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From metabolism and wound healing to the transport and storage of nutrients, amino acids play an important role in the different functions that the body undertakes every day. These building blocks of proteins are essential to our health so is it any wonder, then, that they are necessary for healthy skin and hair?

Two important amino acids are arginine and carnitine, which work together to maintain skin's natural functions.  They are also major components of collagen and elastin which make up the skin's supporting network and which are so elemental to the firm and plump skin that we equate with youthfulness.

When it comes to skin care, carnitine plays a key role as an anti-oxidant, protecting the skin from free radical damage.  It also works to increase skin cell turnover, boost moisture and exfoliate.  In combination with arginine, carnitine becomes creatine, another amino acid needed for the skin to work properly. You can find carnitine in our favorite [Link Removed]  where it helps to deliver retinal's powerful properties to the skin.

Arginine supports the production of collagen and minimizes the appearance of premature aging.  It's a key ingredient in many of [Link Removed] .  However, where arginine really becomes a star is in anti-aging hair care. As we get older, our hair becomes more brittle and loses moisture.  Constant coloring further damages already fragile and thinning hair. A 2004 study revealed how arginine protects against the damaging effects of hydrogen peroxide on the hair protein while adhering to the hair fibres and increasing their strength.  As an oral supplement, arginine can also increase circulation in and around hair roots to stimulate growth.  Good news for those of us who are trying to hide the grey!

Amino acids for healthy skin and hair.  Bet they never taught you that in Science class.

Sharmani Pillay is a Registered Pharmacist who specializes in anti aging skin care and women's wellness. She owns and operates an online skin care store at [Link Removed] 

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