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Peptides are synthetic compounds, composed of at least two amino acids, that have been greatly exploited by the cosmetic industry since the 80’s because of their important anti-aging properties.

Their use continues to increase as, according to Mordor Intelligence (, the cosmetic peptide synthesis market is expected to register a CAGR of 5.5 % (forecast period: 2022-2027).

The following abstracts illustrate the most recent findings in the use of cosmetic peptides in the personal care field, both hair and skin care. For instance, peptides composed of positively charged lysine or arginine are described as dual-acting cosmetics because of their antiaging and hair health effects. They are infact used as a valid alternative to oral antiaging retinoids, that stimulate the expression of the TGF-β2 citokine from fibroblasts (which in turn promote collagen expression for an antiaging purpose), but that also inhibits hair growth by silencing keratinocytes. The dipeptide prolyl-isoleucine is presented as another example of a cosmetic peptide exploited for the promotion of keratinocyte growth (via the FGFR signaling pathway). Finally, a market trend overview on the use of peptides in anti-aging products shows that Palmitoyl Oligopeptides are highly exploited in the cosmetic formulations (e.g., Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5 from DSM).

Scientific online resources as Pubmed and Google Scholar were used to retrieve articles of interest. To screen for the most advanced research, articles were selected between the years 2020 and 2022 with the following keywords: cosmetic peptide, hair, cosmetics.

Topical and nutricosmetic products for healthy hair and dermal antiaging using “dual-acting” (2 for 1) plant-based peptides, hormones, and cannabinoids


Nicholas John Sadgrove1, Monique S J Simmonds1


1 Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Richmond UK.



One of the side effects of oral antiaging retinoids is increased hair shedding. Retinoids promote the expression of TGF-β2 from fibroblasts, which stimulate collagen expression but silences keratinocytes. Since keratinocytes normally influence differentiation of dermal papilla cells at the base of the hair follicle, retinoids feasibly inhibit hair growth via the increased expression of TGF-β2, which inhibits Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Fortunately, the plant kingdom provides an array of alternatives as dual-acting nutricosmetics and topicals that work independently of TGF-β2 to confer dermal antiaging and hair health effects. These alternatives include “plant hormones” such as cytokinins and phytoestrogens. Many cytokinins are agonists of the G-coupled adenosine receptors. Partial agonism of adenosine recepto ...