Proteoglycans are polysaccharides, located in the extracellular matrix of connective tissue. Its chemical structure is composed of a central protein and chains of glycosaminoglycans.

What are proteoglycans?

They are protein molecules responsible for maintaining the structure and communication between the inside and outside of cells.

Function and effect of proteoglycans

The biological function of proteoglycans is to regulate cell growth and development.

These molecules promote skin regeneration and elasticity. Its function is to maintain the union of cells in different parts of the body, such as cartilage, dermis and epidermis, and to protect them against external agents and other chemicals.

They also play an important role in the development of some diseases. Because of this, proteoglycans have applications in industries such as cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and biomedicine.

In the latter two cases, proteoglycans have been used to develop drugs, manufacture medical devices, control the quality of vaccines and stabilize proteins.

Proteoglycans are implicated in one way or another in cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, cancer and arthritis.

Proteoglycans in cosmetics

In the world of aesthetics, proteoglycans have become one of the most sought-after substances, thanks to their moisturizing and anti-aging effect.

At Sisneo we use them in the Age Solution 360 product of the Mesoactives line, with the aim of repairing the dermis and protecting it from external agents.

Currently, proteoglycans are of vegetable or marine origin. They are usually combined with vitamin C, vitamin A, hyaluronic acid, silicon or melatonin.

To help combat the visible signs of aging, proteoglycans are marketed in different formats:

  • Ampoules: application is very simple and quick by gently massaging into the skin. They are indicated for skin lacking hydration or showing signs of fatigue and stress.
    They are sold directly in pharmacies and some supermarkets. In just a few years, it has revolutionized the skin care protocol of many people.
  • Injectable ampoules: For use with injected mesotherapy. In this case they must be applied by professionals.
  • Oral: this is an even simpler way of consuming proteoglycans. They can be sold in tablet, powder or shake form. The great advantage is that its benefits have an impact on the skin and also on bones and joints.
  • Serum: For topical application on the face. Before use, the face must be cleansed.

They can be used to achieve a quick effect or in continuous treatments. Ideally, it should be applied at night.

When to use proteoglycans?

Its use is recommended after a certain age, when the signs of aging begin to show: lack of radiance, tired appearance, flaccidity and dry skin. There is no estimated age, as each skin has different characteristics and aging.

It is clear that after the age of 30, the body begins to have less production of certain organic substances that help fight the signs of aging, such as collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid.

The extra supply of proteoglycans promotes collagen production, which helps regenerate skin cells and improves antioxidant and firming functions.

The most visible benefits of proteoglycans are:

  • Skin regeneration by improving the elasticity and tension of the epidermis.
  • Improves healing due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Moisturizes. One of its most important properties is that it attracts water, which helps any type of skin, especially dry skin.
  • It slows down wrinkles. The properties of proteoglycans, combined with Vitamin C, make them antioxidants that prevent the appearance of wrinkles.

Foods with proteoglycans

Some foods are rich in proteoglycans, so you can also insist on this way.

Pork, beef, chicken, lentils, eggs, asparagus, chickpeas, cheese, cabbage and gelatin help improve collagen production.

Moreover, when consumed together with fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C, their effect is multiplied.

Commitment to quality

This text on proteoglycans was written by professional editors and reviewed by Sisneo’s medical-aesthetic team. In addition, we have relied on experts in medicine, engineering and aesthetics as a source of information, as well as specific studies to maintain the quality of what we publish.

At Sisneo Bioscience we are committed to publish truthful and contrasted information. And to update or correct it as soon as new knowledge becomes available.

Among others, we have used the following references:

  • Smith MM, Melrose J. «Proteoglycans in Normal and Healing Skin» en Adv Wound Care (New Rochelle). 2015 Mar 1;4(3):152-173. doi: 10.1089/wound.2013.0464. PMID: 25785238; PMCID: PMC4352701.
  • Ruiz Martínez, M.A., Peralta Galisteo, S., Castán, H. and Morales Hernández, M.E. (2020) «Role of proteoglycans on skin ageing: a review» en Int J Cosmet Sci, 42: 529-535.