acetyl hexapeptide-8


Synthetically derived peptide that is used in a wide range of skincare and makeup products.

Despite claims being made for acetyl hexapeptide-8 (argireline), there is a clinical study revealing that this ingredient is not even remotely as effective as dermatological procedures in reducing signs of aging.

Other studies on topical use of a moisturizer containing a 10% concentration of acetyl hexapeptide-8 have shown it does not penetrate beyond the uppermost layers of skin, even after several hours. That means it cannot affect factors in the underlying layers that lead to the formation of expression lines. 

On the other hand, research has shown this peptide can penetrate further into skin if specific formulary steps are followed, including the type of emulsion (a higher water content showed greater penetration). However, even then the peptide wasn’t showing results equivalent to cosmetic corrective procedures. 

Still, like all peptides, acetyl hexapeptide-8 has water-binding properties and theoretical skin-restoring ability. It’s not a throwaway ingredient, but neither is it as miraculous as the manufacturer would lead you to believe.

References for this information:

Cutaneous and Ocular Toxicology, March 2015, pages 46-52

European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, February 2015, pages 27-35

Dermatologic Therapy, September-October 2007, issue 5, pages 343-349

International Journal of Cosmetic Science, October 2002, issue 5, pages 303-310

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Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books about skincare and makeup. She is known worldwide as The Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula’s Choice Skincare. Paula’s expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international radio, print, and television including:

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