Hyaluronic acid is one of the most popular ingredients used in skincare products such as face serums, moisturizers, and even cleansers. It is highly acclaimed for its hydrating properties. The latest buzz ingredient that has hit the skincare market is polyglutamic acid. Let’s take a closer at the similarities and differences between these two highly effective ingredients.
Polyglutamic acid (PGA) is a particular type of humectant that works by binding water to your skin to hydrate it. It is mainly derived by fermenting bacillus bacteria in the lab and also occurs naturally in Natto, a Japanese delicacy.
The molecular compound has been known for a long time, but its benefits are yet to be fully explored. PGA is famous for being a moisturizing agent in skin care.
This compound also keeps the upper layers of the skin moist. In fact, studies show that PGA can help increase the natural moisturization of your skin through pyrrolidone carboxylic acid, lactic acid, and urocanic acid in your body.
PGA also helps reduce wrinkles by hydrating your skin and maintaining collagen. It drastically reduces the sagging and aging of your skin as well. Some have even speculated that the compound can accelerate the healing of bodily wounds.
Also referred to as hyaluronan, hyaluronic acid (HA) is a clear, gooey substance that our bodies also produce naturally — with the largest concentrations found in the skin, eyes, and connective tissues.
Similar to PGA, HA also works to retain water and is used in a number of skincare products. You’ll find them especially in face serums and other skincare products.
The compound can be made artificially in a lab and can be found organically in rooster combs as well. HA is known to make your skin more supple and healthier while also helping to heal acne scarring.
When applied to the skin, HA helps with water retention and improves skin health. Additionally, studies show that using HA on open wounds can help with the recovery process.
Polyglutamic Acid Vs Hyaluronic Acid
An ongoing debate today is whether PGA is better than HA, and the former seems to be winning. Before you make up your mind about which ingredient you should invest in, let’s take a look at the differences between these compounds.
Size Of The Molecule
The PGA molecule is a lot heavier than the HA molecule. This affects how easily these compounds are being absorbed into your skin. Since PGA is heavier, it sinks deeper and settles in the upper portion of your skin, thus giving your skin a glossier and smoother look.
Pores and fine lines become barely visible upon application and you end up with dewy, lush skin. In terms of HA, however, it is being marketed in different weights, with each one corresponding to varying levels of moisturization and skin care benefit.
HA can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water. It can also boost the water content when it comes in contact with skin cells. On the other hand, Michelle Wong of Lab Muffin Beauty Science is impressed by how PGA can hold 10 times more water than HA.
Charlotte Tilbury also incorporated PGA in one of her products as it can hold four times more moisture than HA due to its size. By forming a protective film on your skin, it prevents water from evaporating, like a “plumper-looking skin filter,” says Tilbury.
How It Works
HA seeps into your skin to increase its moisture level and provide it with the necessary hydration. PGA also performs exceptionally well at increasing the level of natural moisturizing factors that are produced by your skin. This explains how PGA ensures that the elasticity of your skin remains intact.
Cost Of Production
HA is now quite the commercialized ingredient in skincare products, but the potential of PGA has garnered a lot of curiosity among skincare enthusiasts. Unfortunately, the production cost of PGA is quite expensive, which is why it hasn’t hit American shelves yet.
While these ingredients are quite different, the potential of the two compounds combined can result in stunning skin care benefits. Given the benefits of PGA, it might just replace HA in the near future as a star skincare ingredient.
Here’s to hoping that highly researched compounds such as PGA and HA revolutionize the skin care industry for good!