While it might seem like a small distinction, understanding the difference between essential and nonessential amino acids can help you to better understand how to nourish and care for your body and skin. Proteins are large molecules that are vital for the proper function, structure and regulation of the human body and are comprised of chains of amino acids. This is why amino acids are considered the “building blocks” of proteins. Thus, amino acids are crucial for optimum health and function of our entire bodies, including our skin.
There are two primary types of amino acids: essential and nonessential. Here are the main differences between the two, as well as an overview of their many skin benefits and how they can help you achieve smoother, more radiant-looking skin.
Essential vs. Nonessential Amino Acids
What primarily sets the two types of amino acids apart is whether or not human or animal bodies are able to produce them naturally. Nonessential amino acids are those which the body can manufacture on its own, whereas essential amino acids cannot be produced by the body and therefore need to be obtained through food and supplement sources.
There is also a third category of amino acids, called conditional amino acids. These molecules are typically nonessential, although when your body is under extreme stress or illness, they can become essential, meaning that your body requires more than can be manufactured naturally. These conditional amino acids include arginine, cysteine, glutamine, tyrosine, glycine, ornithine, proline, and serine.
Otherwise, the nine essential amino acids are: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. Nonessential amino acids include: alanine, asparagine, aspartic acid, and glutamic acid .
Skin Benefits of Amino Acids
Amino acids help the entire body to properly function, including the skin. By aiding in collagen synthesis, wound healing, and nourishing connective tissue, amino acids play a major role in maintaining the skin’s health and smooth, youthful appearance . This is where understanding the distinction between essential and nonessential amino acids can be helpful, as stocking up on essential amino acids in your diet, supplements, and skin care products can help to nourish not only your body, but specifically your skin.
Adding Amino Acids to Your Skin Care Routine
So how do you increase the amount of amino acids that are available to protect and nourish your skin? Including plenty of foods that contain essential amino acids such as pumpkin, beans and nuts, figs, seaweed, avocados, oats, and raisins can help to give your skin a boost, but you can also add these amino acids into your everyday skin care routine.
The AminoGenesis Core 4 Complete Anti-Aging Collection includes four anti-aging products that contain 17 plant-based amino acids and other beneficial ingredients to help smooth away the appearance of lines and wrinkles while also providing nutrients and hydration to your skin.
Core 4 includes Really, Really Clean, a nourishing and moisturizing cleanser; Therapeutic Facial Repair, a moisturizing anti-aging cream with the highest concentration of the AminoGenesis formula; Counter Clockwise, a revolutionary amino acid under eye treatment; and Cocoon, an all-over body moisturizing lotion that’s strong enough to treat even the driest of skin conditions.
Understanding what amino acids are and how they work to keep your skin and body healthy and functioning optimally can help you choose the best diet and skin care routine to keep your skin looking and feeling its best, no matter your age. Whether deep wrinkles and expression lines are a cosmetic concern, or you can’t seem to find a product that adequately hydrates your skin, amino acid skin care can work wonders for any skin type and condition.