When it comes to taking great care of your skin and getting the radiant, healthy-looking complexion you want, it pays to understand a little more about the inner workings of your skin and how to optimize it from the inside out. The skin is an incredibly complex organ with a large variety of important components that cannot be overlooked when trying to achieve healthy, gorgeous skin. One of these components is keratin, a key protein found in the skin, hair, and nails. Here is an overview of what keratin is and why it and the amino acids that comprise it are so integral to your skin’s overall health and appearance.
What Is Keratin?
Keratin is a protein that, like all other proteins throughout your body, is made up of amino acids. Although 18 different amino acids are found in keratin proteins, one in particular stands out–cysteine . Cysteine is one of the two sulfur-containing amino acids included in the genetic code, and this characteristic is important because it allows keratin proteins to form extremely strong bonds. Because of this, you can think of keratin as a shield that protects your skin, hair, and nails from external damage. Within the skin, keratin can be found in the epidermis, which is the topmost layer of skin. The outmost layer of the epidermis contains a layer of cells, including keratin proteins, called the epithelium. The epithelium acts as a brick wall, where keratin proteins are incorporated into the “bricks,” to help keep potentially harmful substances and toxins from penetrating the skin. In addition to serving as a protective barrier, some keratins have also been shown to aid in cell growth and the production of other proteins .
The Importance of a Healthy Skin Barrier
If your skin is unable to produce enough keratin or lacks the amino acids needed to create another component of its protective barrier, natural moisturizing factor (NMF), your skin can become susceptible to infection and dry, flaky skin conditions, including eczema . Many people with chronic dry, itchy skin often don’t realize that by repairing their skin’s barrier, they could get significant relief from their symptoms, even when other treatment options have failed to work.
Replenishing Your Skin with Amino Acids
Thus, if you are struggling with dry, dull, or itchy skin, the answer may be as simple as upgrading your skin care products to include those that contain amino acids. Because amino acids are required to produce proteins like the keratin and collagen in your skin, as well as make up the skin’s natural moisturizing factor, these ingredients are incredibly effective to help treat a wide range of skin problems. One of the many benefits of using amino acid skin care is that you can give your skin the tools (i.e. amino acids) it needs to safely and effectively replenish and repair its own natural barrier to help keep irritants out and moisture sealed inside. And because amino acids are already naturally present throughout your skin and body, they won’t cause irritation or other unwanted side effects, like many other common skin care ingredients can.
The Bottom Line
By having a working knowledge of the main components of your skin–like keratin proteins and amino acids–you can make well-informed decisions about the skin care products that you use to help you achieve the smooth, radiant skin you want. Having this knowledge can also help you to avoid gimmicky products that aren’t backed by science and that aren’t likely to do anything for your complexion. In some cases, using the wrong products can even be detrimental to your skin. Instead, stick to tried-and-true ingredients like amino acids, which are very rapidly becoming the skin care ingredient of the future. To learn more about these amazing molecules, and to receive exclusive deals and offers on AminoGenesis products, be sure to sign up to become an AminoGenesis Insider today!