Histidine at a glance

  • An amino acid that provides antioxidant benefits
  • Is also capable of soothing skin
  • Alternate name is L-histidine
  • May be animal-derived or synthetic

Histidine description

Histidine is an amino acid polypeptide that has antioxidant and soothing properties for skin. It is a key building block of the skin protein filaggrin, which plays a leading role in maintaining skin’s barrier. Among the amino acids people need to remain healthy, histidine is considered essential since the body cannot make it so relies on getting this nutrient via proteindine also plays a role in mediating inflammation when skin is injured. Topically, research has shown histidine is a potent scavenger of the hydroxyl radical, which can cause a cascade of damage on skin’s surface. It also plays a role in helping skin maintain hydration by improving its natural moisturizing factors and ability to withstand environmental damage. Interestingly, deficiencies in histidine are one factor behind skin disorders such as atopic dermatitis. Histidine may be animal-derived or synthetic (Paula’s Choice Skincare uses the latter). Usage levels for skin care products range from 0.00009%–0.05%. Its safety for skin has been reviewed and confirmed. You will most often find histidine used with other amino acids since this approach delivers synergistic benefits.

Histidine references

  • Polymers, January 2021, pages 1–9
  • The Journal of Nutrition, October 2020, pages 2,570S–2,5779S
  • Nutrients, May 2020, pages 1–20
  • Clinical, Cosmetic, and Investigational Dermatology, October 2017, pages 403–411
  • International Journal of Toxicology, November-December 2013, pages 41S–64S

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