Gluconolactone: Antioxidant, Hydrator, Free Radical Scavenger, Stabiliser, And So Much More
What is it that makes Gluconolactone such a multipurpose skin care ingredient? Why is it beneficial to the skin and what advantages would it provide to those concerned with various skin care issues? What does its chemical composition consist of that would further attract users to search for products with this ingredient? The answers are many as Gluconolactone proves to be advantageous in a number of skin care related issues.
What is Gluconolactone?
Gluconolactone is a natural antioxidant substance made up of water drawing clusters that moisturise the skin through varying amounts and levels of hydration activity, as its molecular structure is such that it attracts and retains water. It is derived from gluconic acid, which is an important chemical found in animals, and it is utilised to break down carbohydrates during the digestive process, which results in sugar activity that provides energy for cellular processes. Gluconolactone molecules extract moisture from the air and disperse it for absorption to the skin, which establishes a barrier and allows moisture to remain on the skin and prevent further moisture loss. In natural form, it is a crystalline type white powder and can have several different names, such as glucono delta-lactone, E575, d-gluconic acid and 1,5 gluconolactone. It has many functions and may also be used for flavouring purposes in a number of foods, as well as utilised as a deodoriser to absorb and dispel unpleasant odours. When it is included with products that are of an oily and watery consistency, the Gluconolactone stabilises the product to prevent separation.
The benefits of Gluconolactone
Through recent clinical studies, Gluconolactone has been shown to have many benefits when utilised in an active ingredient capacity. As a polyhydroxy acid, it not only moisturises and gently resurfaces the skin, but it also has the ability to chelate (remove heavy metals), scavenge for free radicals and protect the skin from the harmful effects of UV radiation up to 50 percent. The associated effects of sun exposure have been reduced considerably with longer term use of Gluconolactone and results have shown improved skin firmness, fine line and wrinkle reduction, as well as hyper-pigmentation and pore size curtailment. Though the studies are not entirely conclusive and require continued research, early findings suggest that Gluconolactone is a moderate anti-bacterial that may be helpful in the treatment of acne. Other clinical findings suggest that the ingredient may aid in skin cell sloughing and produce results similar to that of hydroxy acid use without the harsher effects. Even patients with sensitive skin issues, dry skin and rosacea have experienced non-irritating improvements with Gluconolactone use.
The studies conducted with Gluconolactone have prompted skin care companies to add the active ingredient to various formulas for anti-ageing serums, acne treatments, body lotions, wrinkle creams, sun screens, hair conditioners and other products. Though benefits have been derived from Gluconolactone, there are still unanswered questions as to whether other ingredients utilised in skin care line formulations are boosting or providing the same results as Gluconolactone. Further studies will determine that assumption.
Is Gluconolactone Safe?
Gluconolactone can be found in a number of natural skin care and higher end treatment lines, and it has been approved for use by ECOCERT (organic certification organisation) which approves, sanctions and certifies the use of the ingredient as a preservative or additive for a number of products. Its natural composition and safe PHA (polyhydroxy acid) label has prompted no rejections or warnings regarding its use, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lists the product under a “Generally Regarded as Safe” category for consumption and topical applications. Clinical studies have shown the ingredient to have no known toxic attributes or skin irritants for sensitive skin individuals.
Though Gluconolactone is presumed safer than regular hydroxy products, pregnant and lactating women should consult a physician before utilising products that contain the ingredient, as should those with allergies or sensitivities, or anyone using prescription drug acne treatment products such as Accutane or other acid type treatment products.