L-Carnitine is a naturally occurring amino acid that is vital for the metabolism of fats in the body. On skin, with its hygroscopicnature, it has a pronounced moisturizing effect, when added to moisturizing creams and lotions. As a lower-pH beta hydroxy acid, L-Carnitine exhibits exfoliating properties and the ability to reduce skin turnover time, making it an ideal candidate for reparative exfoliating creams and lotions in which it can either be used alone or in conjunction with other hydroxyacids, i.e. glycolic or lactic acids.
L-Carnitine, given its ability to play a major role in fat breakdown, was first used in cosmetic contouring creams and those targeting cellulite control. Recently, its use is focused on the beneficial effects of L-Carnitine on the skin itself. A study established that L-Carnitine prevents and alleviates deleterious skin conditions such as varicella scarring, wrinkle formation and sunburn peeling.
L-Carnitine is hygroscopic, therefore even small amounts are able to hydrate the skin, leaving it soft, smooth and moisturized. A human test panel using a placebo formulation and one containing 2% L-Carnitine clearly showed an increased skin hydration level of 26.4% for the L-Carnitine formulation compared to 12.5% of the skin treated with a placebo.
Carnitine exists in two forms: L-Carnitine and D-Carnitine. Only the L-Carnitine form is desirous as the D-Carnitine forms is physiologically inactive and can inhibit the uptake and functions of the natural isomer L-Carnitine. Manufactured by the only company which has a patented biotransformation process that guarantees high purity, L-Carnitine contains 0% of the D isomer and is approved for food use and has GRAS status.