Ingredient Explained


Proline is a non-essential amino acid — meaning that the body can produce it — that functions as the building block of proteins. As far as skincare is concerned, proline is used to support the body’s synthesis of collagen as well as promote wound healing, enhance skin elasticity and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. In fact, proline and its derivative, hydroxyproline, comprise around 23% of the amino acid content of the collagen molecule, so both are vital for maintaining skin integrity, structure, and strength.[1][2] Besides, since it’s an amino acid, proline also improves the skin’s ability to retain moisture, boosting hydration for a more supple complexion.

Thanks to its collagen-stimulating properties, proline in skincare is found in all sorts of products targeting aging signs and skin repair. When applied to the skin, it helps rebuild damaged tissues and promotes wound healing, working great to improve acne scars. For the record, proline works synergically with vitamin C (as both promote collagen synthesis) to restore the skin’s structure.[1]

Regarding its ability to minimize fine lines and wrinkles, proline definitely looks promising. According to a study published by the Korean Journal of Dermatology, the twice daily application of 0.5% hydroxyproline for 12 weeks significantly decreased wrinkles appearance and revealed a firmer and youthful-looking complexion.[3]

Last but not least, proline is considered a safe ingredient in skincare formulations and can be used daily in concentrations up to 5%. Common forms of proline found in cosmetics include hydroxyproline, cocoyl proline, and palmitoyl proline, all having the role of supporting collagen, reducing wrinkles, and improving skin healing.

Products with proline:

  1. MDSolarSciences Evening Facial Repair Serum
  2. Elemis Pro-Collagen Advanced Eye Treatment
  3. The Ordinary Amino Acids + B5
  4. Peter Thomas Roth Peptide 21 Amino Acid Exfoliating Peel Pads
  5. Biossance Squalane + Amino Aloe Gentle Cleanser


  1. Albaugh VL, Mukherjee K, Barbul A. Proline Precursors and Collagen Synthesis: Biochemical Challenges of Nutrient Supplementation and Wound HealingJ Nutr. 2017;147(11):2011-2017. doi:10.3945/jn.117.256404
  2. Murakami H, Shimbo K, Inoue Y, Takino Y, Kobayashi H. Importance of amino acid composition to improve skin collagen protein synthesis rates in UV-irradiated miceAmino Acids. 2012;42(6):2481-2489. doi:10.1007/s00726-011-1059-z
  3. Suh, Kee Suck & Choi, S.Y. & Kim, s.T.. (2007). The effect of hydroxyproline on the improvement of facial wrinkles. Korean Journal of Dermatology. 45.
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