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Topical Peptide Treatments with Effective Anti-Aging Results



In the last two decades, many new peptides have been developed, and new knowledge on how peptides improve the skin has been uncovered. The spectrum of peptides in the field of cosmetics is continuously growing. This review summarizes some of the effective data on cosmeceutical peptides that work against intrinsic and extrinsic aging. Some peptides have been proven in their efficacy through clinical skin trials. Well-known and documented peptides like copper tripeptide are still under research to obtain more details on their effectiveness, and for the development of new treatments. Palmitoyl pentapeptide-4 and Carnosine are other well-researched cosmeceuticals. Additionally, there are many more peptides that are used in cosmetics. However, study results for some are sparse, or have not been published in scientific journals. This article summarizes topical peptides with proven efficacy in controlled in vivo studies.
Topical Peptide Treatments with Effective
Anti-Aging Results
Silke Karin Schagen
Beldio Research GmbH; Kramerstrasse 15, 87700 Memmingen, Germany;
Academic Editor: Marie Loden
Received: 26 December 2016; Accepted: 16 May 2017; Published: 22 May 2017
In the last two decades, many new peptides have been developed, and new knowledge on
how peptides improve the skin has been uncovered. The spectrum of peptides in the field of cosmetics
is continuously growing. This review summarizes some of the effective data on cosmeceutical
peptides that work against intrinsic and extrinsic aging. Some peptides have been proven in their
efficacy through clinical skin trials. Well-known and documented peptides like copper tripeptide
are still under research to obtain more details on their effectiveness, and for the development of
new treatments. Palmitoyl pentapeptide-4 and Carnosine are other well-researched cosmeceuticals.
Additionally, there are many more peptides that are used in cosmetics. However, study results for
some are sparse, or have not been published in scientific journals. This article summarizes topical
peptides with proven efficacy in controlled in vivo studies.
Keywords: barrier function; anti-aging; skin care; peptides; clinical studies
1. Introduction
Peptides and proteins are amino acid polymers. Peptides are short amino acid chains. The name
peptide is coming from pepton [peptos: digested (Greek)]. Naturally occurring human peptides
are known for cellular communication, such as protein regulation, cell proliferation, cell migration,
inflammation, angiogenesis, and melanogenesis [
], which results in a broad variety of physiological
processes including defense, immunity, stress, growth, homeostasis, and reproduction [
]. The first
peptides were described by Emil Fischer and Hofmeister in the early 19th century. The first peptide
synthesis was published in 1901 by Fischer and Fourneauin [
]. Fischer described the first peptide
as a glycyl-glycine and in his lectures explained more peptide structure like dipeptides, tripeptides
and polypeptides [
]. Years followed, and scientists synthesized new peptides, identified more natural
peptides, and learned more about their functions. Beside the growing knowledge about natural and
synthetic peptides, different synthetic peptides were developed. Copper glycine-histidine-lysine
(Cu-GHK) was developed in 1973 by Loren Pickard. In the late 80s, the first copper peptide was
incorporated into skin care products. Even then, peptide development proceeded slowly until the
beginning of 2000, when palmitoyl pentapeptide-4 was established. Since then, research and industry
has developed many short, stable, and synthetic peptides that have a role in extracellular matrix
synthesis, pigmentation, innate immunity and inflammation. These peptides are used for collagen
stimulation, wound healing, “Botox-like” wrinkle smoothing, as well as antioxidative, antimicrobial [
and whitening effects.
Topical cosmeceutical peptides can be classified as signal peptides, carrier peptides,
neurotransmitter inhibitor peptides, and enzyme inhibitor peptides.
Cosmeceutical peptides should have certain features in order to obtain good effects. Historically,
it has always been assumed that because of the skin barrier, the molecular weight of peptides should
be less than 500 Da, otherwise the peptide would not be able to pass the barrier. The moderate log
Cosmetics 2017,4, 16; doi:10.3390/cosmetics4020016
Cosmetics 2017,4, 16 2 of 14
of the partition coefficient for octanol/water should be between 1 and 3, the melting point should be
below 200 C, water solubility should be >1 mg/mL and there should be no or few polar centers [6].
Newer studies have shown that larger molecules can traverse the skin barrier, especially in the
case of dry and aged skin [
]. Synthetic peptides consist of amino acids chains which can be now be
modified in various ways for different functions like increased skin penetration, and increased special
receptor binding, stability, and solubility.
Some peptides are used in cosmetic products as shown in Table 1, but little
in vivo
efficacy data is
available [
]. In addition, substance mixtures are on the market and tested in cosmetic formulations,
so that in many cases the actual effect of individual peptides on the skin remains unclear. Claims of
efficiency by cosmeceuticals are restricted to the improvement of the skin appearance. Improving
cosmeceutical function might lead to re-classification from cosmetic to drug category, which is often
not desirable. This often limits possibilities for development.
Research on peptides should aim to identify the peptide
s mode of action, and define it for
cosmetic and/or pharmaceutical use. The prerequisites for an effective active substance must be
carefully examined before it is used. Study designs should be developed carefully, and maximal results
should be generated. With today’s methods, receptor activation, efficacy, and mechanistic information
can be identified. Interesting and meaningful
in vivo
studies can be developed. The development of
active peptides has opened a new field in cosmeceutical and pharmaceutical skin care in the last decade.
This review summarizes clinical studies with peptides which confirm their efficacy on human skin.
Table 1. Topically used peptides.
Type of Peptide Name of Peptides
Matricins peptides
Carnosine, Copper tripeptide, Trifluoroacetyl-tripeptide-2,
Tripeptide-10 citrulline, Acetyl tetrapeptide-5, Acetyl tetrapeptide-9,
Acetyl tetrapeptide-11, Tetrapeptide PKEK, Tetrapeptide-21,
Hexapeptide, Hexapeptide-11, Palmitoyl pentapeptide-4, Palmitoyl
tripeptide-3/5, Palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7, Palmitoyl hexapeptide-12,
Palmitoyl oligopeptide, Palmitoyl tripeptide-1, Pentamide-6
Carrier peptides Copper tripeptide, Manganese tripeptide-1
Peptide mimetics or
neurotransmitter-inhibiting peptides
Acetyl hexapeptide-3, Pentapeptide-18, Pentapeptide-3, Tripeptide-3
Enzyme inhibitor peptides Soybean peptide, Silk fibroin peptide, Black rice oligopeptides
Structural protein digestion Keratin peptide
2. Peptides that Trigger the Signaling Cascade
A number of peptides are able to trigger a signaling cascade. They are released from the
extracellular matrix, and are also called matricins or collagen stimulators. With these peptides,
the proliferation of collagen, elastin, proteoglycan, glycosaminoglycan and fibronectin is increased.
As a consequence, pigmentation of photo-damaged skin and fine lines and wrinkles are reduced with
the regeneration of the skin matrix cells. Skin elasticity increases, and skin appears smoother and
firmer. Synthetic peptides modeled on repair signaling sequences like the following described in this
section, have been developed to rejuvenate skin.
2.1. Carnosine and N-Acetylcarnosine
Carnosine is a dipeptide (Sequence:
-Ala-His) and a well-documented aqueous antioxidant with
wound healing activity, and it is naturally present in high concentrations in muscle and brain tissues.
Carnosine is a scavenging reactive oxygen species as well as an
unsaturated aldehyde formed
from peroxidation of cell membrane fatty acids during oxidative stress. The low molecular weight
water soluble unmodified dipeptide
-Ala-His has very little affinity for skin and does not penetrate
beyond the first layer of the stratum corneum. The lipophilic peptide palmitoyl
-Ala-His however,
Cosmetics 2017,4, 16 3 of 14
diffuses into the stratum corneum, epidermal, and dermal skin layers. No systemic activity has been
observed [9].
