smiling woman with brown hair

This skin care ingredient, made with fermented soybeans is up to five-fold moisturizing.

It’s so hard to keep track of the newest skin care superstars. You can’t keep track of the latest and greatest skin care products as soon as you spend a lot on a new product. The hype about polyglutamic acid may actually be true in the case polyglutamic (PGA).

First, if you’re jumping in on the “food as skin care” trend, it could be an interesting ingredient, since PGA is a peptide naturally derived from the bacillus bacteria in natto, also known as Japanese fermented soybeans. “It’s created when multiple glutamic acids link together,” dermatologist Seemal R. Desai, a clinical assistant professor in the department of dermatology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, told us. It can be extracted from soybeans or made in a laboratory.

It might also be a good idea to use it to prepare your skin for the cold winter ahead. Pearl E. Grimes, a dermatologist, said that it is a powerful moisturizer. It can absorb moisture up 4,000 to 55,000 times its weight, compared to hyaluronic acids, which absorbs approximately 1,000 times its weight. Recent studies have shown its effectiveness in moisturizing the skin and hydrating it. There are even studies that suggest that it may speed up the skin’s healing.

smiling woman with brown hair

From Wound Care to Super Moisturizer

This ingredient has been used for skin care for many years. “It’s traditionally been used in .wound healing, but recently its popularity has increased as a skin care ingredient,” dermatologist Heather Woolery-Lloyd told us. Why? It’s simple. Desai stated that PGA can quench your skin’s thirst if it is thirsty. He said, “It helps to attract and maintain moisture. It also replaces moisture in cells.”

Is your skin ready for PGA?

Don’t be alarmed if you find the term “acid” troubling. “The acid groups in the ingredient are not very strong so the irritation potential for the ingredient with the name ‘acid’ is much lower than you would expect,” stated Michele Wong, a chemistry Ph.D. founder of Lab Muffin Beauty Science.

PGA can be tolerated by all skin types, including oily, dry, and combination skin. Desai stated that PGA is safe for all skin types. However, Desai suggested that you first consult your dermatologist if you are interested in trying it.

Experts advise caution and slowing down. Grimes stated that PGA is generally tolerated well, but could cause irritation or allergic reactions in sensitive skin types. It is important to apply a small amount of PGA to the skin and wait 24 hours before you make any conclusions.

Combine it with Hyaluronic Acid

It’s easy to forget about your overflowing product shelves and realize that this product works well with other products.

It can be used with hyaluronic acids,” stated Joshua Zeichner, a dermatologist at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. My suggestion is to first apply the hyaluronic acid serum and then layer the polyglutamic acids product on top.

The next issue is how to prepare your skin for maximum benefit. Grimes stated that a powerful humectant needs water in order to do its job effectively. “It should be properly applied on top of clean, damp skin. If the product does not have an occlusive component, it should be sealed with a moisturizing product.”

How to Choose the Right PGA for You

Experts still disagree on the best products. Woolery-Lloyd stated that the product is still in its infancy, and therefore she doesn’t yet have any favorite products. However, experts who spoke with us recommended that you carefully read the label before purchasing. Desai stated, “Make sure that the product has been thoroughly tested and studied.” Look at the ingredient list to see if PGA has been listed. Next, look at the ingredients and ensure they work for your skin.

Five PGA Products to Try

black and silver tube on white surface

ASDM Beverly Hills 5% Polyglutamic Acid Serum

This product claims to be a peptide-rich, hydration balancing serum without any added fillers and has the highest stable concentrations of PGA on market.

Amazon has it for $39.

Charlotte Tilbury’s Charlotte’s Magic Serum, Crystal Elixir

This serum is worth the investment if you are looking for a “magic gym workout” for your skin. It also contains PGA and golden vitamin C.

Sephora has it for $80

It’s Skin Power 10 Formula VC Effort

It will be a delight to see that PGA is one of the “top five ingredients” for this affordable product. This also includes green tea extract and vitamin C.

Amazon has it for $16

Pure and Cimple’s SuperSupple moisturizer contains polyglutamic and mega-rich fat acids.

With this product, the skin is also protected by ceramides.

Amazon has it for only $39.95

The Inkey List Polyglutamic Acid

This product is still affordable at less than $20. It contains a PGA complex 3% and is described as a “powerful, surface hydrator that smooths, plumps, reduces fine lines and wrinkles, and provides a flawless makeup base.”

It’s only $14.99 at Sephora