If you’ve been following the latest research in skin care ingredients, then you’re probably familiar with the term “amino acids,” as these tiny molecules have been making big waves in health and beauty. The key to harnessing their full potential as topical skin care ingredients, though, is to combine the right amino acids–both essential and nonessential–into a single formula for maximum results.
There is one primary difference between non-essential and essential amino acids: while non-essential amino acids can be manufactured by the human body, essential amino acids cannot. Therefore, this group needs to be obtained from external sources like foods and topical creams. For this reason, it’s crucial to understand which aminos are essential and how they are best combined with non-essential amino acids to yield the most effective skin care formulas.
Here is an overview of the nine essential amino acids and their primary benefits for your skin.
Histidine is considered an essential amino acid, although the human body can produce it under certain dire conditions. It is the precursor to histamines, which are central to your body’s immune system response to allergies and potentially harmful substances. Histidine has also been shown to protect the skin against certain types of infections, as well as provide free radical protection .
As with each of the 20 amino acids in the genetic code, isoleucine plays an important role in the production of proteins. Additionally, this essential amino acid aids in the skin’s healing process by accelerating tissue repair and producing antimicrobial peptides to help prevent infection .
Leucine benefits the skin in a number of ways, including aiding in the wound-healing process, promoting muscle and tissue growth and repair, and playing a role in the production of human growth hormone .
When combined with the amino acid proline, lysine helps to form procollagen, from which specific types of collagen are manufactured . Collagen production is of great importance when it comes to improving the look and feel of aging skin, as this protein is responsible for giving the skin its firm, yet supple structure characteristic of younger-looking skin.
Methionine is one of only two sulphur-containing amino acids in the genetic code. Not only does this essential amino acid play a key role in protein synthesis, but it also aids in the production of other key substances needed for optimal skin health and beauty, including fatty acids, biotin, and other amino acids .
Your body uses phenylalanine to create tyrosine, a non-essential amino acid involved in the production of melanin, which gives your skin and hair their unique colors. This relationship is an excellent example of the importance of getting enough essential amino acids through external sources, so that you body is able to produce many non-essential amino acids.
This essential amino acid is necessary for the production of collagen and elastin, and it may also promote healthy immune system function .
Tryptophan is the least abundant of all of the 20 amino acids involved in protein synthesis. Infants require adequate amounts of tryptophan for proper growth, and adults need this amino acid for healthy nitrogen balance. Tryptophan is also the precursor to serotonin, which is why it is commonly used as a sleep aid .
Valine is important for normal skin function, and some studies show that it is also present in higher levels in skin that is not sun-damaged, indicating that UV exposure could decrease the amount of valine that is available in the skin.
The Bottom Line
While each of these essential amino acids perform a variety of unique functions within your skin, it’s important to understand that they must work together for optimal skin health and function. Thus, eating a balanced diet that consists of a variety of different types of proteins, as well as using expertly-formulated skin care products like the AminoGenesis collection is crucial to maintaining vibrant, healthy-looking skin.
To learn more about the many ways that amino acids play key roles in getting the smoother, younger-looking skin you want, and to receive exclusive deals on AminoGenesis products, sign up today to become an AminoGenesis Insider.
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