Glutamic Acid



Glutamic Acid at a glance

  • An amino acid that aids in hydrating and conditioning skin
  • Naturally present in the human body as well
  • Can be derived from animals and plants, but the synthetic form is typically used in cosmetics
  • Deemed safe by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel

Glutamic Acid description

Glutamic acid is an amino acid that aids in hydrating and conditioning skin. In cosmetic formulas, glutamic acid is typically synthetic, although it can also be derived from animals and plants. It’s considered a non-essential amino acid since it naturally occurs in the human body. Glutamic acid takes the form of crystals as a raw cosmetic material. It is related to the increasingly popular humectant polyglutamic acid, which is essentially multiple glutamic acid molecules bound together. Glutamic acid has been deemed safe by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review. Their assessment surveyed 308 products containing concentrations between 0.000004-2%.

Glutamic Acid references

  • Malaysian Applied Biology, May 2018, pages 113–117
  • Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences, April 2014, pages 153-158
  • International Journal of Toxicology, 2013, pages 41S-64S
  • Journal of Investigative Dermatology, June 2003, pages 1,023-1,029

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.


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Not rated

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