Amino Sugars Benefit Skin, Skincare Apps

May 7, 2010 Comments

Melville, N.Y.—Researchers at the Estee Lauder Research Laboratory proposed the use of amino sugars such as N-acetyl-glucosamine (NAG), which increased skin moisturization and decreased flakiness in in vivo tests, as alternative compounds to replace the use of alpha-hydroxy acids in skin care (J Cosmet Sci. 2010;32(3):423–428). Alpha-hydroxy acids have been used topically to treat skin for both dermatological and cosmetic problems for many years. Recent reports have alleged alpha-hydroxy acids increase skin damage resulting from UVB, and may cause skin irritation; although, there are many known benefits of the use of alpha-hydroxy acids on skin.

 As a result, researchers investigated a variety of amino sugar compounds that were previously reported to inhibit the reaggregation of dissociated corneocytes by modulating cellular adhesion. In vivo, they observed topical treatments with a formulation containing NAG led to an increase in skin moisturization, a decrease in skin flakiness and the normalization of stratum corneum exfoliation. In vitro, they observed an upregulation of differentiation markers, keratin 10 and involucrin, in keratinocytes treated with NAG. CD44 is a lectin cell adhesion molecule that is also expressed in keratinocytes. Researchers said: “Amino sugars such as NAG may competitively bind to CD44, modulating keratinocyte cellular adhesion. We hypothesize these amino sugars modulate keratinocyte cellular adhesion and differentiation, leading to the normalization of stratum corneum exfoliation.”



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