l-glutamine skin benefits

L-Glutamine Skin Benefits: Glutamine and Arginine Breakdown

Your skin reveals your health, your happiness, and your habits. It can be challenging to ensure that your skin says all the right things about you. Just like the rest of your body, your skin needs vitamins and nutrients to look and feel its best. In fact, the same nutrition that brings health and wellbeing to your body does the same for your skin. 

Aging skin may not be a matter of time, but of a lack of the care it needs. This is what good skincare is all about - providing the best nutrition for your skin and applying it optimally. This can give you the youthful, glowing, smooth skin you’ve always wanted. 

Related: How to Get Plump Skin [Beauty Tips]

What Are Amino Acids

Amino acids are essential to your health and beautiful skin. They are the building blocks of all proteins and makeup 75% of your entire body. Our body needs amino acids for most of its functions, including producing collagen. There are about twenty different amino acids, but of those, eight are essential because they are only obtained by consuming them in foods. So, some amino acids are essential, and others are non-essential.  

  • Essential amino acids are not produced in your body. You can only get them in the foods you eat and supplements you take. 
  • Non-Essential amino acids are made by your body, so they aren’t ‘essential’ to get them from your food or supplements. 

The nine essential amino acids are found in animal proteins like beef, seafood, poultry, eggs, and dairy products. Those amino acids are also in vegetables like quinoa and soy products. 

The eleven non-essential amino acids: asparagine, alanine, aspartic acid, arginine, glutamine, glutamic acid, cysteine, glycine, serine, proline, and tyrosine, are only produced when we’re stressed or sick.   

How Amino Acids Help Your Skin

Some amino acids develop in your skin and work together with the water transport system in your body (aquaporins) to hydrate your skin. Some amino acids work as antioxidants, and most help your skin to make its own. They strengthen your immune system and make your skin resilient and healthy-looking. Their antioxidant properties mean they protect your skin from free-radical damage and reduce the signs of aging. 

Who Can Use Amino Acids

Amino acids are safe to use by all skin types, even those having sensitive skin or skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema. Amino acids are natural and organic, and have no side effects. 

The Benefits of Amino Acids

Here are the top five benefits of using amino acids in your skincare routine

1. They Act as Antioxidants

As already stated, amino acids act as antioxidants for your skin. This means that they protect your skin from the effects of environmental stressors like sun damage and pollution. Additionally, they help you produce even more antioxidants for the protection of your skin.  

2. They Nourish and Boost Hydration

Amino acids make up the skin’s natural moisturizing factors (NMFs), along with fatty acids and ceramides. These NMFs are in the upper layer of your skin that helps it to appear smooth and hydrated. When you apply amino acids onto your face, they nourish and hydrate it. 

Related: Knowing the Difference Between Fine Lines and Wrinkles

3. Stimulate Collagen Production

Collagen is the protein that gives your skin its firm, smooth appearance. As you get older, you produce less collagen, and your skin loses its elasticity and begins to sag and wrinkle. Amino acids cause your body to produce more collagen and elastin. Your skin will start to look plumper and more youthful. Studies show that the use of amino acids directly onto the skin had remarkable results in just four months. They significantly improved the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. 

4. Repairs Your Skin’s Natural Barrier

Your skin’s natural barrier protects it by locking in moisture and keeping out irritants. But when your skin becomes dry, or you develop skin conditions like psoriasis or eczema, the natural barrier becomes weakened. The amino acids repair the damage and support the health of the barrier. 

5. Heal Your Skin

Amino acids speed up the healing process, which is excellent for times of blemish breakouts. Your skin can heal quickly because amino acids increase your skin cell’s turnover rate, avoiding long-term scarring.  

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Two Important Amino Acids

Amino acid skin benefits: Two important ingredients that are becoming more popular in skincare are Glutamine and Arginine. I want to touch mostly on its effect on the skin and how consumers can benefit from these two powerful cosmetic ingredients in their skincare products.

Glutamine and Arginine are both amino acids. A healthy balance and supply of nutrients helps to increase the regeneration of cells, this in turn fights the negative effects of aging. 

Since our diets are usually unbalanced and unhealthy, amino acids help to balance the acid-base levels through neutralization. Our amino acid levels decline as we age and therefore the balancing of these levels by amino's are not as effective and our skin loses its elasticity, as wrinkles begin to form more often at a faster rate. Additionally our body loses its ability to produce collagen at a sufficient rate.


Glutamine: is the most abundant naturally occurring, non-essential amino acid in the human body. Also known as L-glutamine, this amino acid is scientifically proven to play an important role in the growth of fibroblast cells. Collagen makes up 75% of our skin. As we age, the breakdown of collagen and exposure of skin to damaging ultraviolet radiation from the sun leads to the formation of wrinkles and sagging skin.

Glutamine helps to reverse these effects of aging by significantly increasing collagen production within the skin. As an immune booster, glutamine is also efficient in the production of antioxidant compounds which helps to neutralize harmful toxins and free radicals. 

Clinical studies have reported that glutamine enhances the immune system and reduces infections, leading to a faster recovery of burns or wounds. Glutamine also helps to firm the skin through its ability to balance acid-base levels as mentioned above. Since Glutamine plays an important role in producing protein, it is important to supplement the body with adequate amounts of protein as we age, otherwise the body uses protein from muscles, which is not healthy for the body. If muscles begin to lose protein then the skin loses elasticity.


Arginine: Arginine, or L-arginine, is a semi-essential amino acid that is produced naturally by the body. Arginine can increase wound healing time by decreasing inflammation, assisting in tissue formation and tissue remodeling. It plays a key role in all three of these healing processes. Arginine is effective in transporting ingredients underneath the surface of the skin, stimulating blood flow and increasing poor circulation. This allows it to act as a natural moisturizing agent beneath the skin from the inside out. 

Additionally it binds to water to help lock in and balance moisture levels, while increasing absorption. Arginine also functions as an antioxidant to help naturally build collagen production, promoting elasticity and vitality. The combination of these two work synergistically to enhance the skin's natural appearance and provide a healthy balance of acid-base levels which affect the skin.

Related:  What is the Skin Barrier? ...And Why Do I Care?

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Final Thoughts

With proper care, your skin can be smooth, clear, and have a youthful glow for much longer than you might think. Adding amino acids, Glutamine and Arginine can have many benefits for your skin. When applied topically, they can help to heal and hydrate your skin, increase skin cell turnover, produce more collagen, and act as antioxidants to protect your skin from environmental stressors. Glutamine and Arginine safely reduce the signs of aging, with no side effects. They are safe for use on all skin types, even sensitive skin. 

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