Acetyl glucosamine is an amino-monosaccharide (simple sugar) and a precursor of hyaluronic acid (meaning it helps skin make hyaluronic acid). Hyaluronic acid is a fundamental component of skin since it’s responsible for helping skin to maintain normal hydration and elasticity.
Acetyl glucosamine has also been shown to be effective in reducing visible discolorations when paired with the B vitamin niacinamide, and can help reinforce skin’s supportive elements. This multi-purpose skin-improver is also an antioxidant and has soothing properties.
Although pure acetyl glucosamine is considered unstable, a synthetic or bio-fermented derivative known as n-acetyl glucosamine is stable and highly effective. This is the type Paula’s Choice Skincare uses in our 10% and 20% niacinamide treatments and RESIST eye cream, since it is also vegan (pure acetyl glucosamine is typically derived from shellfish).
References for this information:
International Journal of Pharmaceutics, March 2020, pages 1–10
Life Sciences, May 2016, pages 21-29
Drug Design, Development and Therapy, August 2014, pages 1,923–1,928
Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, June 2013, pages 96-102; and December 2006, pages 309-315
Dermato-endocrinology, July 2012, pages 253–258
About the Experts
Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books about skincare and makeup. She is known worldwide as The Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula’s Choice Skincare. Paula’s expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international radio, print, and television including:
The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to busting beauty myths and providing expert advice that solves your skincare frustrations so you can have the best skin of your life!