Spotlight On: Glycine

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Glycine is one of the more confusing ingredients in skin care. You can see glycine as “Glycine soja,” which is soy extract, or you can see glycine as an amino acid in skin care, which is how we are referring to it here.

What Does Glycine Do?


As an amino acid, glycine is necessary for the development of protein within the skin and other tissues of the body. Glycine is what is referred to as a non-essential amino acid, meaning that it is naturally produced within the body, and doesn’t typically need to be ingested from outside sources as a part of the diet. However, like other amino acids, its production and preservation within the body tends to decrease with age.

Though it has been suggested that glycine only hydrates the skin, it does far more. When used within a skin care product or other topical treatment, glycine may help to repair damaged tissue and to promote healing (Eksp Klin Pharmacol, 2014).

Glycine may also improve wrinkles when used in conjunction with two additional amino acids, leucine and proline (European Journal of Dermatology, 2013). Interestingly, many peptides are comprised of sequences including glycine, including the firming palmitoyl oligopeptide, which has the sequence valine-glycine-valine-alanine-proline-glycine combined with a palmitic acid in order to increase penetration through the skin. A 2007 study in Dermatologic Therapy suggests that palmitoyl oligopeptide significantly stimulates human skin collagen production in fibroblasts, which may slow the degradation of collagen over time.

What are the Best Products with Glycine?

Aminogenesis Cocoon


1.) Best for Body: AminoGenesis Cocoon Body Lotion is one of my picks for a top winter product! Definitely a must-have, with glycine and sixteen other non-essential and essential amino acids.

I use AminoGenesis Cocoon Body Lotion after a bath and shower. And while I had been using a body lotion with niacinamide religiously for years, I can say that I noticed a difference after switching to this product. It definitely made a difference!

AminoGenesis Cocoon Body Lotion has a medium-to-thick texture. It glides on with the smoothness of a lotion, but it feels slightly thicker on the skin, more like a cream. Despite this, it absorbs fairly quickly and does not leave any signs of stickiness or tackiness on the skin. It does not pull or tug at the skin at all.

Truth Vitality Hair Complex


2.) Best for Hair: Truth Vitality Hair Complex ($49, TruthInAging.com) is a great example of a product that benefits from inclusion of glycine. A product designed to stimulate hair growth and improve its texture, Truth Vitality Hair Complex contains copper peptides and provitamin B5, with glycine as a part of the solution.

Copper peptide action is complex. Although the exact mechanism of action is not known at this time, it is known that copper is involved in the formation of the antioxidant superoxide dismutase. Copper is also essential for the enzyme lysyl oxidase, which is involved in the cross-linking of elastin and collagen, so it is possible that these are at least partially responsible for the increase in protein synthesis.

Overall, Truth Vitality Hair Complex is a solid product for supporting hair growth and shine, and I like it.

AminoGenesis Therapeutic Facial Repair Formula

3.) Best for Face: AminoGenesis Therapeutic Facial Repair Formula is the product to try if you want to try glycine on facial wrinkles. Designed with seventeen 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 and AminoGenesis Cocoon also contain tripeptide-33. A rare peptide, tripeptide-33 has been suggested in limited studies to take down free radicals in the skin (International Journal of Cosmetic Science, 2013). The major component behind the complex Preventhelia™ , tripeptide-33 has been suggested by manufacturer studies to additionally prevent photoaging (Monaster.AU).

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.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a new addition to your skin care regimen, glycine does more than anyone had anticipated. As an amino acid, it may help to stimulate collagen synthesis in the skin, and has been shown in independent studies to help repair and mend damaged skin and hair.

What are your thoughts on glycine? Let me know in Comments!

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About Myself

Nicki Zevola is the founder and editor-in-chief of FutureDerm.com. Named one of the top 30 beauty bloggers in the world by Konector.com since 2009, Nicki