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Classification of Ingredient: Peptide

Synthetic peptides in skincare have been used in skincare since the 1800s.  They are small protein precursor molecules made up of amino acids that act on the skin as signal molecules that stimulates cell growth, healing and proliferation. Peptides are the building blocks for elastin and keratin, which form part of the skin matrix which is essential for reducing the appearance of wrinkles as the skin ages.  Collagen peptides account for 75-80% of the dermis space.  Peptides are able to interact directly with the skin through several different mechanisms, including regulation of inflammation pathways and the oxidation and degradation of existing proteins.

What is Argireline?

Argireline is the trademarked name for the synthetic plant-derived peptide acetyl hexapeptide-8 (or acetyl hexapeptide-3) that has been shown to have a significant antiaging effect on static lines and wrinkles.   It is considered by many dermatologists to be the most similar topical treatment to botox. Actually, it works in a similar way to Botox by limiting the neurotransmitters that signal facial muscles to move. It also stimulates new collagen production, the protein responsible for firm, youthful skin, and helps retain moisture in the skin.

Skincare Benefits:

The manufacture, Lipotec, claim the peptide solution has demonstrated a decrease of wrinkle volume by 20.6% and a reduction in the length of wrinkles by 15.9%.  This has been backed up by this study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Science has shown that a 10% concentration of Argireline can decrease wrinkle depth by up to 30% after one daily application for 30 days.

The downside is Argireline has been found to work exceptionally well for some people but not for others. The reason is there is some debate around whether Argireline in skincare products is actually capable of diffusing through the top layers of skin to reach the crucial muscle-nerve connections where it can take effect. The reason for this is thought to relate to the thickness of the dermis, meaning that younger, healthier skin is more resilient and has better barrier function, thereby keeping certain molecules out.  Older, thinker skin may be able to allow more of the molecule to pass through, therefore allowing the Argireline peptide to reach the areas where it can take effect.  

Is it Safe to Use?

Argireline is considered safe and well-tolerated by all skin types, and there are no known side effects, so there is no harm in experimenting to see if this hyped ingredient will work for you.  My advice? Experient on The Ordinary’s Argireline, which retails for USD $10, before trying some of the considerably more expensive products on the market.

My Favorite Argilreline Containing Products Include:

The Ordinary Argireline Solution 10%:

pH: 7

Skincare Concern: Fine lines and wrinkles around the eye area

Suitable for: Dry and Sensitive skin types

Key Ingredients: Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Propanediol

The Ordinary Argireline Solution 10%, an anti-aging treatment for all skin types that targets visible signs of ageing around the forehead and eye contour area. The high concentration of the peptide Argireline in this serum can help minimise the appearance of dynamic folds, a type of wrinkles that form around the eyes and between the eyebrows, that are caused by repeated facial movement. The transparent, liquid serum claims to freeze muscle movement by hindering the communication between the nerves and muscles, giving the appearance of smoother skin with a more youthful-looking appearance. The consistency is that of water, and it absorbs instantly into the skin without any stickiness. It works well with other skincare and sits well under concealer, but cant be used at the same time as acids.

You can read my full review here


  • Application of Synthetic Peptides to Improve Parameters of Skin Physiology: An Open Observational 30-Day Study. Journal of Cosmetics, Dermatological Sciences and Applications, 2020.
  • A synthetic hexapeptide (Argireline) with antiwrinkle activity.  Journal of Cosmetic Science, 2002.
  • The anti-wrinkle efficacy of Argireline.  Journal of Cosmetic & Laser Therapy, 2013.
  • Milady Skincare and Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary, 4th Edition, 2015.
  • Lipotec Website