What is GABA?

  • GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) is very often referred to as the body’s natural tranquilizer
  • It is an amino acid that is produced in the brain
  • It acts as a neurotransmitter (a chemical that enables communication between nerve cells)
  • It plays a role in regulating neuronal excitability throughout the nervous system
  • In humans, GABA is also directly responsible for the regulation of muscle tone

GABA also helps to keep stress-related nerve impulses at bay.  It is the most important and widespread inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain.  Excitation in the brain must be balanced with inhibition.  Too much excitation can lead to restlessness, irritability, insomnia, and even seizures.  GABA is able to induce relaxation, analgesia, and sleep.  Barbiturates and benzodiazepines are known to stimulate GABA receptors, and hence induce relaxation.  Several neurological disorders, such as epilepsy, sleep disorders, and Parkinson’s disease are affected by this neurotransmitter.  This neurotransmitter is made in the brain from the amino acid glutamate with the aid of vitamin B6.

What role does GABA play in skin care?

GABA’s inclusion in upscale skin care products is a widely discussed topic in the skin care community. In popular eye serums for instance, GABA works specifically well to temporarily freeze the delicate muscles surrounding the eyes, thus instantly reducing wrinkle lines and depth in that region.

  • In skin creams or lotions, for example — it might help to relax facial nerves and muscles that create lines and wrinkles
  • Helps to smooth out existing fine lines and wrinkles
  • GABA is considered an alternative to Botox because it helps to relax the facial muscles

GABA is found in many products, perhaps the most notable product is Elite Serum.  Elite Serum recently won our “Editor’s Award” and “Best Eye Cream” awards!  In addition to GABA, Elite Serum also contains Argireline, Haloxyl, and Matrixyl3000, all discussed in depth throughout this site.

Other products that contain GABA are:

  • Dr. Brandt Crease Release
    • Relaxes the muscles to help diminish the look of lines and wrinkles.


  • Tracie Martyn Enzyme Exfoliant
    • This product sloughs away dry dead cells for a smoother look and feel. Apply a small amount, and then rinse with warm water after five to 15 minutes. You’ll not only improve lines and wrinkles, but also sun damage, redness and acne breakouts.


  • pH Advantage Peptides Rhydex-2
    • This product uses GABA to relax muscles, peptides to build collagen and pigments that reflect light, decreasing the look of wrinkles.


  • Freeze 24/7 Anti-Wrinkle Cream
    • This cream helps to plump skin and makes lines and wrinkles less apparent. It works on crow’s feet, brow lines and lip lines. It’s hypoallergenic and non-irritating.