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Targeting Skin Renewal With Peptides

By: April Zangl
Posted: October 31, 2012, from the November 2012 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
professional skin care client applying peptide-based serum

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Neuropeptides. The neuropeptide category has become very exciting over the years for its ability to reduce the appearance of expression lines. The primary mode of action for a neuropeptide is through the inhibition of acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is a transmitter released within the neuromuscular junction through a series of processes that eventually result in a muscle contraction. Acetyl hexapeptide-3 is a first-generation neuropeptide that blocks acetylcholine from its release. Syn-Ake from Pentapharm, or dipeptide diaminobutyroyl benzylamide diacetate, is a newer generation peptide that mimics the effects of waglerin 1, a 22-amino-acid-peptide string found within a temple viper’s venom. How this peptide differs from its predecessors is by its mode of action, as well as its swift performance. Syn-Ake doesn’t block acetylcholine from its release, but from its uptake by the receptors in the neuromuscular junction. Within the first two hours, the frequency of muscle contractions is reduced, which can lead to a visible reduction of wrinkles over time. The unique performance of both these neuropeptides in combination can lead to excellent anti-aging results.

Carrier peptides. Carrier peptides function to help stabilize and deliver important trace elements necessary for wound-healing and enzymatic processes. The most commonly encountered carrier peptide is used to stabilize and deliver copper into cells.3

Carrier peptides belong to a general category that acts as a facilitator of important substance transportation, but their major application is to deliver important trace elements, such as copper and manganese necessary for wound-healing and enzymatic processes. Recently, several peptides and proteins have been developed to accelerate and facilitate the delivery of bioactive molecules into the skin. These peptides and proteins are known as penetrating peptides, or membrane transduction peptides, and have basic transduction domains in their structure. A recent study demonstrated that short arginine-rich intracellular delivery peptides facilitate the transport of various proteins into living cells.4

The skin’s building blocks

Peptides are an amazing rejuvenating ingredient based upon the composition of the body and how it functions. They are the skin’s building blocks, contributing to its health, strength and structure. The benefits of peptides are already recognized within anti-aging skin care, and continue to evolve and progress. Educating clients on this breakthrough in anti-aging skin care will help them understand the science behind peptides.


  1. (Accessed Sep 13, 2012)
  2. Z Draelos, From Proteins to Peptides—What They Mean to the Dermatologist, European Dermatology Review 31–32 (2006)
  3. M Lupo and A Cole, Cosmeceutical Peptides Dermatologic Therapy 20 343–349 (2007)
  4. F Gorouchi and HI Malbach, Role of Topical Peptides in Preventing or Treating Aged Skin, International Journal of Cosmetic Science 31 327–345 (2009)

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