Alanine is an alpha amino acid that is used as a building block during the production of proteins. It is considered to be a non-essential amino acid, which means it can be synthesized by the human body under normal physiological circumstances. Alanine can also be obtained through dietary sources such as meat, seafood, eggs, fish, beans, nuts and seeds.
It is thought that alanine and other amino acids used in skin care products can assist the skin in making important proteins, such as collagen and elastin. Collagen is important for skin strength, while elastin is important for skin elasticity. Both collagen and elastin levels in the skin decrease with age. Therefore, topical application of ingredients that stimulate their production, such as alanine, may help to decrease signs of aging.
In addition to its anti-aging properties, alanine functions as a skin-conditioning agent, anti-static agent, and masking agent. A masking agent is used to disguise the natural smell of the active ingredients, especially those that have an unpleasant smell. Sometimes, a masking agent can make a product smell so “clean” that consumers think the product is fragrance-free.