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Polyglutamic Acid

Commonly known as: Polyglutamic acid (PGA), Poly-gamma-glutamic acid, Gum natto.
I.N.C.I. list name: Polyglutamic Acid.
Extraction process: Biosynthesis from L-glutamic acid using the Gram-positive bacterium Bacillus subtilis.
Source: Vegetable.
Botanical name: Glycine max (L.) Merr. (soybean).
Family: Poaceae.
Part of the plant extracted: Seeds.
Provenance, origin:
Chemical characteristics: Polymer consisting of D- and L-glutamic acid units; Water-soluble peptide; Molecular weight > 10 kDa and generally ranging from ~100 to > 1000 kDa.
Characteristics: Emulsion, colloidal solution, ionic solution, balm, suspension.
Dosage required in cosmetic products: From 0.3% to 3%.
Function: Skin care agent.
Properties: Moisturizing, film-forming, humectant, lightening, plumping.
Benefits: All skin types but especially dry, dehydrated and dull skin; all hair types especially dry and dull hair.



  • Face care (moisturizing face creams, masks, serums, lip care, mists, lotions, sunscreens, eye contour creams);

  • Body care (creams, milks);

  • Hair care (shampoos, hair serums, masks);

  • Make-up (foundations).


Store away from light, moisture and heat.

Contra-Indications and Precautions

In topical application, the polyglutamic acid is a safe active and particularly well tolerated by all the types of skin. It is nevertheless not recommended to use a care with a concentration of PGA higher than 3%, because an overdose can weaken the cutaneous fabrics and support the appearance of redness. Since it is an acid, a test in the hollow of the elbow is recommended before any use.

Find out more

Polyglutamic acid was first discovered in jellyfish to help them retain moisture in salt water. It is also a main component of the sticky, stringy paste in Nattô, traditional Japanese food made from fermented soybeans. It is able to absorb up to 5,000 times its weight in water, developing an absorbent microgel on the skin that swells and traps water, preventing its evaporation.