When choosing the right skincare products and ingredients to use, you should always consider the season of the year in which you are. In summer, it is crucial to avoid photosensitive active ingredients, which make your skin more vulnerable to UV damage like sunburn, skin photoaging, pigmentation problems, etc. Instead, you should use products with high SPF (during daytime), humectants, and as many antioxidants as you can.
Among all the active ingredients that are advisable in summer (Vitamin C, Niacinamide, Hyaluronic Acid, and others), we find Sodium PCA. This unknown ingredient to most people is a summer gem that can help you show a healthy, moisturized, and supple skin throughout the summer.
What is Sodium PCA?
It is a natural-occurring ingredient that makes up 12% of the skin’s Natural Moisturizing Factor (NMF). The Sodium PCA used in cosmetic products is sourced from oils, plants, fruits, or from a lab, as nowadays it can also be produced synthetically.
To be more precise, Sodium PCA is the salt from Pyrrolidone Carboxylic Acid (PCA), the most prevalent Natural Moisturizing Factor of the skin. It is an amino acid (remember that amino acids are the constituents of proteins like collagen, elastin, etc.) with great water-binding capabilities.
It is very well tolerated, non-comedogenic, non-photosensitive, and nonirritating (nor even for the eyes, in concentrations up to 50%).
Humectant and Moisturizing Properties
Like Hyaluronic Acid and Glycerin, Sodium PCA has great humectant properties. These ingredients improve skin hydration by drawing water molecules from the surrounding air and locking them in the Stratum Corneum. However, Sodium PCA has additional properties that these other humectants have not and vice-versa. These three are indeed great for your skin.
In terms of humectation, Hyaluronic Acid still wins as it can retain about 1000 times its weight in water, vs Sodium PCA that can hold up 250 times its weight, and Glycerin 100 times.
Nevertheless, as said above, Sodium PCA is a main component of the NMF which means that it not only traps water but also prevents water loss and plays an important role in maintaining optimal skin moisture levels.
Preserves the Skin Barrier
The integrity of the Natural Moisturizing Factors of the skin is crucial to maintain a healthy acid mantle and skin barrier. Having the rights levels of PCA helps to restore the balance of lipids and other essential components of the acid mantle, which is this invisible shield on the top of the skin barrier that keeps the skin lubricated and prevents bacteria to enter.
The well-function of the skin barrier maintains the proper skin pH and hydration levels and protects your skin from external stressors.
Like many other skin components, Sodium PCA levels decrease with age, so it is advisable to add this ingredient to your skincare routine when approaching your 30s.
A well-moisturized skin is more elastic and firmer, which prevents the formation of wrinkles. Though wrinkles will eventually appear, dry skin is always more prone to premature aging. Moreover, all the skin components work in synergy, thus maintaining the right levels of these components (now that we can thanks to cosmetics and aesthetic medicine) will slow down skin aging in general.
Skin inflammation is controlled by the skin microflora; that is, a community of bacteria that protects your skin from pathogens and inflammation.
Besides the above-mentioned properties of Sodium PCA, it also helps to maintain the skin microflora in good condition. Therefore, it is considered effective for the treatment and prevention of Eczema, Irritation, and Itching.
You don’t need to use high amounts of Sodium PCA to enjoy its benefits. Generally, in cosmetics, it is mixed with other humectants and ingredients.
If you want to give it a try, we recommend you INNO® DERMA NMF Tonic. It includes Sodium PCA combined with other key ingredients like Lactic Acid, Enteromorpha Compressa Extract, and others. This invigorating and revitalizing toner moisturizes the skin without leaving it greasy nor sticky in a warm day. It is the best way to comfort and refresh your skin in summer (at any time of the day) while deeply moisturizing. The skin looks softer and firmer right after application. You will fall in love with it immediately!