Amino acid sugar and primary constituent of mucopolysaccharides and hyaluronic acid. Acetyl glucosamine is a skin-replenishing ingredient that can have considerable value in cosmetic products aimed at diminishing signs of aging.
In terms of this ingredient prompting exfoliation, the research that exists was performed by Proctor & Gamble and by Estee Lauder, and both companies sell skincare products that contain acetyl glucosamine.
Acetyl glucosamine also has research demonstrating that it can have skin-brightening benefits, particularly when combined with the B vitamin, niacinamide.
Most of the research concerning acetyl glucosamine’s effect on uneven skin tone is from Procter & Gamble, as their Olay brand uses acetyl glucosamine in select products. Still, the research is compelling and the protocols are sound, so it can be applied to other formularies that utilize this ingredient.
References for this information:
International Journal of Cosmetic Science, October 2013, pages 472-476
British Journal of Dermatology, February 2010, pages 435-441
Journal of Cosmetic Science, July-August 2009, pages 423-428
Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2007, pages 20-26; and December 2006, pages 309-315