The Skincare Ingredient Ten Times More Hydrating Than Hyaluronic Acid

Just as hyaluronic acid was becoming a household name, a new hero product is looking to top it off its hydration pedestal: polyglutamic acid (PGA)

The buzzy new wonder ingredient is slowly popping up everywhere – including in several new serums and moisturisers – just in time for dry skin season.

Here's what it is/does:

PGA is a component of the sticky paste found in natto, a Japanese fermented soybean dish. Unlike other cult-favourite acids like glycolic and lactic, PGA is hydrating rather than exfoliating by creating super absorbent hydrogels which swell and entrap water. 

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Ⓟⓞⓛⓨⓖⓛⓤⓣⓐⓜⓘⓒ Ⓐⓒⓘⓓ⁣ ⁣ Come on who’s tried this then?⁣ ⁣ I received this serum in my first ever @britishbeautybox and I was so excited to try some products from @theinkeylist so this was the ideal opportunity. I got 3 different serums from their range and started testing 2 of them around 3 weeks ago now, and here we are with the first review!⁣ ⁣ This serum boasts that it can retain 4x more moisture than Hyaluronic Acid - woah that’s a big claim, and how do we really know it works unless we can use one of those skin devices that tell your moisture levels? No, I’m not sure either...⁣ ⁣ ....but what I can tell you, is that this is most definitely a hydrating serum. I use 3 pumps at night and that happily covers my face and neck. It feels super silky as you massage it in, not to mention that it smells like marzipan! When I wake, I feel like my skin is lovely and juicy and hasn’t dried out at all.⁣ ⁣ I’m not going to sit here and pretend it’s my new holy grail, because it’s not, but at £12.99, it’s fantastic value and I would consider grabbing another of these in the future, as I love the consistency and scent. It’s just a really nice product  I would love to hear your thoughts on this one.⁣ ⁣ * Product kindly gifted as part of last months #britishbeautybox - which is available quarterly through subscription to the UK, US or EU. Use code ‘GLOW_WITH_RED” to grab an extra 10% off this #subscriptionbox

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Polyglutamic acid is one of the most hydrating ingredients you can find and can serve many purposes, from boosting skin elasticity and minimising pigmentation to helping reduce the appearance of fine lines.

It also boasts incredible water retaining capabilities and is able to hold up to 1,000 times its own weight in water. Plus, it has brilliant skin-sealing qualities, allowing your skin to retain its moisture for much longer than usual. 

Alongside its moisture-boosting properties, there’s evidence to suggest that PGA also increases skin suppleness.

“Studies show that during a 28-day period, PGA favourably improves elasticity and of the skin, more so than collagen and hyaluronic acid,” according to a 2015 report from the Microbiology Society.

How it's different from hyaluronic acid: 

Hyaluronic acid (HA) has long been heralded as a hero product for its hydrating prowess, however, PGA has the ability to hold around 10 times more moisture than hyaluronic acid itself.

The key difference between polyglutamic acid and hyaluronic acid is that PGA creates a ‘film’ over the skin's surface, preventing water from evaporating. HA, however, can still be used with PGA as it is ideal for hydrating the lower levels of the skin, allowing your skin to retain its moisture on a deeper level. The two work in synergy with one another.

As PGA has a larger structure than HA, layering products in the right order is essential. Safe and suitable for day and night use, if using a separate hyaluronic acid serum, it would need to be applied before your PGA product which acts as the protective sealant.

Alternatively, reach for a product that contains both to take out any guesswork.

For those looking to indulge, products featuring PGA vary hugely in price. For beginners, we'd recommend The Inkey List's PGA (€15) or It's Skin Power 10 Formula VC Effector (€19).

Otherwise, Charlotte Tilbury's Magic Serum (€72) or Kate Somerville's DermalQuench Wrinkle Warrior (€95.50) for those looking to splurge. 

Main image by @jpskincarexo

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