In two double-blind, randomized, controlled, split-face studies of four weeks each, changes in
periorbital wrinkles in women (aged 30–70) were observed (Study 1, 42 volunteers; Study 2,
35 volunteers). Tested products containing niacinamide, the peptides pal-KT and pal-KTTKS,
and carnosine, ameliorated periorbital skin, enhancing smoothness and diminishing larger wrinkle
depth [10].
A double-blind irradiation study comparing a complex consisting of different active
ingredients (SPF 50, photolyase, endonuclease, 8-oxoguanine glycosylase, carnosine, arazine,
and ergothionine) in available products with DNA repair, antioxidant and growth factor ingredients,
found the formulation to be effective in reducing pyrimidine dimers, protein carbonylation,
and 8-oxo-7,8-dihydro-2
-deoxyguanosine in human skin biopsies. The formulation also appeared
to enhance the genomic and proteomic integrity of skin cells after continual UV exposure. Hence,
this formulation could be regarded as potentially lowering the risk of UV-induced cutaneous aging,
and non-melanoma skin cancer [11].
During a six-month study, 20 healthy volunteers (Photo type II or III) were treated with
carnosine and N-acetylcarnosine formulations. Carnosine and N-acetylcarnosine alone in a water
solution obtained 3.6% and 7.3% reduction of erythema compared to the control. Both peptides
showed antioxidant capacity, with a higher significance in conjunction with vehicles improving
the substances’ skin penetration capabilities. N-acetylcarnosine was mentioned as an interesting
hydrophilic antioxidant for dermatological purposes [12].
2.2. Trifluoroacetyl-Tripeptide-2
Trifluoroacetyl-tripeptide-2 (Sequence: TFA-Val-Try-Val-OH) was evaluated in two
in vivo
face studies. One study examined its anti-wrinkle and anti-sagging effects along the jawline of
10 volunteers (56 days) via fringe projection profilometry; and the other study targeted skin firmness,
elasticity, and viscoelasticity via cytometry on 13 healthy volunteers (28 days). According to the studies,
trifluoroacetyl-tripeptide-2 has progressive effects on wrinkles, firmness, elasticity and sagging [13].
2.3. Tripeptide-10 Citrulline
Tripeptide-10 citrulline (Sequence: Lys-
-Asp-Ile-Citrulline), a decorin-like tetrapeptide,
is used to specifically target collagen fiber organization. Puig et al. published results of an
assessor blinded, placebo-controlled, parallel group study with 43 healthy volunteers (aged 40–58).
Tripeptide-10 citrulline showed uniformity in fibril diameter, and increased skin suppleness from
better collagen fiber cohesion [14].
2.4. Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1
Palmitoyl tripeptide-1, also called pal-GHK and palmitoyl oligopeptide (Sequence:
Pal-Gly-His-Lys), is a messenger peptide for collagen renewal. Comparable to retinoic acid with
regards to its activity, it does not trigger irritation. Collagen and glycosaminoglycan synthesis are
stimulated, the epidermis is reinforced, and wrinkles are diminished. This peptide is suggested to
act on TGF
to stimulate fibrillogenesis. It is used in cosmetic anti-wrinkle skincare and make-up
products. In a study with 15 women, a cream containing palmitoyl tripeptide-1 was applied twice
daily for four weeks, leading to statistically significant reductions in wrinkle length, depth and skin
roughness. Another study applied both vehicle and palmitoyl tripeptide-1 to the skin of 23 healthy
female volunteers for four weeks [
], documenting a small but statistically significant increase in skin
thickness (~4%, compared to the vehicle alone) [15].
A combination of pal-GHK tripeptide and pal-GQPR tetrapeptide is marketed as an anti-wrinkle
compound with the trade name Matrixyl
3000. A blind, randomized clinical study with 28 volunteers
twice daily applying cream including the active compound to half their face and one of their forearms
Cosmetics 2017,4, 16 4 of 14
and a placebo cream to the other half of the face and other forearm confirmed anti-wrinkle efficacy,
reduction of wrinkle depth, volume and density, skin roughness and complexity, as well as a decrease
of the area occupied by deep wrinkles, and an increase in skin tone [16].
2.5. Palmitoyl Tripeptide-3/5
Palmitoyl tripeptide-3/5 mimics the effects of an extracellular matrix protein, thrombospondin-1
(TSP-1), a naturally occurring molecule that increases TGF
activity. In animal models and human
dermal fibroblasts cell culture tests, TSP-1 acts locally to improve wound healing, and is believed to be
active in the post-natal development of skin structures [
]. The short sequence Lys-Arg-Phe-Lys of
the TSP-1 protein is responsible for TGF
stimulation. TGF
in turn, causes a persistent increase in
the amounts of Type I and Type III collagen that dermal fibroblasts produce. Palmitoyl tripeptide-3/5
(Sequence: Pal-Lys-Val-Lys bistrifluoracetae salt) (SYN
-COLL) stimulates collagen production in
in vitro and in vivo studies through the growth factor TGFβ.
Animal studies indicate that palmitoyl tripeptide-3/5 may increase collagen synthesis.
In vitro
studies show that palmitoyl tripeptide-3/5 can prevent collagen breakdown by interfering with
MMP1 and MMP3 collagen degradation. Palmitoyl tripeptide-3/5 seems to boost collagen synthesis,
but decreases collagen breakdown. Additional data show that palmitoyl tripeptide-3/5 is roughly
3.5 times more effective at reducing the appearance of wrinkles than the placebo [
In vivo
results of
a palmitoyl tripeptide-3/5 (10 to 25 ppm) cream formulation demonstrated a dose-dependent wrinkle
reduction, measured by PRIMOS surface topography [18].
In an efficacy study performed on 60 Chinese volunteers (84 days, applied twice daily),
palmitoyl tripeptide-3/5 confirmed its anti-wrinkle efficacy and reduced skin roughness better than
control groups, placebo and pal-KTTKS-containing creams [6].
2.6. Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38
Epithelial regeneration in skin is achieved by the constant turnover and differentiation of
keratinocytes. Epidermal and dermal stem cell compartments are fundamental for the continuous
renewal of the skin. Adult stem cells are the unique source for skin tissue renewal. Plants also have
stem cells and plant-derived stem cell extracts are now used in topical products for their potential
anti-aging and anti-wrinkle effects.
A dermocosmetic product containing apple stem cell extract, urea, creatine and palmitoyl
tripeptide-38 (Sequence: Pal-Lys-Met(O2)-Lys-OH) was applied on the face twice daily for 28 days,
and assessed by clinical and instrumental evaluation in 32 women with sensitive skin bearing crow’s
feet wrinkles. The treatment results showed a significant increase in dermal density and elasticity,
as well as anti-wrinkle effects. The anti-aging serum seems to improve aging skin signs with the first
visible results achieved after one week treatment [19].
To determine the effectiveness of a multi-ingredient anti-aging moisturizer, an open label
clinical trial was conducted with 37 female subjects of ages 35–60. The effective ingredients of
the moisturizer for the facial skin included Astragalus membranaceus root extract, a peptide blend
including palmitoyl tripeptide-38, standardized rosemary leaf extract (ursolic acid), tetrahexyldecyl
ascorbate, and ubiquinone. Results were favorable in both product efficacy measurements and aesthetic
self-assessment questionnaires, with subjects judging the product as being mild and well-tolerated [
2.7. Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4
Palmitoyl pentapeptide-4, (Matrixyl
) (Sequence: Pal-Lys-Thr-Thr-Lys-Ser-OH or pal-KTTKS-OH)
is a small, highly specific biologically active peptide which has been reported to stimulate the
production of elastin, fibronectin, glucosaminoglycan and collagens (specifically Types I, III and
IV), support of the extracellular matrix, and wound healing. KTTKS structure is related to the
precursor of collagen Type I (or procollagen Type I). The stimulatory effect of KTTKS on collagen
Types I and III, and fibronectin, seems to relate mainly to the biosynthetic pathway, rather than the
Cosmetics 2017,4, 16 5 of 14
export or degradation pathways. KTTKS has a molecular weight of 563.64 Da, the longer pal-KTTKS is
802.05 Da.
In a placebo-controlled double blind study, pal-KTTKS (0.005%) formulation was applied to the
right periocular area twice daily for 28 days [
]. As demonstrated by optical profilometry, this resulted
in a quantitative decrease in fold depth, fold thickness, and skin rigidity, by 18%,
37%, and 21%
respectively. These results were confirmed in two other placebo-controlled double blind studies in
women (42 and 35 subjects) with moderate to distinct periorbital wrinkles [10].
