Word on Tokyo Streets is that there’s a new hydrating ingredient on the block, and no, it’s not hyaluronic acid. Here’s a powerful alternative you’ve probably never heard of (nor can pronounce): Proteoglycan. Like hyaluronic acid, proteoglycan naturally occurs in the human body (specifically it fills the spaces between our cells aka the extracellular matrix), and it loves water. And if hyaluronic acid’s ability to hold 1000 times its weight in moisture wasn’t enough, proteoglycan’s boosts water retention rate by 30% of that. But proteoglycan’s claim to fame goes beyond its hydrating properties. Proteoglycan additionally stimulates the body’s production of collagen and hyaluronic acid, two essential substances that keep the skin feeling youthful but decline as we get older. Plus, since proteoglycan’s role in the body is to keep our cells glued together, it’s a master at defending cells from outside forces and chemicals that would break them down. So it’s no surprise that proteoglycan also helps the skin maintain its natural elasticity, suppleness and firmness. TLDR? Here’s proteoglycan benefits in a nutshell:
- Ultra-hydrating: Retains 30% more moisture than hyaluronic acid
- Stimulates body’s synthesis of collagen and hyaluronic acid
- Helps repair skin and slow down formation of fine lines, wrinkles, and dehydration
Why is proteoglycan so rare?
The benefits of proteoglycan were first discovered in the 1970s, but its spectacular advantages along with the complexity of its extraction made it an extremely expensive beauty ingredient. Valued at $300,000 per gram, it was considered more precious than diamonds! Fast forward 40 years, researchers at Hirosaki University in Aomori, Japan, found a way to extract proteoglycan from the nasal cartilage of salmon. Professor Takagachi Keiichi happened to be dining at a local restaurant and enjoying their Northern Japanese dish “hizunamasu,” which features a salmon head simmered in vinegar, when he realized that the vinegar had helped melt out the proteoglycan. This eureka moment proved to be a breakthrough. Of course, figuring out how to replicate this on a large scale was no joke, but their efforts paid off, and now proteoglycan is available to everyone in the La Vie Précieuse A.P.G. skincare line.
Why La Vie Précieuse products?
The La Vie Précieuse approach is to restore skin to its original healthy state by providing it a cocktail of science meets nature, so it makes sense that each and every product in its skincare line was born from cutting-edge research. Aside from proteoglycan, the line features two other star ingredients, apple-derived ceramide and licorice extract. The apple-derived ceramide is extracted from apples grown on a local grove in Japan’s national capital of apple production, Aomori. The licorice extract (or glycyrrhizinate for you science whizzes) is also from domestically grown licorice, and was selected due to its ability to thrive despite harsh winters and dry summers. Licorice is often used in skincare for to help brightening and skin pigmentation issues. Since the products are so carefully formulated with select ingredients, the line consists of only three products that make up the entire skincare routine. First, soften, hydrate, and prep the skin with the essence (aka Japanese toner). Then plump, protect, and nourish in the emulsion and cream steps.
Can’t wait to tap into the power of proteoglycan in just three easy steps? Check out Japanese luxury skincare brand La Vie Précieuse below.