Gamma Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) is an amino acid that functions as a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. GABA levels in the body decrease with age and it has been used in skin care since 2004.
There are GABA receptors on the skin surface and when GABA activates these receptors, it can penetrate skin, relaxing tense muscles and reducing small wrinkles. Wrinkle depth in crow’s feet can be reduced by 12% in 8 weeks and 17% in 12 weeks.
In the epidermis, GABA can promote epidermal cell proliferation and the production of involucrin and glutathione. This can help to repair barrier function by improving the structure of the stratum corneum. This also leads to an improvement of skin firmness.
In the dermis, GABA can promote fibroblast proliferation and synthesis of hyaluronic acid (HA) and collagen, thus improving skin moisture and elasticity. GABA caused a 2-fold increase of HA from dermal fibroblasts.
GABA is produced by Lactobacillus fermentation.