Acetyl Glucosamine

Who knew sugar not only tasted good but could provide some serious skincare benefits. Case in point? Acetyl glucosamine.

Acetyl glucosamine is essentially a simple sugar, yet the benefits our skin derives from it are far from simple. Known for its hydrating and exfoliating properties, it is able to counteract a host of skin concerns. Keep reading for more info on this under-the-radar skincare ingredient.  


What is Acetyl Glucosamine?

Bear with us while we get into the nitty gritty of acetyl glucosamine for a second. Acetyl glucosamine is an amino-monosaccharide, better known as a simple sugar. It is referred to as a “skin identical ingredient,” meaning it’s found in the spaces between skin cells and is a precursor to hyaluronic acid. The presence of acetyl glucosamine helps our bodies produce hyaluronic acid, which we all know leads to a plump, hydrated, and youthful complexion. It also helps strengthen the skin’s natural barrier and reduce dryness. This simple sugar ingredient can be produced synthetically or extracted from fungi, which naturally contain it. 


What are the Benefits of Acetyl Glucosamine? 

  • Hydration: Think of acetyl glucosamine as the hidden superstar, standing in the shadows of hyaluronic acid. Although people don’t really know much about it, it’s vital to the skin’s natural production of hyaluronic acid. In fact, the topical application of acetyl glucosamine will stimulate the production of hyaluronic acid in the skin, which in turn will provide a major boost of hydration. Similarly, acetyl glucosamine also stimulates collagen production, which firms the skin and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles (this is why you’ll notice it’s in a lot of anti-aging serums and creams).
  • Exfoliation: As mentioned above, acetyl glucosamine is a simple sugar and we all know that sugar is an excellent exfoliator. The ingredient works similarly to AHA or BHA acids in that it gently exfoliates the skin without causing irritation. It works particularly well for skin that’s too sensitive for acid-based exfoliators, as well as for people with skin conditions like rosacea or eczema. 
  • Hyperpigmentation: Acetyl glucosamine has developed a reputation for being a natural remedy to hyperpigmentation. It is known to reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation caused by aging or the sun, especially when paired with certain ingredients such as niacinamide. Say goodbye to discolouration. 

  • How to Use Acetyl Glucosamine

    Acetyl glucosamine is stable, gentle, and a non-irritant. This means that all skin types can use it and the risks of side effects are extremely low. Keep an eye out for the simple sugar in serums, lotions, toners, moisturisers, eye creams, and any product that also contains niacinamide (as mentioned above, the two ingredients are a match made in heaven).