Acetyl Hexapeptide-3 (Argireline) – Peptides are endogenous protein building blocks that give our cells the signal to regenerate the skin, but also fulfill other functions in the human body.
Peptides are characterized by the linking of 2 or more amino acids, which are usually present as linear, occasionally also ring-shaped chain molecules. Amino acids are linked by a so-called peptide bond, i.e. via the carboxyl group of one amino acid with the α-amino group of the other amino acid with elimination of water. The number of amino acids that can exist as a peptide is in the thousands (there is no sharp delimitation of peptide nomenclature, in general oligopeptides = 2-9, polypeptides = 10-100 and macro peptides have over 100 amino acids)
Peptides for Anti-Aging
For example, they have antibacterial, antibiotic or anti-inflammatory effects. Other peptides appear in the form of hormones: oxytocin and insulin are particularly well known in this context. Peptides can also act as venoms or are components of venoms such as bee venom and snake venom. Flavor peptides such as sweet peptides (aspartame) or bitter peptides are also important. In cosmetics, peptides are considered a silver bullet against wrinkles and other signs of skin aging because they serve as a kind of signal transmitter and cause our body to stimulate and improve certain physiological functions such as cell vitality, cell growth and skin renewal. Several clinical studies have since confirmed the effectiveness of the substances.
Peptides: Good for Skin and Hair
The fact that peptides not only serve medical purposes, but also have a highly efficient cosmetic effect, was discovered more or less by accident during various studies on wound healing. From the enormous range of peptides, some substances stand out particularly clearly. On the one hand there is Argireline (INCI designation: Acetyl-Hexapeptide 3). It is said to have a Botox-like effect because they are said to be able to inhibit the contraction of the facial muscles. However, these peptides are not inserted under the skin like Botox, but applied to the skin as ingredients in creams. Nevertheless, scientists found that the depth of wrinkles can be reduced by up to 30 percent.
What does Acetyl Hexapeptide do for Skin?
The peptides palmitoyl pentapeptide-4 also lead to a reduction in wrinkle depth and wrinkle width. The same applies to the peptides with the difficult name Dipeptide Diaminobutyroyl Benzylamide Diacetate, which, however, are also able to make the skin supple and soft. Glutathione, a tripeptide that also belongs to the peptide group, is used in skin care as an effective radical scavenger. The substance is involved in redox processes in the body. The so-called hexapeptides also alleviate stubborn expression lines. Basically, the most important peptides help to stimulate collagen production in the skin and promote skin elasticity. Some substances also have powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
But that wasn’t all the advantages. Peptides are also considered to be very well tolerated and are suitable for all skin types. The use of peptide-containing preparations does not affect the natural skin barrier, but actually strengthens it. Those who regularly use appropriate cosmetic products usually look much younger and fresher after a while.
Peptides in Cosmetics
Cosmetic products such as anti-aging creams that contain peptides are primarily aimed at mature skin from around 35 to 40 years of age. If they are high-quality preparations, they are very effective, but only temporarily. This means that after stopping, the skin returns to its original condition after a certain period of time. Regular and continuous use is therefore expressly recommended. But this is already the only disadvantage that peptide-containing cosmetics have.
In addition, peptides can even stimulate hair growth. However, this only applies to certain substances: The peptides contained in the thymus gland are able to neutralize or normalize disorders in the hair follicle. Special preparations containing thymus peptides support the formation of new hair cells and prolong the growth phase of the hair. What’s more, these peptides can revitalize hair growth on bald spots that are not older than three years. Again, several clinical studies have confirmed the effectiveness.
Acetyl Hexapeptide-3 Benefits
Scientifically speaking, peptides are sections or fragments of proteins. They differ from the classic proteins only in the number of amino acids they contain. The more amino acids the molecule contains, the higher the probability that these are no longer peptides but proteins.
In order to be used in cosmetic products, peptides have to be produced artificially. If necessary, they can even be changed in terms of their chemical composition. In the world of cosmetics, peptides are still relatively new. Long-term studies are not yet available, but it has been proven that the highly effective substances actually act like a kind of fountain of youth. Ideally, peptides are combined with other valuable ingredients in cosmetics. Together with vitamins such as A, C, E or pro-vitamin B5, they stimulate the naturally slow regeneration of mature skin. Here are some examples of how peptides are used in cosmetics:
Peptides Improve Collagen Synthesis e.g. Palmitoyl Pentapeptide
- Peptides with an effect on the neuromuscular synapses of mimic wrinkles, Botox-like effect, a well-known representative is the acetyl hexapeptide (Argireline)
- Research Peptides with hormonal effects = cytokines and growth factors such as fibroblast growth factor (FGF). They are signaling molecules that control many biological processes
- Non-specific oligopeptides such as soy oligopeptides and hydrolyzed milk proteins. These oligopeptides are broken down in the skin and the resulting free amino acids support various skin functions
- You can also read about aquaporins more and more frequently. They are proteins that allow water to pass through cell membranes, allowing for moisturization in the deeper layers of the skin.
Conclusion: Peptides in Cosmetics
Cosmetic products with peptides are currently flooding the market. However, this is by no means a passing trend or fad, but highly efficient substances that offer excellent tolerability. With regular use, high-quality and, if possible, certified preparations with peptides ensure that skin and hair remain healthy and age-related symptoms are alleviated or prevented. It can be assumed that research will be able to show further successes in researching peptides in the future. In principle, the use of peptides in skin and hair care can therefore also be rated as clearly positive, especially since no undesirable side effects have been detected to date.