Polyglutamic Acid: A New Hydrating Formula

Today, it’s trendy to have shiny glass-looking skin. But how to get it? You basically need to give your skin a good amount of moisture to the point that it’s so dewy. So, what types of cosmetic ingredients come to your mind? Hyaluronic acid? Glycerin? They are perfect but not as powerful as polyglutamic acid. Neeeever heard of it?! It is fine. Skin care products with this ingredient are still getting popular and gradually filling the shelves in beauty stores. Keep on reading to find out more about this new ingredient.

polyglutamic acid

What the Heck is Polyglutamic Acid?

Polyglutamic acid (PGA) is a water-soluble peptide produced by the Bacillus species. In terms of cosmetic application, it falls into the well-known humectant category. PGA hydrates the skin by binding water from the surrounding environment and drawing it into the skin. The plumping effect reduces the appearance of wrinkles, making skin smoother and fresher.

Besides, polyglutamic acid contains many vitamins and valuable enzymes. It can replenish and nourish the skin by stimulating lipids production and cell renewal. Meiji Seika’s data demonstrates that PGA also serves as an antiaging agent, working as a natural replacement for collagen or hyaluronic acid. In addition, PGA has antimicrobial properties. It can prevent the growth of some pathogenic bacteria, such as staphylococcus, salmonella, and E. coli.

Polyglutamic Acid vs. Hyaluronic acid


  • Polyglutamic acid is synthesized by bacteria in labs and also occurs in fermented soybeans.
  • Hyaluronic acid is naturally produced by the skin. As we age, the level of HA secreted gradually diminishes.


  • Polyglutamic acid consists of large molecules that create a protective film on the top of the skin preventing moisture evaporation.
  • Hyaluronic acid doesn’t seal the moisture on the upper layer because it consists of small molecules that tend to sink deeper into the skin.


  • According to Ben-Zur and Goldman (2007), polyglutamic acid has a more hydrating effect than HA. It can hold 5,000 times its weight
  • Hyaluronic acid can only hold 1000x its weight in water.

How to Use Polyglutamic Acid?

In terms of your beauty routine, you should start with a gentle cleanser. Then tone your face. Please don’t skip this step because it’s crucial. The amount of water contained within PGA molecules is affected by the skin’s pH levels. The acidic environment is what PGA loves more. So, tone your face to make appropriate pH adjustments. After that, apply a product with polyglutamic acid. Wait a couple of minutes until the product fully absorbs, and then layer your favorite moisturizer on top. Use the formula with PGA two times a day – morning and evening.

Those who have dry skin would best have extra hydration in the form of hyaluronic acid. Yes, you can use HA and PGA together, as polyglutamic acid prolongs the action of hyaluronic acid. So, right after toning your face, apply hyaluronic acid. As the product fully absorbs, use PGA to make a protective shield on top of the skin. Complete care with a non-comedogenic moisturizer of your choice.

Side Effects of Polyglutamic Acid

So far, there are no noticeable side effects. Polyglutamic acid is edible, non-toxic to humans, and biodegradable. Cosmetic products with PGA are powerful humectants and can suit all skin types. However, as with any skin care formula, some additional ingredients may cause unwanted reactions. You should always remember to do a patch test before applying it to a face.

Wrap It Up

Current scientific findings support the idea that polyglutamic acid is a versatile ingredient. It is absolutely safe for all skin types and does its job perfectly. However, we still can’t name it “the best.” Compared with hyaluronic acid, we found that PGA can hold more moisture and tends to stay on top of the skin (making your skin look glassy), while HA goes deeper. They are not the same and can’t compete fairly. Still, you can use them together to achieve the best result!

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