Creatine at a glance

  • Amino acid found in the human body
  • Serves as a precursor to adenosine triphosphate
  • Improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Boosts skin firmness

Creatine description

Creatine is an amino acid found in the human body and most types of meat and fish. This ingredient serves as the precursor to adenosine triphosphate, a skin-restoring and soothing agent. Creatine is located mostly in the body’s muscles and in the brain. Studies have shown that topically applied creatine can improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Additional studies have demonstrated that topical creatine can boost skin firmness. This amino acid may be animal-derived or synthetic; Paula’s Choice Skin care uses the latter. Typical usage levels of this concentrated ingredient in skin and hair care range from 0.5–1.4%. As a naturally occurring amino acid, it is considered safe as used in cosmetics.

Creatine references

  • Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2011 and December 2011, pages 15-23 and 273-281
  • Journal of Investigative Dermatology, February 2005, pages 443-452
  • Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, March 2005, page 225
  • Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, January 2002, pages 47–52

Peer-reviewed, substantiated scientific research is used to assess ingredients in this dictionary. Regulations regarding constraints, permitted concentration levels and availability vary by country and region.

Ingredient ratings


Proven and supported by independent studies. Outstanding active ingredient for most skin types or concerns.


Necessary to improve a formula's texture, stability, or penetration.


Generally non-irritating but may have aesthetic, stability, or other issues that limit its usefulness.


There is a likelihood of irritation. Risk increases when combined with other problematic ingredients.


May cause irritation, inflammation, dryness, etc. May offer benefit in some capability but overall, proven to do more harm than good.


We couldn't find this in our ingredient dictionary. We log all missing ingredients and make continuous updates.

Not rated

We have not yet rated this ingredient because we have not had a chance to review the research on it.