A double-blind, placebo-controlled, split face, left-right randomized trial involving 93 subjects
was carried out to assess the clinical efficacy of pal-KTTKS, with fine line or wrinkle improvement
as the parameter of interest [
]. In another four month-long double-blind study, 49 women were
directed to apply either pal-KTTKS or vehicle twice daily to their faces. The results showed that
pal-KTTKS exhibited significant improvement in skin roughness, wrinkle volume, and wrinkle depth,
compared with the vehicle. Data associated pal-KTTKS with an increase in elastin fiber density and
thickness, as well as improved collagen IV regulation at the dermal-epidermal junction [23].
2.8. Palmitoyl Tetrapeptid-7
Palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7 (Rigin
) (Sequence: Pal-Gly-Gln-Pro-Arg or pal-GQPR) is a fragment of
immunoglobulin G. Palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7 decreases IL-6 secretion in a basal setting, and serves
as an anti-inflammatory after exposure to UVB-irradiation.
In vivo
reflectance confocal microscopy
studies indicated that a blend of palmitoyl oligopeptide and palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7 enhanced
the extracellular matrix structure compared to placebo [
]. Sixty healthy photoaged volunteers
(aged 45–80) were tested over 12 months with a formulation containing palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7 and
another active ingredient. A reduction of facial wrinkles was documented by this long-term use.
Better skin appearance was related to the deposition of fibrillin-rich microfibrils in the papillary dermis
of treated skin [25].
2.9. Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-12
Palmitoyl hexapeptide-12 (Sequence: Pal-Val-Gly-Val-Ala-Pro-Gly), which is the peptide in
Biopeptide-EL, creates a response in the dermis of the skin that stimulates collagen and elastin
fibroblasts, developing fibronectin and glycosaminoglycans. It is believed to work by reducing the
production of interleukin-6 (IL-6) by key skin cells, keratinocytes and fibroblasts. IL-6 is a molecule
that promotes inflammation, which, in turn, leads to faster degradation of the skin matrix, and thus
contributes to the development of wrinkles, and loss of skin firmness and elasticity. By reducing the
levels of IL-6 and possibly other inflammation mediators, palmitoyl is thought to slow down the
degradation of the skin matrix, and may also stimulate its replenishment.
A one month double-blind study was conducted on 10 female volunteers, aged 32–56,
who performed twice daily applications of a light emulsion containing 4%, or a placebo.
Palmitoyl hexapeptide treatment improved elasticity, tone, skin fatigue and firmness [26].
2.10. Acetyl Tetrapeptide-9/11
Acetyl tetrapeptide-9 (Dermican
) (Sequence: N-Acetyl-Gln-Asp-Val-His) is reported to
stimulate collagen Type I and lumican synthesis, whereas acetyl tetrapeptide-11 (Sequence:
N-Acetyl-Pro-Pro-Tyr-Leu) (Syniorage
) stimulates keratinocyte cell growth and syndecan-1 synthesis.
Clinical studies documented that treatment with acetyl tetrapeptide-9 (17 female volunteers) or acetyl
tetrapeptide-11 (19 female volunteers) led to thicker and firmer skin. Both peptides were more effective
compared to placebos [27].
2.11. Tetrapeptide-21
Tetrapeptide-21, also named GEKG (Sequence: Gly-Glu-Lys-Gly), was derived from ECM proteins.
Its amino acid sequence is glycine-glutamic acid-lysine-glycine. This peptide demonstrated in
Cosmetics 2017,4, 16 6 of 14
in vitro
studies, an increase of collagen (Type I) production on the protein level and mRNA level,
hyaluronic acid synthase 1 production, and a strong increase in fibronectin (GEKG Conc. 0.001%).
Increase in collagen (COL1A1), procollagen, hyaluronic acid and fibronectin, as well as skin elasticity,
were measured in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study (10 women/eight weeks).
A placebo-controlled study with 30 subjects was carried out to analyze the effect of GEKG on facial
wrinkles. GEKG significantly decreased skin roughness.
In a comparison study with GEKG vs. pal-KTTKS with 60 subjects, elasticity increased after two
daily treatments over eight weeks by 41.3% for GEKG, while pal-KTTKS showed an improvement of
35.6% [28].
2.12. Tetrapeptide PKEK
Tetrapeptide PKEK (Sequence: Pro-Lys-Glu-Lys) can exert skin whitening effects. For PKEK
development, Lys-Glu-Lys (KEK) was modified with proline to stabilize the peptide structure.
Study results showed that PKEK reduces interleukin-6, interleukin-8, and tumor necrosis factor-
as well as cyclooxygenase gene expression in UV light-stressed keratinocytes [29].
The treatment of human keratinocytes with PKEK significantly reduced UVB-stimulated mRNA
expression of interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8 and TNF-
and, most importantly, proopiomelanocorticotropin
(POMC). In a randomized, double-blind, vehicle-controlled study with PKEK treatment once daily,
punch biopsies of 10 healthy volunteers were taken after four weeks. PKEK treatment significantly
inhibited UVB-induced upregulation of genes encoding for IL-1
, IL-6, IL-8, TNF-
as well as POMC
and tyrosinase in skin areas pretreated with PKEK.
A second study was performed as a half-face
in vivo
efficacy test with 39 Caucasian women.
Facial pigment spots were significantly faded after six weeks when PKEK was combined with the
skin whitener sodium ascorbyl phosphate. PKEK or sodium ascorbyl phosphate alone led to less
pronounced fading of the pigment spots than a combination of the two. An
in vivo
hand cream
efficacy study confirmed the above result after application for eight weeks to the back of the hands of
19 Caucasians.
In the fourth study, 27 Japanese women were separated in two groups which treated faces twice
daily with either sodium ascorbyl phosphate only, or with a PKEK + sodium ascorbyl phosphate
formulation, for eight weeks. Application of PKEK + sodium ascorbyl phosphate significantly reduced
skin pigmentation by 26%, and sodium ascorbyl phosphate by 18%, according to the SCINEXA score.
It was confirmed that PKEK has the capacity to reduce UVB-induced skin pigmentation in all study
models, and it may be suitable as a skin tone-modulating agent in cosmetic products [30].
2.13. Hexapeptide-11
Hexapeptide-11 (Pentamide-6, Sequence: Phe-Val-Ala-Pro-Phe-Pro) was originally isolated from
Saccharomyces yeast fermentation, but was later synthesized because of purity issues. Hexapeptide-11
has the ability to influence the onset of senescence in intrinsically and extrinsically aged fibroblasts,
and extrinsically aged dermal papillae cells
in vitro
]. Gorouhi and Maibach reviewed a
placebo-controlled study with 25 healthy volunteers, treating their skin twice daily for four weeks.
Initial skin elasticity and deformation response were improved [6].
2.14. Hexapeptide-14
Hexapeptide-14 (palmitoyl hexapeptide-14) has been reported to stimulate cell migration, collagen
synthesis, and fibroblast proliferation and scaffolding [
]. A 12-week study with 29 volunteers showed
results of reduced fine lines and wrinkles by palmitoyl hexapeptide-14. Results were compared with
tretinoin and no irritations were noted [6].
