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Amino Acids: A to Z

As the beauty industry continues to advance, it’s no wonder there’s always something new to get excited about! And of course, we all can’t wait to get our hands on the latest product, especially if it promises to deliver big results because, who knows? It might make a wonderful addition to your skincare routine. For quite a while now, amino acids have been one of the most highly desired ingredients. You can find them in wide a range of products, such as cleansers, serums, moisturizers, eyelash serums and many more. Given how often they appear in formulations, you’re probably curious about how they work, right? Find out everything you need to know about amino acids right here!

What are Amino Acids?

Amino acids are vital components in our body. They link together to form molecular chains called polypeptides that serve as the building blocks of proteins. There are 20 different amino acids that are crucial for our body to function properly, and these are classified into 2 types: essential and non-essential.

Essential amino acids are those not synthesized by the body and can only be obtained from foods or supplements. Of the total 20, there are 9 essential ones: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. The best sources of essential amino acids come from animal proteins, such as meat, seafood, poultry, dairy products, and eggs. However, vegans can get them by eating quinoa, buckwheat, and soybeans.

Meanwhile, non-essential amino acids are manufactured by the body. The term ‘non-essential’ doesn’t mean they are unimportant. Rather, that it is not essential to get them from exogenous sources. These include alanine, aspartic acid cysteine, glutamic acid, arginine, asparagine, glutamine, serine, proline, glycine, and tyrosine.

How Do They Help Our Skin?

They play a major role in maintaining overall skin health and appearance. Here’s a few ways they benefit our skin:

Hydrating the Skin

Amino acids comprise 40% of natural moisturizing factors (NMFs), or components that keep the outer layer of the skin protected and well-hydrated. What’s the one thing our skin never tires of? Hydration, indeed! Therefore, amino acids are excellent at giving our skin the extra boost of hydration it needs. They pair well with additional ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, ceramide and fatty acids to retain moisture and support the skin barrier.

Producing Collagen

75% of our skin is made up of collagen. It provides the support and structure that makes our skin plump. Collagen also helps with our skin’s elasticity and promotes a vibrant, youthful complexion. As the building blocks of proteins, amino acids form the most abundant fibrous proteins within the human body -collagen and elastin- which give our skin its supple and smooth texture.

Providing Antioxidant Protection

According to research, some amino acids (for instance, tryptophan, methionine, histidine, lysine, cysteine, arginine and tyrosine) have strong antioxidative capacity. They help fight off the free radicals in pollution and UV rays that can cause skin cell damage, and reduce signs of aging.

Do Amino Acids Also Help Our Hair?

Besides collagen and elastin, amino acids are also responsible for the production of keratin, which is crucially important for maintaining strong and healthy hair. Many hair products, such as shampoos, conditioners, and even eyelash serums include them in their formulations since they help hair cuticles retain moisture, preventing hair strands from breaking easily.


While they are generally safe for all skin types, conduct a patch test before using any amino acid product. If you experience any adverse effects, stop using it immediately.

Product Recommendations

Benton Honest Eyelash Serum

A gentle eyelash serum packed with peptides, 17 essential amino acids, and hyaluronic acid to help nourish the eyelashes and promote growth. It’s slightly acidic formulation, which mimics the pH of healthy skin, helps reduce irritation, and the c-curved brush with ball-tip applicator makes application fast and easy.

Baciel Deep Sea Marine Complex 73 Eye Patch

Containing 73% seawater, collagen amino acids, and hydrolyzed collagen, these eye patches are filled with active ingredients that keep skin hydrated and protected! Other ingredients like seaweed and spirulina also help soothe the skin, while SH-Oligo Peptide strengthens the skin barrier and helps lessen signs of aging.

Pure’am Amino Acid Mild Cleanser

This cleanser is packed full of 100% vegan amino acid surfactants, salicylic acid, and Dandelion Postbiome Technology, making it mild yet effective. It helps balance the pH of the skin while also controlling excess oil production, and removing dirt, dead skin cells, and impurities. It’s perfect for sensitive and acne-prone skin!

Created With

Dr. Stella

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