Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) also known as polysaccharides (amino sugars) are naturally produced by the body to maintain structural integrity in tissues and to maintain fluid balance. They exist naturally in the dermis of the skin as natural moisturizer. They are hydrophilic molecules that help to draw water into your skin and keep your skin hydrated. By holding moisture within our skin cells, they help maintain skin’s structural integrity by providing volume, elasticity and firmness. While a lot of focus is placed on the production of the collagen and elastin fibers, it is actually glycosaminoglycans that play an equally important role in preventing wrinkles and boosting the youthful skin.
The most commonly known GAG is hyaluronic acid. It is a type of GAG that promotes collagen synthesis, repair, and hydration. GAGs serve as a natural moisturizer and lubricant between epidermal cells. Decreased dermal glycosaminoglycans are thought to contribute to dry skin and wrinkles. Cell culture studies show that adding glycosaminoglycans to skin cells boosts the synthesis of hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid levels in skin decline with age. This partially explains why mature skin is dryer and has a rougher texture than more youthful skin.
So to fill this shortage of GAGs, skincare products are made including glycosaminoglycans. They are essential to the epidermal and dermal cells metabolism and help to rebuild and repair collagen in the skin.
Several studies conducted by “Dermatology Research and Practice” show that topical use of GAG based products resulted in increase in skin elasticity. It also lightens areas of increased skin pigmentation on the face. In one study, it was more effective than niacinamide for treating areas of increased pigmentation. Another study showed that it lessened the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in middle-aged men and women.
Glycosaminoglycans also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. It helps to counteract the effects of free radicals skin cells produce when they’re exposed to ultraviolet light or pollutants. Many of the effects we see with skin aging like wrinkling and skin laxity are an indirect result of oxidative damage from exposure to ultraviolet light.
My recommendations for Glycosaminoglycans based products are Collagen Post Chemical Serum and I-Max Collagen Post Chemical Facial Cream by MaxLife USA, Inc. They deemed fit to their described effects of reducing fine lines and wrinkles, soothing and lifting skin, collagen repair and hydrating skin resulting a face with fresh and youthful appearance.