What is PCA?
PCA or sodium pyrrolidone carboxylate was first discovered by Haitinger in 1882, and its presence in the uppermost layer of skin, stratum corneum was first observed by Gertrud Pascher in 1956. It is a physiological molecule present in many tissues of the human body. It is formed by the breakdown of protein filaggrin in stratum corneum. PCA along with other smaller molecules like sugar and electrolytes form the natural moisturizing factor (NMF). The natural moisturizing factor is a measure of any skin about the moisture content present in the skin or how much dry the skin is.
Use & Benefits:
PCA and its salts function primarily as humectants and moisturizers. It absorbs moisture and retains it in the skin, that way it keeps the skin hydrated. It also forms a part of the NMF factor in the skin. With age, frequent exposure to environmental factors, and routine use of cleansing products skin starts losing its NMF. It eventually leads to dry skin. When the skin has decreasing moisture, the skin defense becomes weak and the skin becomes prone to infections and damages. PCA reduces these aging effects and makes skin more smooth, textured, and healthy. It is also non-comedogenic which means its use will not clog the pores in the skin. It protects the skin from infections like acne. PCA products are also used for hair. It is known to enhance the appearance and texture of hair, make it look silkier, soft sand lustrous. PCA is used in formulations of shampoos, conditioners, lotions, creams, and other hair and skincare products.