Physical Health, Trends, Wellness / Self-Care

The Skincare ingredient more hydrating than Hyaluronic Acid

Your dry, winter skin needs this.

words by: Natasha Marsh
Dec 25, 2021

Hyaluronic acid, a powerful skincare ingredient and molecule that can impart hydration into the skin, has been trending in skincare for decades as the top hydrator. However, there is a new ingredient on the market that is said to give the same benefits and then some. Enter polyglutamic acid.


What is polyglutamic acid?

A component of the sticky paste from natto, Japanese fermented soybean, polyglutamic acid hydrates by adding in super absorbent hydrogels that swell and entrap water. According to certain studies, polyglutamic acid can absorb up to 5,000 times its weight in water over time.


The powerful acid is also known to increase the suppleness (read: flexibility) of the skin.


How does polyglutamic acid differ from hyaluronic acid?

To begin with, both occur naturally but hyaluronic acid — found deep in the dermal layer of skin — is a sugar found in our skin, used to hold water and keep skin hydrated. This popular acid is known to keep skin supple and aids in healing of wounds.


Whereas, polyglutamic acid is a water-soluble peptide that has a large molecule weight, preventing it from penetrating deeply. However, it is great at providing a barrier for skin to prevent water from evaporating.


They both can work in tandem in products, where hyaluronic acid will help attract water to the deeper layers of the skin, and polyglutamic acid will help maintain the hydration of the outermost layer of the skin.


Cool, so what are some other benefits?

Skin functions the best when it’s at an optimal level of hydration, which is exactly what polyglutamic acid will ensure. Investing in products with polyglutamic acid is especially important in the winter where chill, and dry skin are common — by making your skin look refreshed and feel rejuvenated.


Products with polyglutamic acid also help inhibit hyaluronidase, the enzyme that breaks down the natural hyaluronic acid in our skin.


Nice, so should I use this in my skincare routine?

Short answer: absolutely. Using both hyaluronic acid and polyglutamic acid will be the best solution for hydrated skin.


Polyglutamic has a larger structure than hyaluronic acid and is safe to use in the day and the night. If you plan to use it with hyaluronic acid, it would be best to apply that before the polyglutamic so it can act as a protective sealant. This is definitely a new ingredient that you should watch out for!


Also check out our tips on how to recover dry skin and find out what your skin type is so you can better understand which products work best for you.


Photo via Big Apple Buddy