Magnesium PCA



Magnesium PCA at a glance

  • A skin-replenishing mineral electrolyte
  • Works with skin’s water channels to boost hydration and optimise moisture balance
  • Helps strengthen skin’s barrier
  • Deemed safe by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel

Magnesium PCA description

Magnesium PCA is the magnesium salt of PCA (pyrrolidone carboxylic acid), which is part of skin’s intercellular matrix. Magnesium PCA therefore plays an influential role in what’s known as skin’s natural moisturising factor. As an electrolyte mineral, magnesium plays a role in enhancing skin hydration and barrier repair. It also influences how skin cells move through skin’s surface layers, how they shed, and how skin responds to external stimuli. Interestingly, pure magnesium and some forms such as magnesium chloride have a difficult time penetrating skin. Linking magnesium with PCA helps to overcome this issue, allowing skin to benefit. Magnesium PCA works with skin’s aquaporins (water channels) to boost hydration and train skin to maintain its moisture balance. Magnesium PCA has been deemed safe by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel. Their report surveyed products containing between 0.1-0.18% magnesium PCA.

Magnesium PCA references

  • International Journal of Toxicology, 2019, pages 5S-11S
  • Nutrients, August 2017, ePublication Magnesium Research, June 2016, pages 35-42
  • Dermatology Research and Practice, August 2012, ePublication
  • International Journal of Dermatology, February 2005, pages 151-157

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.