Polyglutamic acid, also known as PGA, is an active ingredient that is increasingly present in cosmetic products because of its moisturizing benefits. It helps to plump up the skin and prevent the appearance of wrinkles. Side effects, contraindications or potential dangers. Typology informs you about the precautions to take when integrating this biopolymer in your beauty routine.
What Are the Dangers of Polyglutamic Acid?
What Is Polyglutamic Acid?
Polyglutamic acid is derived from the polymerization of an essential amino acid present in our body, L-glutamic acid. However, polyglutamic acid is not present in our body. It was first isolated in the body of marine jellyfish; it stores water in the fragile tissue of these animals in order to avoid dehydration accelerated by their presence in salt water. Today, PGA in cosmetic products is most often extracted from the mucilage of Nattô, traditional Japanese food with a sticky, pasty consistency obtained from the fermentation of soybeans.
Formerly used to accelerate the healing process of more or less serious wounds and burns, polyglutamic acid is now used for its moisturizing benefits in skincare. It forms a protective film on the surface of the epidermis, protecting it from external aggressions and limiting insensible water loss. In addition, PGA is a polymer capable of unfolding by capturing water molecules to create a network called a microgel. Through this humectant mechanism, it retains water in the surface layer of the epidermis.
Polyglutamic acid is referenced under the INCI (International Nomenclature Cosmetic Ingredient) designation “Polyglutamic Acid” and is defined as a skincare agent.
Contraindications and Side Effects of Polyglutamic Acid.
Polyglutamic acid is effective in skin application at a minimum concentration of 0.1%. Its maximum content is not regulated, but in general, PGA-based skincare products do not contain more than 3%. Between 0.1 and 3%, polyglutamic acid is well tolerated by all skin types, even the most sensitive and reactive, and has no contraindications or side effects.
However, it is advisable not to exceed this maximum concentration because an overdose of polyglutamic acid can weaken the cutaneous fabrics and support the appearance of redness. Its pure use is thus disadvised. As it is an acid, a test in the hollow of the elbow is recommended before any use. In the event of intolerance, avoid the use of care products containing polyglutamic acid.
HONG-JOO SONA & al. In vitro evaluation of new functional properties of poly-γ-glutamic acid produced by Bacillus subtilis. Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences (2014).
RADECKA I. & al.Poly-γ-glutamic acid: production, properties and applications. Microbiology Society (2015).