N-Acetyl Glucosamine - NAG

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CAS No.7512-17-6  EINECS No. 231-368-2

N-acetyl glucosamine is considered to be a “skin identical ingredient”, meaning it’s found in our skin in the spaces between the cells, and it is used to maintain skin’s barrier abilities and reduce dryness. Studies have shown that NAG can increase collagen production, increase moisture content of the skin, increase elasticity of the skin, increase exfoliation, and increase the speed of wound healing.

NAG has been shown to reduce hyperpigmentation and can be combined with niacinamide to further increase its ability to reduce hyperpigmentation. One study showed that a formulation of 4% niacinamide and 2% NAG significantly reduced the appearance and amount of hyperpigmentation of age spots and uneven skin pigmentation. Another eight week, double blind study showed a reduction in facial hyperpigmentation using NAG alone. NAG inhibits the glycolysation of pro-tyrosinase, which results in the reduction of melanin in the skin.

A similar study using niacinamide and NAG on women 35 to 60 showed an increase in the production of hyaluronic acid, a water binding polymer found in the skin, which resulted in improved hydration. This increase resulted in a reduction of appearance of fine lines, particularly around the eye area, and an increase in the elasticity of skin.

In vitro studies have shown that NAG can induce changes and increase proliferation of skin’s fibroblasts, which can lead to increased healing of wounds. It can also lead to increased collagen expression and proliferation of keratinocytes.

N-Acetyl Glucosamine is an amino sugar that has skin exfoliating properties similar to alpha and beta hydroxyl acids without the irritation.  NAG can normalize the exfoliation of the stratum corneum, so it can be a good replacement for acid based exfoliation ingredients that might annoy sensitive or rosacea prone skin.

High concentrations of NAG - as high as 10% - have not shown noticeable irritation of the skin. It is soluble at up to 25%, although only solutions below 10% will remain clear and colourless.

Key attributes:

  • Increases hyaluronic acid production in the skin
  • Repairs and treat sun damage
  • Reduces the appearance of wrinkles
  • Accelerates wound healing
  • Reduces trans-epidermal water loss
  • Improves skin tone
  • Improves barrier function
  • Reduces hyperpigmentation
  • Improves skin hydration


  • Anti-aging products
  • Exfoliating products
  • Brightening products


  • Water based toners
  • Creams and Lotions
  • Silicone serum

INCI: N-Acetyl Glucosamine

This product should be added to a formulation at the recommended usage rate. As with all of our materials, this ingredient is for external use only.

Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional skin care provider.

Incorporation:  Dissolve in water and add to batch below 50°C (122°F). It is soluble at up to 25%, although only solutions below 10% will remain clear and colorless.

Note: Our N-Acetyl Glucosamine is derived from the shells of crustaceans obtained as a byproduct of the shellfish industry.  As such, it cannot be considered a vegan product.

Recommended Usage Rate:  1 - 4%, up to 10%
Appearance:  White Powder
Molecular Weight:  221.21
Solubility: Soluble in water up to 25%

Country of Origin: : China
Shipping Info: : HS# 2932.99.9010

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