Cosmetics 2017,4, 16 7 of 14
3. Carrier Peptides
Carrier peptides deliver or stabilize trace elements like copper and manganese, necessary for
wound healing and enzymatic progress. These peptides are involved in copper or manganese transport
into skin cells. Additionally, they are obtained by binding copper with a tripeptide [32].
3.1. Copper Tripeptide
Copper tripeptide (Cu-GHK, lamin
) complex (Sequence: Copper Gly-L-His-L-Lys) is one of
the most well-examined peptides. It plays a role in the extracellular matrix, and is released in
wounds or inflammation to support healing. It acts as signal and carrier peptide, promotes regular
collagen, elastin, proteoglycan, and glycosaminoglycan synthesis, and provides anti-inflammatory and
antioxidant responses. In cosmetic applications, Cu-GHK is used in anti-aging, anti-wrinkle, after-sun,
skin renewal, skin moisturizer, hair growth stimulating products [33].
Cu-GHK stimulates cellular regulatory molecules and regenerates, and heals skin and other
tissues. Stem cells treated with GHK regenerated and expressed more stem cell markers. GHK and
Gly-Gly-His (GGH) reduce TNF-
induced cytokines IL-6 [
], thus ensuring better wound healing.
Pickart et al. described that GHK significantly increased the expression of DNA repair genes,
while 47 genes
are stimulated and five genes are suppressed [
]. GHK is involved with different
mechanisms of action and can apparently promote regeneration, healing, and repair. It furthermore
achieves good effects against the aging processes.
Cu-GHK can stimulate hair growth. The copper tripeptide complex ensures follicular enlargement
and helps covering the follicle with a downy hair; the effect is comparable with that of Minoxidil [
The results of a hair transplant showed significant improvement [
] following application with
a copper tripeptide product. Topical Cu-GHK products stimulate collagen synthesis on the scalp,
strengthen existing hair, and encourage hair growth [38].
Several studies confirming Cu-GHK efficacy in various areas have been performed. These include:
increasing keratinocyte proliferation, improving appearance, firmness, elasticity, skin thickness,
wrinkles, spotty hyperpigmentation and light damage, skin collagen, strengthening proteins of skin
protection barrier, and improvement of skin appearance.
Experiments have shown that
in vitro
Cu-GHK increases and stimulates the synthesis of collagen,
glycosaminoglycans and other extracellular matrix molecules. Several placebo-controlled clinical
trials have confirmed the observed effects [
]. A topically applied cream with Cu-GHK was shown
to stimulate dermal skin procollagen synthesis. Synthesis induced by the copper tripeptide was
significantly superior to vitamin C, tretinoin, or melatonin in comparison.
Similarly, a study of 20 women compared the skin’s production of collagen after applying creams
containing Cu-GHK, vitamin C, or retinoic acid to thighs daily for one month. New collagen production
was determined by skin biopsy samples using immunohistological techniques. After one month,
Cu-GHK increased collagen in 70% of those treated, versus 50% treated with vitamin C, and 40%
treated with retinoic acid [39].
Leyden et al. confirmed in two different studies (12 weeks of application by 71 or 41 women) the
clinically beneficial effects of Cu-GHK formulations on both aged and sun damaged skin. The Cu-GHK
face cream and an eye cream reduced the visible signs of skin aging and caused an increase in skin
density and thickness. The researchers observed improved skin elasticity and skin humidity, significant
smoothing of the skin by stimulating the synthesis of collagen, a significant improvement of the skin
contrast, and diminished wrinkles [36].
In another study Cu-GHK cream was applied twice a day for 12 weeks on 67 women. The Cu-GHK
cream improved the appearance of photo-damaged, aged skin. By histological analyses of biopsies,
it was re-confirmed that the use of topically applied Cu-GHK products intensified skin thickness in
the range of the epidermis and dermis, and that keratinocyte proliferation of the skin was greatly
stimulated [40].
Cosmetics 2017,4, 16 8 of 14
3.2. Manganese Tripeptide-1
Besides the well-researched copper tripeptide, there is also one clinical study focusing on
manganese tripeptide-1 (Sequence: GHK-Mn
). This study evaluated the effects of a manganese
peptide complex in the treatment of various signs of cutaneous facial photo-damage. During a 12-week
period, subjects were instructed to apply a facial serum formulation containing the manganese peptide
complex twice a day. This resulted in their skin’s photo-damage ranking shifting from moderate to
mild. The most significantly improved parameters were associated with hyperpigmentation, while no
significant cutaneous inflammation was reported [41].
4. Neurotransmitter Inhibitor Peptides
Muscle contraction is another strategy to reduce common ageing signs like fine lines and wrinkles.
Muscles are contracted by neurotransmitter release from neurons. The neurotransmitter begins a
cascade with protein-protein interactions that culminate in the fusion of neurotransmitter loaded
vesicles with the neuron membrane. A local modification in the membrane potential triggers the entry
of calcium ions into the neuron via the terminal. When these ions enter the pre-synaptic terminal,
vesicles containing acetylcholine join other parts of the neuron to release acetylcholine. This process
is mediated by a SNAP receptor protein, which include the vesicle-associated membrane protein,
the membrane-associated protein syntaxin, and synaptosomal-associated protein 25. These proteins
directly manage vesicle docking and fusion though the formation of the SNARE complex. The SNARE
complex captures vesicles and fuses them with the membrane. Once the fusion of these vesicles
occurs, acetylcholine is released into the synapse between muscle and nerve. Acetylcholine binds to
acetylcholine receptors located on the surface of the muscle cells, and this leads to muscle contraction.
Topical synthetic peptides which imitate the amino acid sequence of the synaptic protein SNAP-25
were shown to be specific inhibitors of the neurosecretion. For this reason, these peptides are also
called neurotransmitter inhibitor peptides. These cosmeceutical peptides penetrate skin and relax
muscles, causing the reduction and softening of wrinkles and fine lines.
4.1. Acetylhexapeptide-3
Acetylhexapeptide-3 (Argireline
) has the sequence Acetyl-Glu-Glu-Met-Gln-Arg-Arg-NH
and is reported to inhibit the release of neurotransmitters, which is followed by anti-wrinkle,
moisturizing effects. It seems to improve the firmness and tone of the skin. Acetylhexapeptide-3 is a
copy of the synaptosomal-associated protein 25, which competes for a position in the SNARE complex,
and destabilizes its formation without breaking any of its constituent parts. Additionally, it inhibits
catecholamine secretion [
]. An increase in peptide concentration and the permeation of peptides,
and a decrease in iontophoretic permeability coefficients, are affected by a number of parameters that
can be optimized for effective transdermal peptide delivery [43].
Blanes-Mira described a placebo-controlled study in which acetylhexapeptide-3 (10%) vs. placebo
creams were applied twice daily (10 women, 30 days). Acetylhexapeptide-3-treated skin areas showed a
30% improvement in wrinkles in the eye area [
]. The anti-wrinkle efficacy in the acetylhexapeptide-3
group was measured as 48.9%, compared with 0% in the placebo group. All parameters of roughness
were decreased in the same study. The fold depth in the acetylhexapeptide-3 group (48.9%) was
significantly reduced (60 subjects) [45].
4.2. Pentapeptide-3
Pentapeptide-3 (Vialox
) (Sequence: Gly-Pro-Arg-Pro-Ala) is derived from snake venom. It is an
antagonist of the acetylcholine receptor, and blocks nerves at the post-synaptic membrane, leading to
muscle relaxation. Clinical studies demonstrated a reduction of wrinkles by 49%, and lesser skin
roughness (47%) after a treatment of 28 days [46].
