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What You Should Know About Polyglutamic Acid?

What You Should Know About Polyglutamic Acid?

Multifunctional, biodegradable, and non-toxic: Polyglutamic acid is a promising biopolymer that is increasingly used in various fields, from food to cosmetics to pharmaceuticals. In skin care, this ingredient is preferred due to its excellent moisturizing properties. In this article, you will find all the necessary information and benefits of PGA.

What Is Polyglutamic Acid?

Polyglutamic acid is a biopolymer derived from the amino acid glutamic acid. This compound was first isolated from the organism of the sea jellyfish. It allows it to store water in its delicate tissues, preventing dehydration, which is accelerated by its presence in the salt water of the ocean. It is also present in Nattô. This traditional Japanese food with its sticky, doughy consistency is obtained by fermenting soybeans. Polyglutamic acid was once used to accelerate the wound healing process, and is now used in skin care for its moisturizing properties. It is listed under the INCI (International Nomenclature Cosmetic Ingredient) designation "Polyglutamic Acid" and is defined as a skincare ingredient.

The Benefits of Polyglutamic Acid for the Skin

Polyglutamic acid combats dehydration of the skin at various levels:

  • It forms a film on the surface of the skin.

Polyglutamic acid creates a microscopic film on the surface of epidermal tissue called a microgel. This swells and traps water, promoting water retention. Polyglutamic acid can bind up to 5,000 times its weight in water. In comparison, hyaluronic acid can bind 1,000 times its weight in water.

  • It stimulates the production of molecules that form the natural moisturizing factor (NMF)

As a reminder, water is stored in the stratum corneum by hygroscopic substances formed during epidermal differentiation. Thus, several studies have demonstrated the ability of polyglutamic acid to boost the production of some of these molecules, including pyrrolidone carboxylic acid (PCA), lactic acid and urocanic acid.

  • PGA reduces the production of hyaluronidase

This biomolecule is an enzyme responsible for reducing the amount of hyaluronic acid present in epidermal tissue. By reducing its synthesis, polyglutamic acid prevents the loss of moisture from the skin and thus the appearance of wrinkles or fine lines.

In addition, polyglutamic acid has interesting properties to combat the appearance of signs of aging. For example, one study demonstrated that it can increase skin elasticity more significantly than collagen and hyaluronic acid when applied topically.

The Benefits of Polyglutamic Acid for Hair

Researchers have shown that polyglutamic acid strengthens the hair fiber, optimally preparing hair for possible coloring and bleaching. The biopolymer increases the hair's natural water-binding capacity and forms a protective layer on its surface.

How Is Polyglutamic Acid Used?

In a cosmetic formula for the skin, polyglutamic acid is usually added in a percentage between 0.1 and 3%. These concentrations should not be exceeded, as an overdose of polyglutamic acid can weaken skin tissue and promote the appearance of redness. Therefore, it is not recommended to use it alone. Since it is an acid, an elbow test should be performed before each application. If you have intolerances, you should not use care products containing polyglutamic acid.

What Skin Care Products Contain Polyglutamic Acid?

This biopolymer is included in many face masks and foundations due to its film-forming properties. It is also an ingredient in some moisturizing serums for dry and/or mature skin and/or to prevent the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

Typology has developed a plumping serum that contains 3% polyglutamic acid, as well as red algae extract, which can reboot the production of hyaluronic acid. This product is applied to cleansed and dry skin in the morning and evening. It is especially recommended for dry skin and/or to prevent dryness lines as well as first wrinkles.


  • KUNIOKA M. Properties of hydrogels prepared by irradiation in microbial poly (γ-glutamic acid) aqueous solutions. Kobunshi Ronbunshu (1993).

  • GOLDMAN D. M. & al. Polyglutamic acid: a novel peptide for skin care. Cosmetics Toiletries Magazine (2007).


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