Somehow I’d forgotten all about my bottle of Cellbone Moist Seal (it arrived when I bought the excellent Cellbone Hyper-Peptides). Actually, I hadn’t so much forgotten it as put it out of mind. Something about the name Moist Seal, followed by the words ‘hydrating gel’ conjured up the idea of something gloopy and tacky. Anyhow, I came across it in the TIA office the other day and thought I should give it a try.

First impressions reinforced my worst fears. Although not at all gloopy (rather watery, in fact), Moist Seal leaves the skin feeling sticky. In fact, I felt like a human fly paper. Fortunately, this lasts for barely one minute and then the skin feels soft, but oddly dry to the touch. While I was contemplating this, I remembered that this being a Cellbone product, it was bound to have some potent ingredients. Some of them turned out to be very intriguing – especially gamma poly glutamic acid, or gamma-PGA.

Originally found in jellyfish, gamma-PGA is these days made from fermented soy beans – a culinary gem (if you are Japanese) that is called natto. The beans are fermented with the bacterium bacillus subtilis and form foamy, gooey stuff, but its probably best not to dwell too much on that as it begins to make jellyfish seem appetizing. Talking of which, even in its industrial form as gamma-PGA, it is supposed to be edible. Anyway, the thing that makes gamma-PGA interesting for us students of cosmeticology is that it is supposed to be ten times more hydrating than sodium hyaluronate.

It may keep the skin moisturized and improve elasticity by inhibiting the activity of hyaluronidase, the enzyme that degrades hyaluronic acid in the skin. It is also said to can relieve allergic symptoms by inhibiting the permeability of inflammatory cells. However, most of the information on gamma-PGA comes from companies that manufacturer it and patent applications. I haven’t come across much research to back up the claims.

Next comes hydrogel, which is about 95% water and is used to repair tissue and, less commonly, for breast implants. But the ingredient that Cellbone makes a song and dance about is lactic calcium. Apparently this also comes from Japan and is fermented. Calcium lactate comes about when when lactic acid reacts with calcium carbonate. The reaction forms white crystals that are found in milk and other dairy products. Its pretty common in skincare products and it mainly acts as an astringent or exfoliant. What makes it special in Moist Seal – according to Cellbone – is that it comes with vitamin K2 and is, as a result, helpful in improving the skin’s elasticity. Again, I haven’t found any independent research on this.

I am curious as to how Cellbone Moist Seal ($48) will work out and I’ll report back in a few weeks.

Water, Gamma Poly Glutamic Acid, Hydrogel, Gamma Polyglutamate, Butylene Glycol, Collagen, Centella Asiatica Extract, Alovera Leaf Extract, Melon Extract, Lactic Calcium, Uva-Ursi Leaf Extract, Glycerin, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Vitamin K2