Cosmetics 2017,4, 16 9 of 14
4.3. Pentapeptide-18
Pentapeptide-18 (Leuphasyl
) (Sequence: Tyr-D-Ala-Gly-Phe-Leu) mimics the natural mechanism
of enkephalins, and inhibits neuronal activity and catecholamine release. Its action can be described as
having botox-like effects; and it demonstrates a proven efficacy for reducing fine lines and wrinkles,
moisturizing the skin, and improving firmness and skin tone.
A cream with pentapeptide-18 (0.05%) was compared in a study (43 women) with
acetylhexapeptide-3 (0.05%) and the combination of both peptides. Wrinkle reductions were
measured for pentapeptide-18, acetylhexapeptide-3, and a combination, at 11.64%, 16.26%, and 24.62%,
respectively. The pentapeptide-18 study mentioned a synergistic effect or an increase of efficiency,
by its association with acetylhexapeptide-3 [6,47]. The cellular pathway of both peptides is different.
Three concentrations (0.5%, 1%, and 2%) of Leuphasyl formulations were applied on 20 volunteers
for two months, at the level of mimic muscles in the eyebrows zone and in the periorbital zone [
To further evaluate anti-wrinkle effects, an
in vivo
study with 22 females with an average age of 51,
was designed. Volunteers were injected botulinum toxin in the periorbital region combined with a
topical treatment twice daily for six months. In comparison with the control, acetyl hexapeptide-8
and pentapeptide-18 induced a 20% and 11% decrease on glutamate release, respectively, while their
combination caused a 40% reduction. In addition to the measured effects of each individual compound,
this indicates a synergistic activity. The topical treatment demonstrated a potentiated effect for
botulinum toxin treatment, and extended the anti-wrinkle benefit on the skin [49].
4.4. Tripeptide-3
Tripeptide-3 (Sequence:
-Ala-Pro-Dab-NHBn-2-Acetate), also named dipeptide diamino-
butyroyl benzylamide diacetate or SYN
-AKE, mimics the effect of waglerin-1, a peptide that is
found in the venom of the viper Tropidolaemus wagleri. Tripeptide-3 acts at the postsynaptic membrane,
and is a reversible antagonist of the acetylcholine receptor.
Tripeptide-3 has been tested in different preparations for topical application in animal models in
concentrations ranging from 1% to 4%. The results have been claimed as smoothing the appearance of
mimic wrinkles and expression lines, shortly after applying the preparation [
]. Research results show
that tripeptide-3 can reduce the appearance of wrinkles after 28 days by up to 52% when a 4% topical
solution is used [46]. The results from a three-month study (37 female volunteers) demonstrated that
tripeptide-3 formulation treatment provided both immediate and long-term improvements in the
appearance of fine and coarse wrinkles [51].
5. Enzyme Inhibitor Peptides
Enzyme inhibitor peptides directly or indirectly inhibit enzymes. Soy oligopeptides, silk fibroin
peptide and rice peptides act on the skin cells. The above-mentioned peptides inhibit enzymes like
tTAT-superoxide dismutase, stimulate hyaluronan synthase 2, or in the case of soy oligopeptides,
inhibit proteinases.
This category of peptides shows promising results, however only very few or no in vivo studies
have been conducted. Hence, their relevance is still unclear.
5.1. Soybean Peptides
Soy oligopeptides are obtained from soybean proteins, consisting of 3–6 amino acids, mainly in the
size range of 300–700 kDa. Various biological activities of soybean oligopeptides have been identified,
such as antioxidant, blood pressure lowering, and blood lipid lowering effects. Topically applied soy
oligopeptides data showed significantly increased Bcl-2 protein expression and decreased cyclobutane
pyrimidine dimers-positive cells, sunburn cells, apoptotic cells, p53 protein expression, and Bax protein
expressions in the epidermis of UVB-irradiated foreskin. Topically used soy oligopeptides seem to
protect human skin (nine healthy male volunteers) against UVB-induced photo damage [52].
Cosmetics 2017,4, 16 10 of 14
A pseudo-randomized study (10 women,
in vivo
in vitro
) with soybean peptide showed a
significant increase in glycosaminoglycan and collagen synthesis. This study showed the anti-aging
potential of a soy peptide [53].
5.2. Silk Fibroin Peptide
Silk fibroin peptide is derived from the silkworm Bombyx mori. Scientific results show inhibitory
inflammation and enhance the anti-inflammatory activity of tTAT-superoxide dismutase, which was
previously reported to effectively penetrate various cells and tissues, and exert anti-oxidative activity
in a mouse model of inflammation [54]. No human in vivo efficacy data are currently available.
5.3. Rice Peptides
After a specially processing rice bran protein, low molecular weight peptides (<3000 Da) were
obtained. Black rice oligopeptides were measured at approximately 1300 Da. These oligopeptides were
noted for inhibiting MMP (matrix metalloproteinase) activity and stimulated hyaluronan synthase
2 gene expression in human keratinocytes in a dose-dependent manner [
]. Three new identified
rice bran protein peptides had a C-terminal tyrosine residue, and exhibited significant inhibitory
effects against tyrosinase-mediated monophenolase reactions. Additionally, one peptide called CT-2
(Leu-Gln-Pro-Ser-His-Tyr) potently inhibited melanogenesis in mouse melanoma cells without causing
cytotoxicity, which might be of interest for melanin-related skin conditions.
Rice bran protein is a potent source of tyrosinase inhibitory peptides [
]. Formulations containing
niosomes entrapped with rice bran bioactive compounds show clinical anti-aging properties [
However, there is currently no in vivo data for purified black rice oligopeptides available.
6. Peptides Derived from Structural Protein Digestion
Keratin-Based Peptides
Topical formulations containing keratin-based peptides are described to have hemostatic,
moisturizing, repair-promoting and potentially radio-protective properties. A placebo-controlled
in vivo
study (nine healthy females with dry skin types III to V) tested keratin-based peptide
(molecular weight <1000 Da) (3%) vs. deionized water (3%) in a topical hand cream application
which was compared to untreated areas. Biophysical results of keratin-based peptide treatment
indicated skin improvement in water-holding capacity, hydration and elasticity. Results also indicated
that the keratin-based peptide cream treatment can prevent some of the damaging effects associated
with surfactant exposure [
]. Additional study results (six and 16 healthy females) with keratin
based peptide (3%) tested two different formulations (aqueous solution/internal wool lipid liposome
suspension). It was shown that topically applied keratin based peptide formulations again improved
the integrity and water-holding capacity of the skin barrier. Combining the keratin-based peptide with
internal wool lipids led to additional beneficial effects [
]. The participant numbers were very low
and future studies should be carried out with more volunteers. No detailed information on the mode
of action of these peptides was available.
7. Conclusions
Twenty years ago, no scientist ever thought that the development or topical treatment of synthetic
or natural related peptides for cosmetic purposes would be so effective. Researchers identified peptide
sequences which allowed the peptides to be targeted to cosmetically important skin layers. Since 2000,
the use of peptides in cosmeceutical products has increased dramatically, and this highlights the
need to acquire in-depth knowledge of the different molecules as well as the physiological principles
underlying their use. The commercial potential for these molecules is high, especially for those peptide
sequences with cosmetic activity (e.g., anti-ageing, antioxidant, whitening). Nowadays, peptides can
Cosmetics 2017,4, 16 11 of 14
be developed or modified in numerous ways for solubility, better penetration, increased receptor
activity, etc.
Selected peptides have excellent nontoxicity and stability records. Many of the studies shown in
this review, and a variety of additional observations, clearly show the wide range of possible topical
cosmetic applications of biologically active peptides, for improving the skin and its properties.
