3 Hot Anti Aging Skin Care Ingredients: Do They Measure Up To Their Hype?

anti-aging skin care ingredientsIf you are a skin care junkie, you are probably familiar with some of the hottest anti-aging skin care ingredients which have come out over the last few years. Many of us are aware of the huge buzz that peptides have garnered, and how they can allegedly do everything from increasing collagen production, to freezing facial muscles. There are several different types of peptides (actually enough to make your head spin) and while some are similar, they are each targeted for specific purposes. Peptides are basically short chains of amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein.

For example, Acetyl Hexapetide – 3 is thought to relax certain types of facial muscles. The overall effect is reported to be smoother skin with less lines and wrinkles. This peptide is commonly known as Argireline.

Palmitoyl Pentapetide – 3 is supposed to stimulate the deepest layers of skin (dermis) where collagen and hyaluronic acid are produced. This form of peptide is commonly known as Matrixyl. Matrixyl can now be found in numerous products such as skin creams. Price points run the gamut from around $45.00 to $300+ depending on the skin care manufacturer.

Another group of peptides is Tetrapeptides and there are several in this group. Tetrapeptide – 9 and Tetrpeptide 5 are both supposed to increase collagen production. One study reported that Palmitoyl Tripeptide- 5 increased collagen production by 119%.

My purpose in explaining the above is to give you a little back ground regarding a very interesting commentary/study posted on www.personalcaretruth.com regarding the penetration capacities of three highly touted anti-aging skin care ingredients. The penetration aspect is important, because if we want an increase in collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid, then the ingredients must penetrate beyond the stratum corneum into the dermis.

One of the problems with topical applications containing collagen and elastin is that their molecules are too big to penetrate past the upper layers of skin. So, if you see a marketing claim which states that topical collagen will increase collagen production, you may want to take that with a major grain of salt. That is the reason why collagen is administered via an injection by a physician or other qualified professional who is licensed to administer the treatment.

Now back to our study — Monash University's Pharmacy department tested the penetration levels of three anti-aging skin care ingredients: Genistein (which is derived from soy and found in many anti-aging products), a tripeptide (as explained above), and Vitamin B3 or Niacinamide.

All in all, conditions were set so that the odds would be stacked in favor of enhanced penetration. For example, all of the "actives" were tested in a saturated solution rather than a "real-time" formulation in order to increase the chances that the ingredients would penetrate at an optimal level.

Here are the results of the study:

The ingredient which penetrated the best was Niacinamide or Vitamin B3. In fact, it penetrated quite easily through the stratum corneum (upper layer of skin) making it a very useful and powerful vitamin/antioxidant for skin care use. Genistein only penetrated to a small degree, and the tripeptide did very poorly; it got nowhere near penetration levels that could even remotely stimulate collagen production. While it is true that there are several types of peptides, we can see that at least this one did not fare well.

I was actually not surprised by these results. I have tried peptide creams in the past (those containing matrixyl and argireline (which are different from the tripeptides) and did not see an improvement in my skin. That is not to say that others haven't had good results, as this was just my experience. However, it does ask the question, "Are peptides really effective as we have been lead to believe"?

Several studies have indicated that Vitamin B3 may help to increase turnover, reduce pigmentation or age spots and can actually increase ceramide levels which can in turn boost moisture levels. Vitamin B3 may have anti-inflammatory and well as anti-irritant properties. This may help those with sensitive skin including with rosacea.

Recently Proctor & Gamble conducted a well designed, double blind placebo controlled study involving 50 women over a 12 week period. Half of the women received a placebo and the other half a 5% concentration of Vitamin B3. When compared with the placebo or control group, the treatment group (those who received the Vitamin B3) saw a significant improvement in fines lines and wrinkles, reduced hyper-pigmentation, improved skin texture and a reduction in redness or blotchiness.

So, when you visit the cosmetic department at your local store or shop on-line, you may consider looking for products with Vitamin B3.


Dr. Teri Dourmashkin received her Doctorate in Health Education from Columbia University. She is the Founder and President of La Vie Celeste Skin Care Inc. La Vie Celeste brings you all natural anti-aging skincare featuring R-Lipoic Acid, a powerful antioxidant. Suitable for all skin types, La Vie Celeste is the perfect union of science and nature. To learn more visit La Vie Celeste Skin Care.

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