Amino Acids for Skin and Hair
Learn how amino acids are essential for good skin and hair.
Many products such as shampoos, conditioners, and body washes advertise that they contain amino acids. Products formulated with amino acids offer a number of benefits. Amino acids are critical to the natural moisturizing factor (NMF) of the stratum corneum of the skin. When the cells in the epidermis die and become the stratum corneum, the proteins in these cells are broken down into amino acids and supplied to the stratum corneum. Roughly half of the NMF of skin is amino acids and pyrrolidone carboxylic acid (PCA). PCA comes from the amino acid glutamate.
Well-known beauty ingredient collagen is made of amino acids.
Collagen is recognized as a beauty-enhancing ingredient that gives skin firmness and elasticity. Collagen consists of various amino acids (see diagram).
Amino acids for smooth and silky hair
Moisture retention is just as important for hair as it is for skin. Amino acids help moisturize dry cuticles. The cuticle is the outermost part of hair and plays an important role in retaining moisture. The amino acids in cuticles work to retain moisture. Dull and dry hair is a sign of severe cuticle damage and a lack of amino acids. More people are dying their hair nowadays but coloring agents and bleach can damage hair and the cuticles in particular. Using shampoos, conditioners, and treatments that contain certain amino acids helps to promote moisture retention and keep hair from breaking. Amino acid care helps give you smooth and silky hair.
Amino Acids are gentle on your skin and body
Soaps, cosmetics, and hair care products made with amino acids are hypoallergenic and gentle on your skin and hair. If you wash your hands with regular soap 10 times—once every 20 minutes—your hands will become dry and rough. If you instead wash with an amino acid-based soap or detergent, your hands will experience almost no dryness or roughness. Much of this is due to the pH level of skin. Skin is naturally somewhat acidic with a pH of 5 to 6. Washing your hands repeatedly with alkaline soap increases the alkalinity of your skin. This is the main reason why soap causes rough skin. Amino acid-based soaps and detergents clean your skin while maintaining natural pH levels.
Amino Acids boost metabolism and burn fat
Interest has surged recently in using amino acids in sports and exercise nutrition to promote fat burning.
Muscles contain abundant amino acids. Supplementation with amino acids during aerobic exercise such as running or long-distance swimming helps the body rebuild new muscle. As you build up your muscle mass, your body uses more energy because the metabolic rate increases. This makes it harder to gain fat. Taking amino acids helps you exercise more efficiently, for longer and at greater capacity. This in turn helps your body burn more fat. More health-conscious people today are taking amino acids to stay lean.
Amino acids are natural moisturizing factors for skin
Moisture in the stratum corneum affects the overall moistness of skin. Our bodies are about 60% water. That means a person who weighs 50 kilograms (110 pounds) has about 30 kilograms (66 pounds) of water in their body. Skin plays a vital role in retaining this moisture. Skin contains a bottom layer of subcutaneous tissue that is protected by a 2–3 mm-thick layer called the dermis. The dermis is covered by a 0.1–0.2 mm layer of epidermis. The epidermis contains living cells in its deepest (stratum basale) layer that migrate up toward the surface of the skin. In their journey, which takes about two weeks, the cells die and become the 0.01–0.02 mm-thick stratum corneum. This outermost layer of skin is eventually shed off, in a process called turnover. The amount of moisture retained by the stratum corneum greatly affects how moist our skin feels.