Polyglutamic Acid: How To Use It & Benefits

Brittan Bates

Global Brand Storytelling

4 min read

Skincare Education

Dive deeper into the ingredient and its benefits before adding to your skincare routine.

Polyglutamic acid in Lotus Resurfacing Serum

When it comes to hydrating skincare with buzzy ingredients, hyaluronic acid gets the most praise. However, there’s another moisture-retaining ingredient, polyglutamic acid, that has a as a slightly stronger effect on the skin.

So, what is polyglutamic acid? Let’s dive deeper into the ingredient and its benefits and recommend how to best use it in your skincare routine.

What is polyglutamic acid?

Polyglutamic acid (PGA), or sodium polyglutamate, is made up of a group of glutamic acid molecules, which are a type of amino acid.

In skincare, polyglutamic acid acts as a humectant, meaning it’s a powerful hydrator that draws moisture and seals it into the skin. Due to its very high molecular weight, 2,000kDa, it forms a protective film on the skin’s surface to help prevent water from evaporating, protecting skin’s natural hydration and locking it in.

Other humectants with similar properties include hyaluronic acid and glycerin, but polyglutamic acid is known to be able to hold up to 4x more moisture than hyaluronic acid. Meaning you’re getting more hydration, and all on the skin’s surface.

How to use polyglutamic acid in skincare

There are several ways to use polyglutamic acid for skin, as this is an ingredient that does well when used alongside others. It works well with other humectants like hyaluronic acid, but can also be teamed up with antioxidants for the best anti-aging results.

It is most commonly found in serums, such as Lotus Youth Preserve Resurfacing Dream Serum. The polyglutamic acid in this serum not only works to lock in moisture but helps retain water and visibly plump skin, smoothing the look of lines.

You can also find polyglutamic acid in various other products, such as moisturizers, toners, gels, lotions, and creams. It’s available in supplement form, too, but more research is needed on its effectiveness in this format.

As with any skincare product, correct application is essential for optimal results. You should apply products from the thinnest consistency to the thickest. So, you should always start by cleansing your face and using toner, then move on to a serum with polyglutamic acid or vitamin C. You can then apply your thicker products like eye creams and moisturizers.

Polyglutamic acid benefits

These are the benefits of adding products with polyglutamic acid into your skincare routine.

Powerful moisturizing capabilities

As mentioned earlier, polyglutamic acid works as a humectant. This is a powerful moisturizing ingredient can hold up to 4000x its weight in water—meaning it acts like a sponge, attracting and maintaining water.

Reduces signs of wrinkles and fine lines

Signs of aging are exacerbated by dehydration, and the skin begins to lose moisture and plumpness. This can make wrinkles, pores, and fine lines more noticeable. By attracting moisture to the skin and sealing it in, polyglutamic acid has the potential to reduce signs of aging.

Skin looks and feels smoother; this will produce a more natural look and create the perfect canvas for makeup application, too.

Promotes the production of natural hydrating factors

Polyglutamic acid complements other naturally occurring hydrating factors produced by the skin. It has been known to inhibit the enzyme that breaks down hyaluronic acid, which is another powerful humectant. This protects the performance of skin’s own natural hyaluronic acid, leaving skin is more hydrated, feels rejuvenated, and can have a more youthful appearance.

Benefits all skin types

While drier skin types will undoubtedly get the most out of products with polyglutamic acid, its hydrating properties are beneficial for all skin types. It can be used with a range of different ingredients and is often found in toners, serums, moisturizers, and other skincare products aimed at varying skin types.

Polyglutamic acid vs. hyaluronic acid

While both of these acids are humectants and are both powerful skin hydrators, studies are increasingly showing that PGA has a slightly stronger effect while also protecting the hyaluronic acid within the skin.

The good news is that these two ingredients work exceptionally well together and can benefit your skin in different ways. So, you’ll be doing your skin a favor by implementing both ingredients in your routine.

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Author Profile
blog author Brittan Bates

Brittan Bates

Global Brand Storytelling

Written by Brittan Bates for Fresh. Brittan is an NYC-based writer, editor, and storyteller with 9 years of experience spanning digital and print journalism, copywriting, brand strategy, and more. Her work has appeared in publications such as Teen Vogue and brands including Diane von Furstenberg, abc carpet & home, FRĒDA SALVADOR, and more.