Sunday, April 12, 2015

Weekend Wonderings: Use Braggs' amino acids in cosmetics?

In this post, formulating a facial cleanser with soy, Theresa asks: I love using foaming soy and I try to throw it in at every chance I get! It really adds to the product, in my opinion. Speaking of soy, I have noticed DIYers using Braggs Amino Acid (soy sauce substitute) in hair and face products a lot over the past few months. Have you heard of that? What's your take on it, do you think it does any good? 

I'm always apprehensive about using food stuffs in our products. There are many reasons for this, but the main one is that food based ingredients aren't designed with the intention of using them in cosmetics, so they won't necessarily be preserved well or stand up over time. (In the case of Braggs' amino acids, they proudly state there are no preservatives in the mix, so I worry how these will stand up over time in the bottle, let alone in our products.) With this ingredient, there is a second reason I wouldn't use it - we probably won't get the benefit of the amino acids on our hair or skin. What we want to use in our products are hydrolyzed proteins.

(From this post, hydrolyzed proteins...) Proteins have very poor water solublility, so they are hydrolyzed to increase this solubility. (How do they do it? They hydrolyze by cleaving the protein molecule to disrupt the peptide bonds. This cleavage can happen by chemical or biological means, or can be a combination of applying high temperatures and pressure.) They are usually vegetable proteins, and the hydrolyzation means they will be water soluble to offer conditioning, moisturizing, and film forming properties. They are amphoteric, and a positive charge makes them substantive.

So using a hydrolyzed protein or amino acid means it's more likely to adsorb to your hair or skin, leaving it feeling conditioned. I grant you that the Braggs' liquid aminos product seems to be less expensive, but I have a feeling the product is more likely to smell like soy sauce - or at least something very savoury - and it isn't adsorbing to our hair or skin the way the hydrolyzed versions would.


Theresa Willey said...

Brilliant! You touched on all my concerns about the Braggs Amino Acids! I have just about every hydrolyzed protein and LOVE what they add to my products. When I saw DIYers using the Braggs Amino Acids, I couldn't help but wonder, have they hit on something I missed? But that can't be good putting that in my hair, can it?! I feel it always prudent to research DIY recommendations thoroughly before attempting anything! Thank you once again for verifying what I thought had to be true. And thank you for this wonderful informative post!

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