The overview also shows that there is still a lot of work required, and a lot of additional research
to perform. While many synthetic peptides with confirmed efficacy in skin treatment have been
researched to a satisfying extent, some of the mentioned clinical study results were obtained by
using formulations containing peptides and other active ingredients (for example: niacinamide and
vitamin C, E), or in the presence of a basic moisturizer. These clinical
in vivo
trials did not differentiate
the role of the mentioned peptide specifically with other actives in the formulation. Hence, the observed
results cannot be claimed clearly to be the effect of the used peptide for enhanced skin benefits and
improved skin appearance.
Additionally, there are many more peptides that are used in cosmetics. Their clinical studies
proving their efficacy are not frequently published in scientific journals. Some clinical studies were
carried out with very few participant numbers, or through only a single study. These research results
seem to be very promising, but for efficacy reasons, these peptides should be tested with a larger
number of participants.
While the long-known and well-researched peptides like Cu-GHK are still undergoing research to
obtain more details on their effectiveness and additional mechanisms of action, there are many other
interesting peptides whose effects should be more closely investigated.
The reported beneficial clinical effects and the mode of action of a lot of peptides are not
thoroughly explained.
Another aspect that hinders new innovations and peptide developments, is the non-existence of
newly developed and lesser researched peptides on the Chinese INCI (International Nomenclature of
Cosmetic Ingredients) list, presenting a significant barrier for entering the Chinese market.
There are still some open questions, such as how it may be possible to surmount the barrier to
allow permeation of such compounds, and thereby enhance the concentrations delivered to the target
site in the dermis. New questions will lead to new study designs, and hopefully new answers and
solutions, and new cosmeceutical peptides.
Conflicts of Interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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2017 by the author. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access
article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution
(CC BY) license (
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... In the pharmaceutical industry, watermelon rind extract in the form of L-citrulline has been utilized as a dietary supplement to treat certain urea cycle disorders (UCD) (Johnson, 2017). The watermelon rind extract containing citrulline also acts as anti-ageing properties in the cosmetics industry by regulating collagen and improving skin suppleness (Raikou, Varvaresou, Panderi, & Papageorgiou, 2017;Schagen, 2017). The International Name Cosmetic Ingredient (INCI) recognized the cometic grade citrulline as Tripeptide-10 Citrulline. ...
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Watermelon rind contributes 30 % (w/w) of overall fruit mass, mainly carbohydrates, fibre, and wax. The rind is often discarded due to its unappealing flavour. Several studies proposed that watermelon rind waste can be utilized as high fibre flour, dietary supplement, food additive and bio‐sorbent material. However, before the offered product is developed, a proper technique of pre‐processing and extraction methods are vitally important to be considered as they will determine the extraction yield quality. Thus, this review aims to provide an extensive overview of pre‐processing and extraction techniques. A comparison of different procedures applied in the pre‐extraction and extraction of watermelon rind is emphasized. Pre‐processing parameters affecting extraction yields such as sample condition, drying condition, and grinding and grading technique are discussed. Several extraction techniques, including infusion, maceration, digestion, reflux, ultrasound‐assisted extraction (UAE) and microwave‐assisted extraction (MAE), are correlated to identify their efficiency in extracting the phytochemical from watermelon rind. Factors that influence the extraction yield such as extraction temperature, solvent‐to‐solid ratio, extraction duration, and type of solvents are elaborated.
... Therefore, niacinamide is often used in whitening products. Palmitoyl pentapeptide-4 is a small, highly specific bioactive peptide that has been reported to improve wrinkles with long-term use [11]. Sodium hyaluronate is known as the ideal natural moisturizing factor and has good lubricity and film-forming ability; it can form a layer of breathable hydration film on the skin surface, so the skin feels lubricated and moist. ...
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Introduction: Several techniques, including the use of radiofrequency (RF) devices, are currently utilized for the treatment of skin aging. This study aimed to evaluate the anti-aging effects imparted by a home-based RF beauty device and to compare these results with those of a marketed anti-aging cosmetic in vivo. Methods: Thirty-three women aged 35-60 years were enrolled in this randomized, controlled, split-face trial. This study involved a 12-week trial with five repeated measurements (at baseline, 2, 4, 8 and 12 weeks). One side of the face was randomly selected to be part of the experimental group and treated with the RF beauty device, while the other side was considered as control and was treated with an anti-aging cosmetic. Treatment safety was evaluated. Skin wrinkles, hydration, radiance, elasticity, color and thickness were evaluated using noninvasive equipment. Results: Thirty-two participants completed the study; one withdrew for personal reasons. Compared with the anti-aging cosmetic-treated facial side, the experimental side showed statistically significant improvements in wrinkles, skin radiance, color and thickness (p < 0.05). Conclusions: The home-based RF beauty device was safe and effective for rejuvenation. The device was more effective than the commercially available anti-aging cosmetics.
... Signal, carrier, neurotransmitter inhibitor, and enzyme inhibitor peptides can be categorized as topical cosmeceuticals. Larger molecules can penetrate the skin barrier, particularly in dry and aged skin (205). Synthetic peptides are made up of amino acid chains that may be altered for various purposes, including improved skin penetration, particular receptor binding, stability, and solubility. ...
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Bioactive peptides generated from food proteins have great potential as functional foods and nutraceuticals. Bioactive peptides possess several significant functions, such as antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antimicrobial, immunomodulatory, and antihypertensive effects in the living body. In recent years, numerous reports have been published describing bioactive peptides/hydrolysates produced from various food sources. Herein, we reviewed the bioactive peptides or protein hydrolysates found in the plant, animal, marine, and dairy products, as well as their by-products. This review also emphasizes the health benefits, bioactivities, and utilization of active peptides obtained from the mentioned sources. Their possible application in functional product development, feed, wound healing, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries, and their use as food additives have all been investigated alongside considerations on their safety.
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Extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins confer biomechanical properties, maintain cell phenotype and mediate tissue repair (via release of sequestered cytokines and proteases). In contrast to intracellular proteomes, where proteins are monitored and replaced over short time periods, many ECM proteins function for years (decades in humans) without replacement. The longevity of abundant ECM proteins, such as collagen I and elastin, leaves them vulnerable to damage accumulation and their host organs prone to chronic, age-related diseases. However, ECM protein fragmentation can potentially produce peptide cytokines (matrikines) which may exacerbate and/or ameliorate age- and disease-related ECM remodelling. In this review, we discuss ECM composition, function and degradation and highlight examples of endogenous matrikines. We then critically and comprehensively analyse published studies of matrix-derived peptides used as topical skin treatments, before considering the potential for improvements in the discovery and delivery of novel matrix-derived peptides to skin and internal organs. From this, we concluded that while the translational impact of matrix-derived peptide therapeutics is evident, the mechanisms of action of these peptides are poorly defined. Further, well-designed, multimodal studies are required.
Introduction: Peptide-C ampoules (PC) contain peptides, 10% of vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, and Vichy volcanic mineralizing water. Aims: To assess the effectiveness and tolerability of PC. Patients and methods: An observational study conducted in 9 countries in women ≥30 years old with signs of facial skin aging (grade >0 for forehead and/or crow's feet wrinkles and bothered by skin quality). Investigator assessments and subject questionnaires were performed at initial visit and Day 30 after application of PC twice daily for 28 days. Tolerance was assessed throughout the study. Results: Effectiveness and safety were analyzed in 1382 and 1742 subjects, respectively. Most subjects (mean age 48.5 ± 8.6 years) had skin phototype II or III (91.7%) and dry or combination skin (63.9%). PC was used as a standalone care or prior to a planned procedure (70%), or after a procedure (30%). Between baseline and Day 30, 63% and 64% of all subjects (N = 1360) had an improvement in forehead wrinkles and crow's feet wrinkles, respectively. Skin hydration improved in 67.3% of subjects. According to investigator and subject assessments, skin quality, skin radiance, skin aging signs, wrinkles, complexion, and skin pores significantly improved by Day 30. Similar results were observed for subgroup analyses when PC was used as standalone skin care or after a procedure. Tolerance of PC was rated as good to very good by 97.7% of subjects. Conclusions: Peptide-C ampoules is effective in reducing visible signs of skin aging, and well tolerated, when used alone or as an adjunct to anti-aging procedures.
