Tyrosine is one of the 17 amino acids commonly used in AminoGenesis skin care products. A building block of protein used to help moisturizing products protect the skin, tyrosine may be selectively converted by skin cells to help protect against the deleterious effects of UV light.
But the most significant aspect of tyrosine may be that it helps other agents penetrate the skin. Whereas many skin care ingredients just lay on top of the skin and occlude other ingredients from reaching between or inside skin cells, tyrosine has been found to help protein and other agents penetrate the skin (International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 2008).
Here’s why this is so important:
1.) Many skin care ingredients cannot penetrate the skin without enhancers.
While skin may be a barrier, it’s not totally impenetrable.
Molecules that are of a small enough weight are able to penetrate through the layers of the skin and be absorbed. This weight is generally considered to be 500 Daltons (Experimental Dermatology). After review, researchers found that there were no ingredients that were effective when much larger than 500 Daltons, though there are some that are still effective at slightly larger than 500 Daltons. Common allergens also tend to be under 500 Daltons.
This means that most proteins, which are over 1000 Daltons, cannot penetrate the skin. In order to get the efficacy of proteins, we recommend using amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins, and using penetration-enhancing ingredients and delivery systems. Since tyrosine has been shown to increase ingredient penetration, it’s highly recommended.
2.) Skin care ingredients need to reach the skin before they are contaminated by light, heat, and air.
Many ingredients, especially antioxidants, lose potency in the presence of light, heat, and air. This process can take seconds — resveratrol starts to degrade as soon as you uncork a bottle of wine! — or slowly occur over the course of hours, as with vitamin C.
Think about an apple: If bitten into and left on a countertop, it will turn from clear to brownish over the course of minutes to hours. This is oxidation in motion.
Penetrating-enhancing ingredients like tyrosine are a great idea, because they will shorten the time it takes for ingredients to traverse the skin, getting you as much potency as possible.
Tyrosine is an important amino acid that may help not only to hydrate, but also to protect the skin from ultra-damaging UV light. Tyrosine may also help other ingredients penetrate the skin better, yielding greater efficacy from all ingredients!