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AMINO ACIDS FOR SKIN HEALTH

What are amino acids?

Amino acids are molecular structures that are the building blocks of proteins. There are 20 amino acids that combine in configurations to make countless proteins - these proteins go on to facilitate processes like breaking down food, repair body tissues, and catalyze reactions [1]. 

Out of the 20 amino acids needed to build proteins - there are some that the body can synthesize and others that need to be in our food or supplemented.The amino acids that our body can make are called non-essential amino acids, while the amino acids we cannot make are called essential amino acids. 

Non essential amino acids:

  • Alanine
  • Arginine
  • Asparagine 
  • Aspartic acid
  • Cysteine 
  • Glutamic acid
  • Glutamine 
  • Glycine 
  • Proline
  • Serine 
  • Tyrosine

Essential amino acids:

  • Histidine 
  • Isoleucine
  • Leucine
  • Lysine
  • Methionine 
  • Phenylalanine
  • Threonine
  • Tryptophan 
  • Valine

Amino acids in relation to skin health

Amino acids have a pivotal role in skin health.Important skin components - such as collagen and elastin are composed of amino acids [2].In response to UV damage, the amino acids that make up collagen and elastin fibers are damaged - leading to sagging and wrinkly skin. Proper amino acid incorporation aids in repairing acute or chronic UV damage and maintaining healthy skin appearance. 

Amino acids play an important role in [2]:

  • Wound healing and repairing damaged skin
  • pH balance and water retention in skin cell layers
  • Protection against sun damage 
  • Maintenance of the skin microbiome

Best amino acids for skin

So what amino acids are best for skin? Well, that depends on your area of concern [3]:

  • Arginine: helps torestore visible skin damage
  • Histidine: soothes skin and provides antioxidants
  • Methionine: protects skin from harmful substances
  • Lysine: strengthens skin surface
  • Proline/Leucine/Glycine: reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles

The best ways to get amino acids needed for skin and overall health is through a balanced and well planned diet. Other than diet, incorporating eye and face creams with amino acids is a good way to apply amino acids directly to the skin [4]. 

 

Sources:

  1. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002222.htm
  2. Solano F. Metabolism and Functions of Amino Acids in the Skin. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2020;1265:187-199. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-45328-2_11. PMID: 32761577.
  3. https://www.paulaschoice-eu.com/amino-acids-hydrate-skin
  4. https://www.byrdie.com/amino-acids-for-skin


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