There are tons of ingredients available to us, some natural, others man-made. Pick any skin care product and read the label, you will see that it contains a bunch of ingredients, each targeting a particular issue and making the product effective. There are some popular ingredients like aloe vera, tea tree, shea butter, then there are acids like hyaluronic, glycolic, ferulic and more. But there are a few lesser known ingredients that are just as great and work wonders on your skin.
We are talking about sodium PCA, it is the one-stop solution for most of your skin concerns. Right from dehydrated skin to mature looking skin, sodium PCA is the answer to most of your skin woes. Don’t let the name confuse you, this is a natural ingredient derived from oils, plants and fruits. It is water soluble and has humectant properties. Adding this ingredient into your skin care routine can make your skin more plump, feel hydrated and even correct the texture of the skin. But that’s not all it does, there are many benefits to using sodium PCA in skincare and we will take a look at each one of them in this article, but not before we tell you more about this wonder ingredient.
Benefits of sodium PCA
Right from hydrating skin to the deepest level to preventing signs of ageing, there are plenty of benefits of sodium PCA and we will take a look at all of them in this article. Scroll down to know more about this skin-benefiting ingredient.
1. Prevents signs of ageing
Sodium PCA is naturally present in the body, however with age, the level starts to decline and this leads to early signs of ageing. Using products infused with sodium PCA can replenish the skin by providing the adequate amount the body requires. It is water-absorbent and can hold several times its weight in water, this prevents moisture loss. When your skin is well moisturised and hydrated, it remains plump and looks youthful. You can add this ingredient into your skincare routine at any age to prevent, delay or blur the signs of ageing and give your skin a healthy and youthful glow.
2. Contains humectant properties
It is hygroscopic in nature, meaning it attracts moisture from the surrounding air and locks it in your skin or hair, wherever it is applied. Sodium PCA also has the ability to increase the natural moisturising factor of components naturally found in the skin like lactic acid, amino acid, sugar and protein. Because of this, your skin appears supple, hydrated and smooth. Most skincare products contain sodium PCA in very low amounts about 1 to 2.5%, but it is enough for it to enter the top most level of the skin and supply further benefits to the deeper layers.
3. Protects the barrier of the skin
Since it is a humectant that holds water into the cells and prevents moisture loss, it strengthens the protective layer of the skin. Sodium PCA rebuilds the intracellular glue that holds the cells together. This prevents the loss of moisture and prevents the growth of bacteria and allergens on the skin. This then reduces the chances of breakouts, clogged pores and other skin problems. A strong barrier protects skin from external aggressors like pollution, dust, UV rays and other factors that damage the topmost layer of the skin. Add a sodium PCA-infused product in your routine to change your skincare game.
4. Treats eczema
Eczema is a skin condition that is characterised by inflammation, dryness, irritation and scaling of the skin. Studies found that the use of sodium PCA along with other barrier-protecting components can offer relief from eczema. It reduces common symptoms of eczema such as irritation, roughness, inflammation and itching. After two weeks of regular application, it was found to improve the texture of the skin with symptoms reduced by 79% and skin hydration levels increased by 44%. Those who are seeking treatment for eczema can benefit from use of sodium PCA.
5. Potent anti-inflammatory
Microflora is a community of bacteria residing in your body. When any form of pathogen enters your body, the first line of defence system is provided by the microflora. It works by straightening the immune system and controlling inflammation. Sodium PCA protects the delicate microflora, thereby reducing inflammation in the body.
How to use sodium PCA
By now, you may have realised that sodium PCA is a wonder ingredient that can be quite beneficial for your skin. This non-comedogenic ingredient can be used by those with oily skin as well because there’s no risk of pore-clogging that might lead to acne. Now you may be wondering how to add this ingredient in your skincare routine to attain the many benefits listed above. You will be surprised to know that many skincare products like moisturisers, serums, gels, lotions and shampoos contain this ingredient. In fact, a lot of makeup brands use sodium PCA in their lipsticks. The concentration range can be anywhere between 0.2% to 40%, read the label of the product and use it accordingly. Some studies have found that even at 50% concentration this ingredient does not cause toxicity or sensitivity. So, whether it's your skin that needs a boost of moisture or your hair, use this ingredient to transform its feel!
Sodium PCA vs hyaluronic acid
Most products sitting on the beauty aisle contain hyaluronic acid, as it is also a humectant and mild in nature too. Sodium PCA and hyaluronic acid share similar characteristics in retaining moisture in the skin and improving dull and dehydrated skin. You might be wondering why you need to opt for sodium PCA when hyaluronic acid is doing a similar job for you. Well, there’s one difference between the two ingredients. Hyaluronic acid holds up to 100 times its weight in water whereas sodium PCA holds up to 250 times its weight in water. Some skincare brands use both these ingredients to increase the moisture-retaining capability of a product. Check your skincare product label or ask your dermatologist to recommend a product that contains this wonder ingredient. You can use it alone or in combination with hyaluronic acid for maximum moisturisation.
FAQs about sodium PCA
Q. Is sodium PCA harmful for the skin?
A. Sodium PCA is naturally found in the skin and plays a vital role in keeping it moisturised. It can be naturally derived from fruits, vegetables and grasses and is completely safe to use on the skin. However, synthetically obtained sodium PCA can be harmful and can lead to problems like eye irritation, dizziness, throat irritation and more.
Q. What does PCA stand for in skincare?
A. PCA (which stands for pyrrolidone carboxylic acid) is derived from amino acids to act as a humectant and retain moisture in the skin. It works as a natural moisturising factor and keeps skin healthy and youthful.
Q. What does sodium PCA do?
A. Sodium PCA increases the water content of the top layer of the skin by drawing moisture from the air. It binds skin cells together by moisturising them and enhancing the appearance of the surface it is applied to, that is skin or hair. With regular application, this ingredient can make your skin more supple, smooth and soft.
Written by Sanya Hamdani on Jun 11, 2021
Sanya Hamdani is a skincare enthusiast and lipstick hoarder, she truly believes no two red lipsticks look exactly alike. With a Master's degree in Communication & Journalism and 5+ years of digital writing experience up her sleeve, Sanya has some of the biggest beauty experts in the country on her speed dial. When she's not swatching products or writing about the latest trends in beauty, you will find her watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S. or cooking up a storm in the kitchen.