Objective: To assess the in vitro efficacy on antioxidant potential, protection against global oxidative stress, and effect on collagen neosynthesis of minimalist formula (Peptide-C ampoules product) containing 10% natural vitamin C, rice and lupin bio-peptides, hyaluronic acid, and Vichy volcanic mineralizing water (active mix). Methods: In-tube quantitative tests ("in-tube screening") assessed global antioxidant properties, anti-lipid peroxidation, anti-protein glycosylation, and metalloproteinase inhibition (anti-collagenase, anti-elastase, and anti-hyaluronidase activity) properties of the formula. Protection against oxidative stress was evaluated on human keratinocyte monolayer cultures, and collagen neosynthesis was quantified on fibroblast monolayer cultures treated with supernatants from product-treated reconstructed human epidermis. Results: Product (5% concentration) showed high antioxidant ability (blocking 99.0% oxidation), protection against oxidative stress damage (51.8% lipid peroxidation and 37.8% protein glycosylation decreases), and inhibition of hyaluronidase (21.9%), elastase (47.1%), and collagenase (61.8%). The protective effect was validated on human keratinocyte monolayer cultures in the presence of active mix (0.025%). Oxidative stress (ROS) was reduced by 99.0%, while global oxidative stress (RMS) induced by pollution, UVA radiation, and a combination of both factors was reduced by 48.94%, 8.7%, and 96.28%, respectively. The product increased collagen neosynthesis (11.21%) by cellular dialogue in fibroblasts incubated with product/mix-treated-RHE supernatants. Conclusion: The combination of ingredients in the product showed high global antioxidant capacity, as well as a protective effect against oxidative stress induced by UVA, pollution, or both combined factors and an ability to stimulate collagen neosynthesis in in vitro studies, which support the clinical efficacy of this product.
Oxidative stress occurs because of an imbalance in the production of reactive oxygen species. Nuts are rich in bioactive compounds, including phenolic compounds, tannins, and phytosterols. Although nuts are widely consumed because of their beneficial effects on nutrition and health, there is limited information about bioactive peptides from nuts. Pine nut and walnut‐derived peptides are the most studied because these nuts contain a higher amount of protein. Different biological activities have been demonstrated for nut peptides; many of them exhibit antioxidant, anticancer, antihypertensive, antidiabetic, immunomodulatory, antiseizure, or neuroprotective activity. Recent studies have focused on increasing the bioactivity of identified bioactive peptides by applying new technologies and chemosynthetic strategies. Research tendency points to the generation of peptides with specific sequences for application in specific diseases. Nut bioactive peptides can become key functional ingredients for food, pharmaceuticals, or cosmetics. Nuts are rich in bioactive peptides that exhibit different biological activities such as antioxidant, anticancer, antihypertensive, antidiabetic, immunomodulatory, antiseizure, and neuroprotective. Nut bioactive peptides can become key functional ingredients for food, pharmaceuticals, or cosmetics.
Protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) is a master regulatory protein that plays a critical role in oxidative stress signaling. A novel, proprietary grape seed extract called Activated Grape Seed Extract (AGSE), enriched for PP2A-activating flavonoids, was recently developed and demonstrated to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. AGSE is a purple-colored powder, with limited solubility restricting its use in a broad range of formulations. Our aim was to develop a formulation that reduced the color and increased the solubility of AGSE, allowing its skin-health-enhancing properties to be utilized in a wider array of products, and to test it clinically. Encapsulation was performed utilizing a liposome and hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin, (HPCD)-based approach to produce Encapsulated AGSE (E-AGSE). Human dermal fibroblasts and epidermal keratinocytes were used to determine expression levels of aging and dermal–epidermal junction (DEJ) markers. EpiDerm™ was UVB-irradiated to measure the effects against cytokine release, DNA damage, apoptosis, and skin barrier. Human melanocytes were used to determine melanin production and mushroom tyrosinase was used for inhibitory activity. A 4-week, 31-subject sensitive-skin clinical was performed with 2% E-AGSE Essence to assess its activity on human skin. We demonstrated that E-AGSE inhibits PP2A demethylation, increases key anti-aging (collagen I, III, elastin) and DEJ markers, protects against UVB-induced DNA damage, reduces inflammation, and promotes filaggrin in vitro. Moreover, E-AGSE reduces melanin production via tyrosinase inhibition. Clinical assessment of E-AGSE showed that it reduces the appearance of wrinkles, brightens the skin, and boosts hydration. E-AGSE is a novel grape seed extract formulation enriched for PP2A-activating flavonoids that is clinically effective in sensitive skin, providing several benefits.
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Peptides of synthesis are a very new strategy in cosmetic science and technology for at least two reasons: (1) they are small molecules, easily penetrable in the skin and (2) they are able to induce a very specific action, because all skin cells (keratinocytes, fibroblasts, nervous cells) have membrane receptors for peptides. This group of cosmeceutics includes the botox-like peptides, represented by acetyl hexapeptide 3 (Argireline) and pentapeptid-3 (Leuphasyl). The latter is less known and has been less studied. This substance inhibits the neuromuscular synapses in the mimic muscles, acting as enkephalins. It links the enkephalin receptor to nervous cells, thereby modulating the release of acetylcholine in synaptic space. This cellular activity will be translated in vivo in a relaxation of the muscle and a reduction of expression wrinkles. The aim of our study is to evaluate the optimal concentration of Leuphasyl for skin application at the mimic muscle level, the efficiency and the safety of this peptide. We formulated three emulsions of different concentrations (0.5%, 1%, 2%) which were applied to the skin, at the level of mimic muscles (1) at the eyebrows zone (above the corrugator supercilii muscle) and (2) at the periorbital zone (above the orbicularis oculi muscle). We evaluated the regression of the wrinkles between the eyebrows using an imagistic method: pro-derm Analyser. The study is of interest to discussions concerning how to apply these kinds of cosmetic products at the mimic muscle skin level and not at the level of the wrinkles.
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Aim . We explored the effects of soy oligopeptides (SOP) in ultraviolet B- (UVB-) induced acute photodamage of human skin in vivo and foreskin ex vivo . Methods . We irradiated the forearm with 1.5 minimal erythemal dose (MED) of UVB for 3 consecutive days, establishing acute photodamage of skin, and topically applied SOP. Erythema index (EI), melanin index, stratum corneum hydration, and transepidermal water loss were measured by using Multiprobe Adapter 9 device. We irradiated foreskin ex vivo with the same dose of UVB (180 mJ/cm 2 ) for 3 consecutive days and topically applied SOP. Sunburn cells were detected by using hematoxylin and eosin staining. Apoptotic cells were detected by using terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling assay. Cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPDs), p53 protein, Bax protein, and Bcl-2 protein were detected by using immunohistochemical staining. Results . Compared with UVB group, UVB-irradiated skin with topically applied SOP showed significantly decreased EI. Compared with UVB group, topical SOP significantly increased Bcl-2 protein expression and decreased CPDs-positive cells, sunburn cells, apoptotic cells, p53 protein expression, and Bax protein expressions in the epidermis of UVB-irradiated foreskin. Conclusion . Our study demonstrated that topical SOP can protect human skin against UVB-induced photodamage.
