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What is "Magnesium PCA" and what is its utility?

What is "Magnesium PCA" and what is its utility?

Essential for energy production in cells, magnesium is a mineral considered the fourth most important in the body. It combats tired skin, lacking vitality. Find all the information you need to know about it in this article.

What is Magnesium PCA?

Magnesium PCA, also known as magnesium PCA salt, is the magnesium form of pyrrolidone-carboxylic acid (PCA), derived from the amino acid glutamic acid, naturally present in the body. Chemically, PCA has a carboxyl function that allows it to create salts from minerals.

The magnesium PCA is obtained through a two-step mechanism:

  1. Firstly, the PCA is formed by thermal cyclization of glutamic acid derived from beet molasses (dehydration reaction).

  2. Then, a chemical reaction is carried out between the PCA, previously formed, and magnesium oxide (MgO). The mixture is stirred, then filtered and atomized to obtain a pure compound, magnesium PCA.

The combination of PCA with a mineral adds value to its cosmetic activity. Thus, PCA plays a role as askin moisturizer, while magnesium is involved in the Krebs cycle, meaning it participates in the conversion of nutrients into usable energy. Therefore, magnesium PCA is a moisturizing, revitalizing, and regenerating active ingredient. It is described as a physio-energizer and a skin fatigue fighter.

The cosmetic properties of magnesium PCA.

As ahumectant agent and a hygroscopic molecule, magnesium PCA attracts and retains water molecules at the level of the stratum corneum. It also strengthens the skin barrier (i.e., the hydrolipidic film), thus protecting the epidermis from external aggressions. Moreover, by participating in the skin's energy metabolism, the magnesium PCA promotes cellular regeneration. The production of fibrous proteins that make up the dermis (collagen and elastin) is stimulated, which helps to smooth features and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. However, this action can also be preventive and aim to limit the appearance of the first visible signs of aging. In a cosmetic formula, the recommended dosage for magnesium PCA is between 0.5 and 3%.

In which skincare products can one find Magnesium PCA?

Magnesium PCA is found in certain facial care products aimed at stressed and tired skin, such as energizing day creams, regenerating night treatments, relaxing masks, and radiance serums. For the body, it can be found in toning lotions, invigorating massage gels, and relaxing shower gels. The magnesium PCA is also a tonic for hair fibers and helps to revive limp and tired hair. It thus makes up certain volumizing shampoos and energizing scalp serums.

Our blemish-fighting & regenerating complex with 5 minerals is a revitalizing serum that regulates sebum production and optimizes cellular renewal and longevity. The skin becomes firmer, more elastic, and blemishes are reduced. It is enriched with zinc PCA, calcium PCA, manganese PCA, magnesium PCA, and sodium PCA and is applied morning and evening to clean, dry skin.


  • FOURTANIER A. & al. L'acide pyrrolidone carboxylique (PCA) et la peau. International Journal of Cosmetic (1981).

  • HELDRETH B. & al. Safety assessment of PCA (2-pyrrolidone-5-carboxylic acid) and its salts as used in cosmetics. International Journal of Toxicology (2019).


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