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What Is PGA? The Dry Skin Superstar That Hydrates, Heals, And Reduces The Appearance Of Fine Lines

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As the weather turns colder, we are entering into the season of dry skin. But finding the right skincare product to keep your skin moisturized is never easy. Do you opt for what you know and replenish what’s already on your bathroom shelf? Or, should you shake up your morning routine with a new addition?

According to experts, the latest superstar ingredient—polyglutamic acid, also known as PGA—will treat dry winter skin more effectively than products with hyaluronic acid.

What Is PGA?

As dermatologist Seemal R. Desai explains, PGA is a peptide that is naturally derived from Japanese fermented soybeans. “It’s created when multiple glutamic acids link together,” Desai told HuffPost. “It can be extracted from the soybeans or synthesized in a lab.”

Dermatologist Pearl E. Grimes explained in the same HuffPost report that PGA is the ingredient you should be looking for when it comes to winter skincare because it’s a powerful hydrator.

According to Grimes, PGA can “absorb moisture up to 4,000 to 5,000 times its own weight, as compared to hyaluronic acid, which typically absorbs up to 1,000 times its own weight.”

“There have been some studies in recent years showing its efficacy in moisturizing and hydrating the skin,” Grimes continued, “and there are some studies suggesting its potential for speeding up the skin’s healing process.”

Benefits Of PGA

PGA isn’t a magical new ingredient that’s suddenly showing up in skincare products. It’s been used on the skin for years to treat wounds and help them heal.

“If your skin is thirsty, PGA quenches the thirst,” Desai said. “It helps attract and maintain moisture and hydration in the skin.”

He added that all the “hard work” PGA does to replace moisture in the cells may indirectly reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

No matter if your skin is dry, oily, or in-between, Desai says that PGA is probably something your skin can tolerate because it’s “thought to be good on all skin types.” Even if it does have the word “acid” in its name, the irritation potential is very low.

However, for sensitive skin types, Grimes advises trying a product with PGA in a small amount on the skin to test it out. Then, wait 24 hours to make sure the PGA doesn’t irritate the skin or cause an allergic reaction.

How To Use PGA

Grimes points out that your skin needs to be prepped first to get the most benefit from using PGA in your skincare routine.

“As a powerful humectant, it needs water to effectively do its job,” Grimes said. “It should be properly layered on top of cleansed, damp skin, and if the product you’re using does not already have an occlusive (designed to prevent water loss) ingredient in it, it should be sealed or locked in with an occlusive moisturizing product on top.”

Dermatologist Joshua Zeichner tells HuffPost that PGA can also be used alongside hyaluronic acid. He suggests applying a hyaluronic serum first, and then layering the PGA product on top of it.

Best PGA Products To Try

With winter approaching, now’s the perfect time to add PGA into your skincare routine. Here’s our top picks.

This affordable option promotes cell renewal and wound repair, while leaving your skin looking younger and healthier.

This product from The Inkey List is made for people with all skin types and would be a great base for makeup.

This product is light, non-comedogenic, and provides a unique blend of polyglutamic acid and healing plant oils to seal in moisture.

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