Sodium PCA

Sodium PCA

Sodium PCA: the ingredient you’ve probably never heard of but will want to add to your skincare routine ASAP.  Think of Sodium PCA as a humectant a la squalene, glycerin, and hyaluronic acid (that’s right). Known for its powerful hydrating and anti-inflammatory properties, this unknown ingredient is basically a skincare saviour. So if you’ve been sleeping on Sodium PCA until now, it’s time to wake up. Check out all there is to know about Sodium PCA below.

What is Sodium PCA?

Sodium PCA (the latter of which stands for pyrrolidone carboxylic acid) is the salt form of PCA, which is sometimes called proline or pyroglutamic acid. If you’re not familiar with any of these names, then just think of it as an amino acid. Found naturally in the skin, sodium PCA makes up 12 percent of the skin’s natural moisturizing factor (NMF for short). The NMF is what’s responsible for keeping your skin soft, supple, and intact. Though sodium PCA can be created synthetically, it can also be produced naturally by way of soybean, coconut oil, fruit, and certain grasses. At Dope Skin Co. we always choose natural over synthetic, which is why our sodium PCA is extracted from plants. 

What are the Benefits of Sodium PCA?

  • Humectant: The reason we’re particularly obsessed with sodium PCA is because it's a humectant. This means that, like glycerin and hyaluronic acid, this ingredient draws in moisture, providing a huge boost of hydration to the skin. In fact, sodium PCA has been shown to be twice as effective at retaining moisture compared to glycerin. It can hold up to 250 times its weight in water, which doesn’t quite live up to hyaluronic acid (known for holding 1,000 times its weight in water), however, it does have some other key benefits that HA doesn’t.
  • Anti-Inflammatory: One such benefit it has over hyaluronic acid? Sodium PCA is also an anti-inflammatory. It can help reduce inflammation, which in turn, helps fight redness, acne, and even eczema. Plus, it’s a non-irritant, which makes it ideal for people with sensitive skin.
  • Bolsters Skin Barrier: In the process of drawing in moisture (part of its humectant properties), sodium PCA also helps the skin retain water better by bolstering its natural protective barrier. This barrier function of the skin is incredibly important and makes it a great product for anyone that suffers from a skin condition which compromises the barrier, like eczema. 
  • Anti-Aging: As mentioned above, sodium PCA is found naturally in the skin. However, the amount your body produces decreases with age. When you supplement that by applying skincare products containing sodium PCA, it can have an anti-aging effect. Prepare for the appearance of lines and scars to be reduced, paving the way to a plump, youthful complexion.

  • How to Use Sodium PCA

    Sodium PCA is a gentle and versatile ingredient. It can be used on all skin types and in a wide variety of products. From moisturizers and sprays to cleansers and toners, there’s no wrong way to use sodium PCA. Pro tip: Apply the product onto a slightly wet face, as it gives the ingredient something to grab onto, resulting in an even greater boost of hydration. One final word on sodium PCA - sometimes the ingredient goes by other names on product labels, so keep your eyes peeled for sodium pidolate, 5-Oxo-DL-proline, sodium pyroglutamate, or monosodium salt (we know, we know, it’s confusing). 

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