It is four times more hydrating than hyaluronic acid

Hyaluronic acid has been a holy grail ingredient for both dry and ageing skin for some time now, and it’s easy to see why.

A hydration powerhouse, the naturally occurring substance is known to hold 1,000 times its weight in water, fight free radicals and improve the skin’s production of collagen to plump skin and also help with wound healing.

No wonder it can be found in everything from hydration mists to serums and even filler injections today.

But there’s a new ingredient that may soon threaten its position—enter polyglutamic acid, which is four to five times more hydrating than hyaluronic acid.

“Polyglutamic acid (or PGA) is derived from fermented soybean mucilage,” explains Mark Curry, co-founder of The Inkey List, which counts the Polyglutamic Acid serum amongst its star products.

“Besides stimulating the skin’s natural moisturising process, it also diminishes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, aids the skin’s natural exfoliation process, minimises pigmentation, boosts elasticity—more so than topical collagen.”

According to Mark, the efficacy of the water-soluble peptide is due to its “super-large molecular weight” allowing it to sit on the surface of the skin to draw in moisture and keep them in, “four times more effectively than hyaluronic acid.”

Don’t be too quick to put your hyaluronic acids away though—Mark recommends applying hyaluronic acid as your first step after toning, and finishing your regime with polyglutamic acid to seal it all in.

Because hyaluronic acid has a significantly smaller molecular weight, the two work best in synergy to ensure your skin is hydrated from the deepest layers to the surface. Ready to upgrade your regime? Here are more polyglutamic acid-infused cosmetics and skincare.