There’s a lot to know when it comes to skincare, especially when you start to look into the function of the various substances within the skin and the roles they play in keeping us looking youthful and glowing. One of these important substances you probably can’t pronounce, let alone know about, are called glycosaminoglycans (GAGS). Shortened to make our lives a little easier, we’re covering everything you need to know on the subject. So what are GAGS and why should you care about them?
Glycosaminoglycans (GAGS) are a family of naturally-occurring carbohydrates that assist in supporting and maintaining collagen and elastin in the skin. With a strong hereditary link, GAGS are found on the cell surface as well as within the extracellular matrix.
Highly polar, GAGS attract water, offering a natural moisturizing factor by binding 1000 times their weight in water. Studies also show that GAGS assist with other ingredients (skincare products) to penetrate through the dermis into the skin. GAGS play a role in maintaining and supporting collagen production and skin elasticity, and keep skin proteins in balance. With their moisturizing properties, GAGS are essential to the metabolism of the epidermal and dermal cells.
Copper peptides are affected by GAGs as well, which helps repair wrinkles and scarring. As a water-attractor, the function and effectiveness of GAGs are dependent upon water intake: the more you drink, the better they work!
If you suffer from dry skin, skincare with GAGs might just be the answer. A study by Dermatology Research and Practice concluded that moisturizers with GAGs result in a significant improvement in skin hydration after a 4-week period, compared with moisturizers without GAGs, confirming their naturally moisturizing properties.
While greater hydration lessens the signs of aging in and of itself, greater anti-aging properties were discovered from using moisturizers with GAGs. This same study also looked at the role of GAGs in producing anti-aging affects on the skin, mainly in skin elasticity, where they saw a significant increase.
Also seen listed on ingredient lists as mucopolysaccharides, GAGS are considered fundamental components of skin tissue. This group of complex proteins includes chondroitin sulfate and hyaluronic acid, which function as skin-repairing ingredients. Skincare products including these ingredients, therefore, bring a world of repair to your skin, correcting sun damage, a loss of collagen, fine lines, wrinkles, blemishes, and scarring.
ZO Skin Health, a medical-grade skincare line carried at Fiore Skin Clinic, involves GAGs as one of their magic-working ingredients. Olluminate Intense Eye Repair include Glycosaminoglycans, targeting the sensitive skin around the eyes that tends to thin and wrinkle as we age.
The key to good skincare and looking youthful for longer? Understanding which ingredients (like GAGs) you should be looking for on the ingredient list, which typically means plenty of research.
Book your free consultation with our skincare specialist to discuss which GAGs’ skincare products are best for you.