Once you dive into the rabbit hole of skin care research, it doesn't take too long before the jargon starts to become a little overwhelming. Many fancy-sounding substances touted as "miracle products" aren't always scientifically supported, but there's one category of compounds that you should pay close attention to before making your next skin care purchase—and that's amino acids. Your skin needs them, especially if you have a dry, cracked, or otherwise damaged skin barrier.
Amino Acids in Skin Care: What to Know
Known as the "building blocks of life," amino acids are organic compounds that form proteins. These proteins help your body with many different functions, from supporting blood flow to the digestive system. Some amino acids only come from outside sources like food, whereas others can be made internally by the human body.
And yet, amino acids aren't just beneficial on the inside—they're also integral for all three layers of your skin barrier: the epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis. Each of these layers plays a unique role in helping protect and strengthen your skin against the external forces of the outside world. However, with all that your skin barrier does to protect you, sometimes it needs a little extra support in return.
Different amino acids provide that support in different ways to help repair the chemical and physical causes of skin damage (like pollution or face mask irritation). So, when you're considering skin care products that contain amino acids, it's best to look for variety. Ingredient labels may not necessarily say "amino acids," but they will list the name of the amino acid.
Amino Acids for Skin: Which Ones Are Best?
After years of extensive testing and clinical trials, our research and development experts highlight three key amino acids in skin care: taurine, arginine, and glycine.
Powerful toners, serums, and moisturizers rely on ingredients like these to help all skin types heal and recover from skin barrier damage. By supporting antioxidant activity, the system also helps defend against free radical damage, penetrating deep to strengthen and heal the skin barrier from within.
Together, these important amino acids help get damaged skin back to a rejuvenated state and visibly reduce redness while protecting it from future irritation. But individually, each acid offers something uniquely biological that works with the skin's composition for optimal skin barrier repair.
Taurine plays a significant role throughout your body, supporting your metabolism and boosting the health of your eyes, heart, and muscles. It's typically found in meat and fish.
But when applied to the skin, taurine does something special: it targets the stratum corneum, the top layer of the skin. There, it works to accelerate skin cell metabolism for faster regeneration and healing of damaged skin. This helps minimize redness and swelling.
Arginine is a "conditional" amino acid, which means that while the body can make it on its own, you may need more of it during times of stress and illness.
When applied directly to the skin, arginine can help in other ways. Research has shown its potential to support healing and drug-resistant bacterial spread in burn victims—but it also offers some potential for those with less severe damage to the skin barrier. Arginine moisturizes and nourishes the stratum corneum for top-layer protection and reinforcement.
Glycine, like arginine, is a conditional amino acid, so your body may need more of it from time to time.
This amino acid quickly penetrates deep into the inner layers of the skin barrier—down to the dermis, which contains the skin-strengthening protein collagen. Once there, glycine helps stimulate collagen production. Not only can this process help repair damage for healthier, stronger skin, but it may also give your skin an immune boost given glycine's link to the immune system.
Give Your Skin Needed Relief
A three-part regimen of cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen is an important part of skin health, but skin damage can persist even with a good skin care routine. If your skin is cracked, itchy, red, or irritated in some way, take it as your skin's way of saying it needs a little extra relief by way of amino acids—and instead of burrowing deep into the jargon of the skin care world, just grab a Skin Recovery System kit pronto.
After all, your skin does a lot for you. Isn't it time you return the favor?