Proteoglycans have a positive influence on the state of the skin, since they help to keep it in an optimal hydration condition, supporting the structure of the skin and improving skin aging.
What are proteoglycans
Proteoglycans are a type of glycoproteins (a protein linked to a whole or a single glucide) that are naturally found in the skin since they are part of the structure of it.
They are necessary for a correct structural and functional development of the skin and like hyaluronic acid (a type of proteoglycan), they are able to absorb a large amount of water in the skin and retain it, thus providing a great hydration.
All benefits have been proven in several studies (Study 1, study 2, study 3) based on different proteoglycan types on the skin surface.
They improve and support the skin firmness
Proteoglycans are components of the extracellular matrix and are they are capable of improving the rigidity of the skin.
They are able to interact with other molecules of the matrix (such as collagen) providing stability to the extracellular matrix.
They help skin to resist compression forces, playing an important role in skin aging.
Proteoglycans provide hydration to the skin
As we’ve said before they’re naturally present on our skin.
They are able to provide the necessary hydration structures for making the skin to work in an optimal state, attracting up an hydration level up to 1000 times its volume of water.
Due to this fact, a large part of the hydration of the skin is related to the distribution of proteoglycans and glycosoaminoglycans in the skin.
They improve skin healing and are able to repair it
They support skin barrier and help improve the healing of wounds.
An example of this would be hyaluronic acid, since it increases the inflammation in the skin when it is injured (something important for the repair of the skin when it is being wounded) and it also acts as an antioxidant.
In addition to hydrate the matrix promote the movement of keratinocytes and nutrients.
They have anti-wrinkle properties
Some proteoglycans types are able to penetrate the epidermis, and therefore they can improve the appearance of aged or photo-aged skin.
They act by improving the firmness of the skin and its elasticity, reducing the number of wrinkles.
For example, decorin (a type of proteoglycan) could interfere with the production of collagen fibers in connective tissues.
It is known that the content of some proteoglycans in the skin increase when we age, although some others like hyaluronic acid decrease, which may mean that not all proteoglycans types provide anti-aging benefits to the skin.
How to use proteoglycans in the skin
Anyone can benefit from proteoglycans, although they are usually used in dry or dehydrated skins or directly in those who want to benefit from their properties against wrinkles or improve elasticity and aging in general.
They usually come as ampoules form, which we should apply following the manufacturer’s instructions, we can use them like if they were a serum.
Can I use proteoglycans everyday?
Yes, because as we have said before they are naturally present in our skin and their daily use should keep our skin in optimal condition and improve the functioning of the skin extracellular matrix.
Can I use proteoglycans at any age?
Yes, it would be ideal for those who want to increase the hydration of the skin. Although generally young skins do not need more hydration than a simple moisturizer would provide.
Can I use proteoglycans if I have acne prone skin?
Yes, but that will depend on the product manufacturer, make sure to check if the product has other comedogenic ingredients that could make acne worse, but proteoglycans by themselves should not produce more acne.
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