Most cosmetic products known as anti-ageing agents include in their list of ingredients a component that comes from the shells of various crustaceans. That ingredient is glucosamine, an amino sugar that Grupo Barcelonesa sells under the name N- Acetyl- D-Glucosamine.
Glucosamine is the most abundant monosaccharide in the world. It can be found in the exoskeleton of arthropods, in the cellular wall of fungi, and in many other organisms. Specifically, the glucosamine used in cosmetics comes from the chitin that forms the shells of lobsters, crabs, or shrimp, and is obtained via hydrolysis. In other words, it is a 100% naturally derived ingredient.
But why is this little piece of the sea added to anti-ageing products?
“Glucosamine has a structure that is very similar to that of the skin, and provides elasticity and moisture”, explains Juan Carlos Montoro, head of the cosmetics sector for Grupo Barcelonesa. Montoro specifies that the compound “improves collagen production, which benefits elasticity, and generates a barrier on the skin that reduces water loss, thus favouring moisturisation”. Thanks to these very properties, “glucosamine is also used in exfoliating products”, the experts adds.
The Barcelonesa glucosamine comes from the renowned North American company Sandream Impact, which belongs to the Aakash Chemicals and Dye Stuffs group, known globally for its ingredients destined for the cosmetics, self care, and nutrition industry. Barcelonesa is “its only distributor in Spain, Portugal, and northern Africa”, Juan Carlos Montoro explains.
“Thanks to Barcelonesa’s exclusive agreement with a company with such a well-endorsed history as that of Sandream Impact, we can supply our clients with a top-quality product that features all the certifications and guarantees with regards to safety, having passed the strict controls of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)”, states the Barcelonesa representative. The FDA is the United States governmental agency responsible for regulating food products, cosmetics, medical devices, biological products, and blood products.
Beyond the cosmetics industry, glucosamine is also highly valued as a nutritional supplement for the treatment of degenerative bone diseases thanks to its essential role in building and repairing cartilage. Typically, a glucosamine deficit is associated with the onset of pain, particularly in older people afflicted with arthritis or arthrosis.
Glucosamine, however, is not only effective against bone diseases: studies are being carried out on its benefits for illnesses such as inflammatory intestinal disease, asthma, allergies, sports-induced injuries, or even back and stomach aches or head aches. Nevertheless, Montoro emphasises the fact that these applications still remain in the study phase.