Let’s face it, skincare is confusing AF. There are so many different products on the market that it’s almost impossible to keep track of them all. But what’s even more difficult is figuring out which ingredients do what, and whether or not they’re good for your skin. Personally, I get a little freaked out every time I come across a new skincare ingredient. It means I have to research it and try to figure out if it’s safe for my skin or not. Most of you guys are probably thinking the same thing — are some ingredients better than others? Well, the answer isn’t black and white unfortunately. Some skincare ingredients are better than others depending on your specific needs as well as your unique skin type. In this article, we’ll be taking a look at two common skincare ingredients — glycerin and polyglutamic acid — and breaking down exactly how and when you should use them for optimum results.
What is Glycerin?
Glycerin is an organic sugar alcohol produced from fat or oils that’s often used in skincare products due to its hydrating and soothing properties. Glycerin is found naturally occurring in many foods and beverages, like beer, honey, and soybean oil. It’s also found naturally in our skin and is often used in skincare products as a humectant, which means it draws water from the air and helps keep your skin hydrated and plump. This makes glycerin a great ingredient for all skin types, especially dry and sensitive skin types. Glycerin is also an anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal ingredient that helps to prevent acne breakouts, soothe irritation, and eliminate redness. It can also be helpful in fading hyperpigmentation, especially the kind caused by acne.
What is Polyglutamic Acid?
Polyglutamic Acid is one of the many forms of amino acids found in nature. It’s derived from fungi, plants and other biological sources, but most commonly from fermented soybeans. Polyglutamic acid is a water-soluble amino acid that is often used in skincare products to help with anti-aging and brightening. It can also be helpful for treating hyperpigmentation and acne-prone skin. Polyglutamic acid is also known as a humectant, and like glycerin, it draws water from the air and helps keep your skin hydrated and plump. Due to its anti-aging properties, polyglutamic acid is usually found in anti-aging products. It’s been shown to actually work better than retinol, so if you’re looking to fade fine lines, wrinkles, and acne scars, you’ll want to use a product with this ingredient.
How Do They Differ?
First and foremost, we need to know why there is a difference between these two ingredients in the first place. Well, despite the fact that both of these ingredients are humectants, glycerin is a natural occurring substance found in our skin, while polyglutamic acid is not. Glycerin is an ingredient that’s been around for centuries, while polyglutamic acid is a more recent discovery, so it’s safe to say that glycerin is more natural and has been around longer. Glycerin is also more common in skincare products than polyglutamic acid, so there’s a higher chance your product has glycerin than it does polyglutamic acid.
Should You Use Glycerin or Polyglutamic Acid?
Now that we have a better idea of what each of these ingredients do, we can discuss which one you should use. There’s a chance your skincare product has both ingredients, but if it only contains one of these ingredients, it’s important to know which one you should use based on your skin type. If you have dry or sensitive skin, you should opt for a product that contains glycerin. This is because glycerin is a natural occurring ingredient found in our skin so it’s less likely to irritate your skin than a synthetic amino acid. If you have oily or acne-prone skin, you should use a product with polyglutamic acid. This is because polyglutamic acid is water soluble, anti-aging, and it has the ability to reduce redness, which can be helpful for acne-prone skin.