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Understanding cosmeceutical peptides


*Corresponding author
PCA SKIN®, 6710 E. Camelback Rd. Suite 220, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, USA


The development in recent years of novel synthetic cosmeceutical peptides has led to significant advances in the clinical management of aging skin. Thanks to the outstanding collagen building capacity of some of these peptides, this category of compounds is rapidly becoming the cornerstone of the skin care industry, enabling the formulation of high-quality topical products that diminish lines and wrinkles, smooth texture, attenuate laxity, and reduce discoloration. Two agents, in particular, have revolutionized anti-aging skin care: palmitoyl tripeptide-38 and palmitoyl tripeptide-5. This article reviews the science behind peptides, the research supporting their use, and key factors to ensure the efficacy of peptide-based formulations and achieve optimal results.


With age, the skin undergoes changes that affect the integrity of its support structure and the ability of its cells to communicate, transfer nutrients, regenerate, and repair. These changes include progressive thinning of the epidermis, a more compact stratum corneum, and reduced granular layer thickness (1, 2). The dermoepidermal junction flattens, due to the retraction of the epidermal papillae as well as microprojections of basal cells into the dermis (3, 2). The production of collagen gradually diminishes (4). As a result of these changes, the skin becomes thinner, lax, and less elastic, which leads to the development of bags, lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation.

Facial wrinkles are typically the first visible signs of aging – although factors other than senescence contribute to their appearance, including sun damage and muscle movement. As the aging population is growing and set to rise in the coming decades, the demand for products proven to attenuate and prevent these and other visible manifestations of aging is steadily climbing. A testament to this phenomenon is the consistent increase in revenue performed by premium a ...

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