Glycosaminoglycans

Glycosaminoglycans — polysaccharides that are major components of the extra cellular matrix (ECM) and connective tissues. They are used in cosmetics for their ability to increase hydration, elasticity and pliability of the skin. Glycosaminoglycans are credited with film-forming, moisturizing, and firming properties. They reportedly leave the skin smooth, velvety soft and minimize wrinkle appearance. They are easily accepted by the skin because of their high charge and affinity. This group of complex materials, formerly identified as mucopolysaccharides, includes such individual components as hyaluronic acid, chondroitin, chondroitin sulfate, chondroitin 6-sulfate, dermatan sulfate, heparin, and heparin sulfate. Glycosaminoglycans are derived from cartilaginous fish. They can also be derived from various animal proteins as well as synthetically prepared.