Active Ingredients: Amino Acids

Rachel Gibbons Beauty Expert
Active Ingredients: Amino Acids

What are Amino Acids?

Amino acids are essential for our body as they make up proteins and have a role in almost all the biological processes occurring in our body. Determining what protein is formed and how they function all boils down to how the sequence of amino acids are combined.

 A simple breakdown of the types of amino acids is that there are 20 amino acids, 11 which are considered “non-essential” and 9 considered “essential”.

  • Non-essential = Can be produced by the body itself
  • Essential = Can only be obtained through your diet such as tuna, eggs, dairy products, quinoa and chickpeas.

Here are some of the best amino acids for your skin;

  • Arginine = Increases cell turnover rate, stimulates collagen synthesis and quickens the healing process.
  • Histidine = Soothes the skin.
  • Methionine = Protects against harmful substances.
  • Lysine = Promotes collagen production and improves the skin’s moisture barrier.
  • Proline, Leucine, Glycine = When used in conjunction with other amino acids helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles.



Soothing properties

  • One of the most impressive qualities of amino acids is their healing properties. It helps to repair damaged skin and prevent tissue breakdown.
  • It strengthens the skin’s moisture barrier by balancing and maintaining the skin’s pH levels. Unbalanced pH levels can cause bacteria and infections to easily penetrate your skin.


  • We actually already have amino acids in the upper layers of the skin that work to push moisture through and into the skin, though how well it works depends on our body and diet. So to topically apply amino acids on our skin can ensure our skin has the necessary nutrients to work and getting the moisture it needs.
  • Amino acids increase the skin’s hydration as they are able to bind with water molecules, holding on to moisture longer.

Acting as an antioxidant

  • Amino acids are essential in cell metabolism and the skin’s structural formation, hence, they can help with cell turnover that results in less scarring and the appearance of a more even skin tone.
  • It also promotes cellular repair, collagen synthesis and antioxidant protection. Amino acids are important because they are fundamental to the creating process of collagen, fibrinogen and elastin, which are all crucial to smooth and plump skin.
  • Depending on the product formulation, amino acids will cater to function according to the product’s promise, so it can range from hydrating, anti-ageing and healing.

Giving your skin routine an extra boost

  • Amino acids work well with everything but in particular glycerine, ceramides and peptides (increase skin firmness and texture).
  • When used together with other ingredients that boost moisture, amino acids help to retain water and plumps the skin.
  • When added to skincare, it makes your products work harder, increasing their efficacy and ensuring you get your money’s worth!


What to note?

Amino acids have no known side effects but irritation is always a possibility depending on your skin’s chemistry. Be sure to conduct a patch test before adding it to your skincare routine.


Products we recommend 


The Ordinary Natural Moisturising Factors + HA

the ordinary natural moisturising factors

This formula offers non-greasy hydration that acts as a direct topical supplement of impaired NMF components. It contains 11 amino acids, phospholipids, alpha/beta/gamma fatty acids, triglycerides, sterols and sterol esters, glycerin, ceramide precursors, urea, saccharides, sodium PCA and hyaluronic acid. It offers immediate hydration and lasting results with continued use. It also comes in a 100ml packaging for those wanting to get the most out of this product!


The INKEY List Peptide Moisturiser

the inkey list peptide moisturiser

A nurturing yet fast-absorbing daily moisturizer with a peptide duo that helps support natural collagen and hydrate skin. Peptides are small but mighty amino acid chains that support the firming, hydrating proteins for your skin. With continued use, these peptides help support natural collagen, leaving skin looking youthful and feeling comfortable. 



The Ordinary Buffet

the ordinary buffet 

This formula combines a comprehensive array of studied technologies to target multiple signs of aging at once. The technologies are (Matrixyl 3,000, Matrixyl Synthe'6, Syn-Ake, Relistase, Argirelox peptide complexes), Probiotic complex, in a base of 11 skin-friendly amino acids and multiple hyaluronic acid complexes. 


The Ordinary Buffet + Copper Peptides 1%

the ordinary buffet copper peptides

Similar to the one above, this product differs from the original "Buffet" as this formula includes a 1% concentration of pure Copper Peptides, increasing its focus on overall skin health. The natural role of these peptides as found in human plasma includes supporting a wide range of skin health functions like maintaining normal immune function, collagen synthesis, fibroblast production and anti-inflammatory responses. 


The Ordinary Amino Acids + B5

the ordinary amino acids b5

This concentrated solution includes Amino Acids and Amino Acid derivatives creating a combined total concentration of 17% (by weight). This resembles the composition of Amino Acids found in the skin’s own Natural Moisturising Factors and provides enhanced barrier support, elasticity, osmotic balance and desquamation.


LANEIGE Cream Skin Refiner

laneige cream skin refiner

A cream that miraculous fortify skin, provide deep hydration repairs and strengthens skin barrier. It is rich in amino acids and contains White Leaf Tea Water that moisturises , soothes and reinforces skin barrier, thereby restoring the skin to its healthy condition. 

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