioxidants, healing accelerators, and many other vital functions that make your skin beautiful and youthful.
Amino acids do not go by just one benefit that sets it apart. These acids have many benefits that will make you add them to your shopping list. Hydrate, plump, protect, heal, and do much more for your skin with amino acids.
Your body requires an abundance of these amino acids, like your skin, for instance, combines individual amino acids and synthesizes proteins and structures that form the skin's matrix. But the levels of amino acids in your skin can easily get affected due to sun, pollution, aging, etc. Your skin cannot handle the depletion, and everything starts falling apart, leading to what you know as wrinkles, dryness, and signs of aging.
Did you know?
The smallest organic materials are amino acids, and structure allows them to penetrate the skin's surface.
The penetration is followed by nourishment so that everything functions as it ideally should.
Why does your skin need amino acids?
Collagen, fibrinogen, and elastin are crucial to your skin's health. These are the compounds that make your skin smooth, robust, firm, and young. Amino acids are intrinsic to these structural and connective proteins; the absence of amino acids will deplete collagen and elastin, which means thin, saggy, and dull skin. The collagen levels suffer severely during the depletion of amino acids, resulting in wrinkled skin.
But there have been developments in the beauty industry, and research shows that topical amino acids also strengthen skin's natural defense. This helps reduce the visible aging damage caused by environmental stressors. Topical or internal amino acids help boost the immune system against free radicals, retain and maintain hydration, reduce aging signs, resilience, and a healthy glow.
The different avatars of amino acids and their role in your beauty
Your upper layers of skin are made up of NMFs, a combination of ceramides, fatty acids, and yes, amino acids. And these NMFs work towards keeping your skin smooth and hydrated. Amino acids also work in tandem with the body's water transport system, i.e., aquaporins, which move moisture throughout the skin.
In simpler terms, amino acids have this quality of binding well with water barriers. And this pushing of moisture into the skin is what keeps your skin hydrated, smooth, and nourished.
Dry or dehydrated skin brings a new set of problems you don't want to deal with, trust me. Some of them include acne, rough texture, pesky dividing lines. So, hydrated skin promises to make lines and wrinkles less visible. Now you know better than to let the moisture levels of your skin suffer.
Amino acids can do the same for your skin when applied through topical products; it will nourish your skin.
Amino acids also balance the pH levels, and this action protects the skin's moisture barrier function. And that is how my friend, amino acids scare off the bacteria away from the skin.
Act as antioxidants
Some of these treasure holders also work as antioxidants. And many of them go above and beyond by helping the skin create more antioxidants, strengthening its natural defense. The antioxidants save your skin from environmental stressors, UV rays, etc. Research also suggests that histidine, an effective antioxidant, may also offer anti-inflammatory benefits, helping your skin calm.
Amino acids are the assassins of free radicals, and these scours of the many diseases free radicals bring with them.
Heal damaged skin
Amino acids work as healers and take care of the damaged skin. It prevents tissue breakdown, and since amino acids are essential in cell metabolism and the structural elements of skin, they lead to cell turnover and lighten scars. Acne scars can also benefit from amino acids since they slough off dead skin cells and enable new skin cells to grow.
Can reverse damage by UV rays
Sunlight is essential but what the UVA and UVB rays do to our skin is damaging. Aging, wrinkles, liver spots, melanoma are linked to overexposure to sun rays. Amino acids can help with these skin conditions.
Your skin enjoys firmness and elasticity due to collagen until it doesn't, as age leads to a dip in the collagen levels. Amino acids can kickstart the natural synthesis of collagen and elastin. Anti-aging amino acid creams reduce fine lines and wrinkles significantly.
Apart from these major benefits, amino acids retain hydration in the skin, smooth fine lines, soothe irritation, etc.
Incorporating amino acids in your skincare ritual
Amino acids increase the effectiveness of other products in your skincare routine, and the right balance will give you the best possible results. Look for complementary ingredients like adding antioxidants and probiotics since your skin will be more receptive to them.
Amino acids work effectively independently, but a little addition here and there or a conjunction of two different amino acids can bring out the best since it is gentle and penetrates the skin easily. Your skin utilizes everything you apply to it when you add amino acids to your skin. This makes your relentless efforts worthwhile.
The next part might make sensitive skin types skip a heartbeat. Amino acids are natural, organic, and as much a choice for sensitive skin as it is for normal skin. The skincare heroes have little to no adverse effects, and they can be used by rosacea, atopic dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis patients who have susceptible skin.
Amino acids flawlessly give your skin that extra boost and also help your skin with collagen regeneration. Your eye creams, moisturizers might already have amino acids in them, and if not, you can start now. Certain acids work very well topically. They have their unique benefits, lysine, histidine, glutamine, tyrosine, methionine, glycine, leucine, and arginine, which are quite efficient in the field.
Advice by Beminimalist
Although amino acids are gentle and safe, exercise caution when you add them or anything new to your regimen. Not every skin type is the same, so perform a patch test before you go skinny dipping into amino acids.
Do not let the sun do horrible things to you; your youthful skin does not need to suffer the wrath of UV exposure, so amp up on that sunscreen (SPF 30 or above). Moreover, the goodness amino acids bring to the table will turn to ashes if you expose your skin to UV rays.
Wrapping it up
It's high time we give amino acids the respect and recognition they deserve in the industry since they offer too much to ignore. Hydration, healing, supporting are few actions of amino acids that make them unique.
Lack of these essentials will bring doom to your skin and make it age prematurely.
Developments now allow us to move away from saggy, wrinkled, dull skin and towards a plump, firm, smooth, resilient skin. Various products have accepted amino acids in their composition.