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Background: Epithelial regeneration in skin is achieved by the constant turnover and differentiation of keratinocytes. Epidermal and dermal stem cells compartments are fundamental for the continuous renewal of the skin. Adult stem cells are the unique source for skin tissue renewal. Plants have stem cells and plant derived stem cell extracts are now used in topical products for their potential anti-ageing and anti-wrinkle effects. A new dermocosmetic product containing apple stem cell extract, urea, creatine and palmitoyl tripeptide-38 (Ureadin Fusion Serum Lift Antiarrugas, ISDIN S.A), has been recently developed to target different aspects involved in skin aging. Study aim: To assess in vitro the effects of this new serum on the metabolic functions of human senescent fibroblasts and in vivo the anti-aging effects by clinical and instrumental evaluation. Methods: We evaluated the effects of the serum on the mitochondrial ROS (reactive oxygen species) production in human senescent cultured fibroblasts measured at 0.1% and 1% using the Mitoread AntiOx mtROS method. In addition we evaluated the anti-ageing in vivo effect of this new serum applied on the face twice daily for 28 consecutive days and assessed by clinical and instrumental evaluation in 32 women with sensitive skin bearing wrinkles on crow's feet. Results: The tested serum both at 0.1% and 1% induces a significant increase in 02 consumption, cellular ATP level and a reduction in extra-cellular lactate concentration. The product reduces also significantly the mitochondrial ROS production. The clinical study shows a relevant anti-wrinkle effect in 71% of the treated women with visible effects in 68% of the subjects as soon as 7 days of treatment. A significant increase in dermal density and skin elasticity was also observed. Conclusion: The use of this novel anti-aging serum demonstrated a significant improvement of aging skin signs with first visible results achieved after one week of use. The product seemed to optimize the metabolic functions in human senescent cultured fibroblast restoring a more efficient cell metabolism therefore contributing to the anti-aging properties of the product.
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Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are components of the innate immune system in many species of animals. Their diverse spectrum of activity against microbial pathogens, both as innate defense molecules and immunomodulators, makes them attractive candidates for the development of a new generation of antibiotics. Although the potential immunogenicity of AMPs means they are not suitable for injection and their susceptibility to digestive peptidases is likely to reduce their oral efficacy, they are ideal for topical formulations such as lotions, creams, shampoos, and wound dressings and could therefore be valuable products for the cosmetic industry. In this context, short AMPs (<20 amino acids) lacking disulfide bonds combine optimal antimicrobial activity with inexpensive chemical synthesis and are therefore more compatible with large-scale production and the modifications required to ensure stability, low toxicity, and microbial specificity. Proof-of-concept for the application of AMPs as novel anti-infectives has already been provided in clinical trials. This perspective considers the anti-infective properties of short AMPs lacking disulfide bonds, which are active against dermatologically important microflora. We consider the challenges that need to be addressed to facilitate the prophylactic application of AMPs in personal care products.
Rice (Oryza sativa) is consumed as a staple food globally, and rice bran, the byproduct, is an unused biomass that is ultimately discarded as waste. Thus, in the present study, a technique for producing tyrosinase inhibitory peptides from rice bran protein (RBP) was developed. Simultaneous treatment of RBP with chymotrypsin and trypsin produced numerous peptides. Subsequently, six tyrosinase inhibitory peptides were isolated from the hydrolysate fractions in a multistep purification protocol, and their amino acid sequences were determined. Three of these peptides had a C-terminal tyrosine residue and exhibited significant inhibitory effects against tyrosinase-mediated monophenolase reactions. Furthermore, peptide CT-2 (Leu-Gln-Pro-Ser-His-Tyr) potently inhibited melanogenesis in mouse B16 melanoma cells without causing cytotoxicity, suggesting the potential of CT-2 as an agent for melanin-related skin disorder treatment. The present data indicate that RBP is a potent source of tyrosinase inhibitory peptides and that simultaneous treatment of RBP with chymotrypsin and trypsin efficiently produces these peptides.
Peptides are known to have diverse biological roles, most prominently as signaling/regulatory molecules in a broad variety of physiological processes including defense, immunity, stress, growth, homeostasis and reproduction. These aspects have been used in the field of dermatology and cosmetology to produce short, stable and synthetic peptides for extracellular matrix synthesis, pigmentation, innate immunity and inflammation. The evolution of peptides over the century, which started with the discovery of penicillin, has now extended to their usage as cosmeceuticals in recent years. Cosmeceutical peptides may act as signal modulators of the extracellular matrix component, as structural peptides, carrier peptides and neurotransmitter function modulators. Transdermal delivery of peptides can be made more effective by penetration enhancers, chemical modification or encapsulation of peptides. The advantages of using peptides as cosmeceuticals include their involvement in many physiological functions of the skin, their selectivity, their lack of immunogenicity and absence of premarket regulatory requirements for their use. However, there are disadvantages: clinical evidence for efficacy is often weak, absorption may be poor due to low lipophilicity, high molecular weight and binding to other ingredients, and prices can be quite high.
In the skin, proteoglycans are present both in the epidermis and the dermis. In the latter layer, a group of small proteoglycans (< 60 kDa) plays an important role in fibrillogenesis, growth factors modulation and dermal homeostasis. The epidermis also synthesizes several small proteoglycans, involved in keratinocyte functionality. The knowledge about the alteration of the synthesis and the structure of such small proteoglycans during skin aging used to be rather limited in the past. In fundamental studies, Laboratoires Sérobiologiques could recently identify two small proteoglycans whose influence in skin proper functioning is significant, and whose synthesis decreases with aging. Lumican is located in the dermis, where it is involved in the formation of the collagen fibers and consequently in the skin firmness and thickness. Syndecan-1 occurs preferentially in the supra-basal layers of the epidermis; it is jointly implicated in the epidermal cohesion. The dermo-epidermal junction assures the connection between dermis and epidermis. With certain anchor molecules like collagen XVII, hemidesmosomes attach the basal cells to the basal membrane. The stimulation of the synthesis of lumican in dermal cells, of syndecan-1 in epidermal cells and of collagen XVII in the basal layer counteracts the aging process on three different levels in the skin. In order to identify ingredients with a corresponding activity, skin specific DNA-arrays were used, allowing to selectively analyze the expression of genes highly implicated in the skin physiology. Two efficient acetylated tetrapeptides (respectively AcTP1 and AcTP2) were selected. The efficacy of both peptides was further demonstrated on cell cultures, skin models and finally in clinical studies.
An open label clinical trial was conducted to determine the effectiveness of a multi-ingredient anti-aging moisturizer designed to improve the appearance of facial skin. Parameters studied included fine lines and wrinkles, clarity/brightness, visual roughness, tactile roughness, evenness of skin tone (redness), evenness of skin tone (hyperpigmentation) and overall appearance. Thirty-seven female subjects, ages 35-60 years completed the study. Effective ingredients incorporated into the facial anti-aging moisturizer include: Astragalus membranaceus root extract, a peptide blend including palmitoyl tripeptide-38, standardized rosemary leaf extract (ursolic acid), tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate (THD ascorbate) and ubiquinone (coenzyme Q10). Subjects were instructed to apply the moisturizer twice daily, once in the morning and once in the evening. Subjects were evaluated at baseline and after 4, 8, and 12 weeks of product usage. Clinical evaluations were conducted at each visit. A self-assessment questionnaire was conducted at week 4, week 8, and week 12. The self-assessment questionnaire included product efficacy inquiries and product aesthetic inquiries. Digital photography was conducted at baseline, week 8, and week 12. After 8 weeks of twice daily use, clinical evaluation results show that the multi-ingredient anti-aging moisturizer produced a statistically significant improvement in the scores of all clinical grading parameters assessed compared to baseline. A greater statistically significant improvement was seen at 12 weeks. At week 12, there was a statistically significant percentage of favorable results versus unfavorable results in all product efficacy and product aesthetic self-assessment questionnaire results. Digital photography supported the clinical grading and self-assessment questionnaire results. Additionally, the multi-ingredient anti-aging moisturizer is judged to be mild and well tolerated. Several tolerability parameters were assessed at all time points with no statistically significant increase in any of the scores compared to baseline. J Drugs Dermatol. 2015;14(7):699-704.