Skin hydration is important, but one of the big problems with relying on it to keep skin youthful is that most moisturizing agents only saturate the top layer of the skin, or the epidermis. This top layer is relatively thin and dehydrates rapidly. It's also at the mercy of outside forces like the heat, cold, wind and humidity (or lack of humidity). This is one good reason to use a moisturizer often throughout the day. It's also a good reason to look for other creative ways to keep your skin looking soft and supple.
Enter hydrolized glycosaminoglycans. These tiny, positively charged mucopolysaccharides are complex, hygroscopic proteins. That means they absorb and bind moisture like minute sponges and carry it deep into the epidermal layer of the skin -- and even on into the dermal layer itself. This isn't your grandmother's skin care ingredient. It's a targeted approach to thorough skin hydration and renewal on a cellular level.
The human body actually produces its own glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). They work in part to regenerate and hydrate the dermal layer from the inside. Hydrolized glycosaminoglycans are slightly altered to enhance their water retentive ability. This sounds complicated, and the science involved probably is pretty complicated. The takeaway is that products containing hydrolized glycosaminoglycans are like super moisturizers that can penetrate where simple surface moisturizers can't go. Once absorbed into the skin, they also help repair and revitalize skin tissue, making it look softer, smoother, younger and healthier. Glycosaminoglycans are considered safe and effective, and you'll find them in skin care as well as some hair care products.
You're probably beginning to notice the important role proteins (and their constituent amino acids) play in the health of your skin. In addition to good hygiene and a consistent skin cleansing regimen, eating a diet high in protein can help your body make many of the raw materials it needs to repair and maintain healthy skin.