Do Amino Acids Actually Do Anything in Skin Care?

Skin Care

Years ago, I fell victim to a rumor that amino acids did nothing but hydrate when they were in skin care. It’s a long story why I believed this, but it’s true.

It turns out that amino acids are to your skin what flour is to a cake: They’re the building blocks of your skin.

While other items matter when you’re baking, like eggs, butter, and well, mixing, if you don’t have enough flour, you essentially don’t have a cake. You’re grasping at straws and trying to make do with what you have, but you might end up with less of a desirable product, i.e., a lopsided tiny cake.

Similarly, when your cells are producing collagen, elastin, and other proteins and fibers, if they don’t have enough amino acids, you end up with less of a desirable product, i.e., rough, thin skin.

Here are some of the 20 amino acids and how they work in your skin:

Amino Acids Chart


May speed the healing of skin cell damage and wounds (Wilderness and Environmental Damage, 2014; JPEN, 2014).


Help prevent muscle and tissue breakdown. May also improve wound healing (JPEN, 2014).


May help to repair damaged tissue and promote healing (Eksp Klin Pharmacol, 2014).


Antioxidant, neutralizes free radicals; may help boost UV protection. L-Histidine may also help prevent against certain types of skin infections (PLoS Pathogens, 2008).


May be important in protein synthesis and tissue repair (Minerva Pediatrica, 2014). May also promote the natural production of anti-microbial peptides (Pharmaceuticals, 2014).


May improve wrinkles when used in conjunction with glycine and proline (European Journal of Dermatology, 2013).


This is an amino acid that actually does hydrate, though it also may be involved in collagen production (Journal of Peptide Science, 2012).


Important in maintaining radiant and youthful skin. Has been shown to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes when used with glycine and leucine (“crow’s feet”) in at least one independent study (European Journal of Dermatology, 2013).


Helps protein and other agents penetrate the skin (International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 2008).


Important for skin strength.

In Summary

Benefits of Topically Applied Amino Acids in Skincare

When your body becomes deficient in one of the nine essential amino acids, your body cannot synthesize protein as well. Considering that collagen, elastin, and fibrinogen are the structural components that keep your skin firm and supple, and that they are all proteins — well, that means that I, for one, am making sure that I eat a diet rich in amino acids, with foods like tofu, sesame seeds, whitefish, and pork (Wikipedia, 2014).

When you apply the essential (and non-essential) amino acids to the skin, it has been shown in multiple studies to have significant effects, ranging from antioxidant and boosted UV protection (Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology, 1999), to the promotion of tissue repair (Journal of Clinical Investigation, 1993), to conditioning the skin (Conditioning Agents for Hair and Skin [book], 1999).

All of the effects that have been shown in peer-reviewed, independent studies are summarized below:

What are the Best Products with Amino Acids?


All of the products in the AminoGenesis Core 4 Complete Anti-Aging Collection contain all 17 of the above listed amino acids.

One of the best products in the collection is the facial moisturizer, AminoGenesis Therapeutic Facial Repair Formula ($44.00), which is an excellent blend of amino acids and tripeptide-33.


If you’re wondering if amino acids are going to make a difference on your facial skin, then AminoGenesis Therapeutic Facial Repair Formula is the product to try. Designed with all 17 aforementioned amino acids embedded in deeply-penetrating butylene glycol, this product will get the amino acids delivered deep within your skin. All the better if you apply it at night, when your basal body temperature is highest and products penetrate skin the best!

AminoGenesis Therapeutic Facial Repair Formula is lightly hydrating, so it is suitable for normal/dry, normal, and normal/oily skin types — all but the most extreme on both ends. It wears well on the skin, without any sticky residue or skin tugging. It leaves skin lightly hydrated.


Another product from AminoGenesis that is definitely worth a try (especially in the winter months) is the AminoGenesis Counter Clockwise Eye Treatment ($40.00), which is also included as a part of the Core 4 system.




The eye cream glides on, and absorbs fairly quickly. I carry it around in my bag and I love using it whenever I feel like my eyes are a little puffy or tired from too much work (or play!)

The AminoGenesis Core 4 Complete Anti-Aging Collection ($152.00, includes the eye cream and facial moisturizer, as well as a superb facial cleanser and body lotion. If you’re wondering what amino acids can do for your skin, this product kit is the perfect way to determine the effects of amino acids for your skin. I know my skin loves it!

Bottom Line



Amino acids do far more than just hydrate in skin care — they also may promote cellular repair, provide antioxidant protection, boost UV protection, and more! The best way to try amino acids, in my opinion, is with the four-step program AminoGenesis Core 4 Complete Anti-Aging Collection ($152.00,

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  • Nicki Zevola

    @Susan – Yes! I currently use it every night over the retinol, admittedly.

    Current routine:
    AM: TATCHA Oil Cleanser | TATCHA Exfoliant | FutureDerm CE Caffeic | La Roche Posay SPF 60 | FutureDerm Eye Cream
    PM: TATCHA Oil Cleanser | FutureDerm Time-Release Retinol | An array of various serums (I switch these up) | AminoGenesis Therapeutic Moisturizer

    Hope this helps!

  • Susan

    I am using your retinol product. Would you recommend using this over the retinol?

  • Sharon Siqueiros

    Thank you for this VERY informative post!! I had no idea how important amino acids really are. Thanks again for sharing

  • Ashley Bree Perez

    I need this for myself. 🙂

  • Robin Wilson

    Wow! I had absolutely no idea how important amino acids were to your skin! Thank you so much for the in-depth view and for the recommendations.

  • Laura Martinez

    What a great read and I love how well you detail everything from the product to the ingredients!

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