Matrixyl (Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4)

A pretty famous and better-researched peptide consisting of five amino acids (the building blocks of all proteins). It was created in a joint effort by the French ingredient supplier, Sederma and the cosmetics industry big shot, Procter&Gamble.

The amino acid sequence of the peptide is lysine–threonine–threonine–lysine–serine (KTTKS). Sometimes, it’s also called collagen pentapeptide, as it’s a subfragment of skin-structure-giving type I collagen. The KTTKS amino sequence is then attached for better oil solubility and skin penetration to palmitic acid and BOOM; we get Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4.




Though most research is manufacturer sponsored, the clinical studies about Palmitoyl Pentapeptide4 are promising. In short, it can reduce fine lines, wrinkles and improve skin texture significantly (and at crazy low concentrations, the studies were done with just 3 ppm that is 0.0003%).

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How it works?

Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4 was developed by the corporations Sederma SA and Proctor & Gamble and originally named Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-3, but later renamed to Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4 to reflect a correction in the data on its molecular structure, according to research. It is also included in many commercial formulas under the trademark of Matrixyl.

Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4 is a pentapeptide, synethsized chain protein created by linking five amino acid peptides. This chain creates a response in the dermis of the skin that stimulates collagen and elastin fibroblasts, developing fibronectin (FN) and glycosaminoglycans (GAG), according to research. Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4 is a small molecule that penetrates the skin easily and is structurally similar to the precursor of collagen type I. It is thought that pentapeptides can communicate with a cell and program it to do specific things, including repair work.

Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4 is considered to be as effective against wrinkles as retinol, but less irritating. According to, “One study found that Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4 was as effective as retinol in repairing sun-damaged skin but was devoid of side-effects. Most other studies showed at least some improvement in various objective and subjective measures of wrinkles.”

Independent in vitro studies (unlike most studies available on Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4, which have been done by P&G, originators of Matrixyl) demonstrated an increase in synthesis of Collagen I by 212%, Collagen IV by 100 to 327% and Hyaluronic Acid by 267%. Collagen I is predominant among the 19 forms of collagen found in the human body; therefore increasing production of Collagen I has a very dramatic effect on rebuilding the skin. Six months in vivo studies showed mean wrinkle depth was reduced by 17%, a surface area containing deep wrinkles was reduced by 68%, a surface area containing moderate wrinkles was reduced by 51% and skin roughness by 16% (Source).

Side Effects

The EWG gives Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4 a zero rating based on 100% data gap. No studies were found that noted harmful side effects or safety warnings regarding its use. However, independent studies of this ingredient are rare.

More information

For the ultimate in wrinkle-fighting, pick this peptide, which targets those pesky lines and wrinkles two ways.

Prevents dynamic wrinkles from forming: “Argireline is very specific in that it interferes with a protein receptor complex which helps cause muscle movement,” says Bae. Translation: It keeps the nerves from talking to the muscles and telling them to contract—and fewer muscle contractions result in fewer wrinkles.

Stimulates collagen production: By increasing the production of collagen, the protein responsible for firm, healthy skin, it also helps to keep fine lines and wrinkles from forming.

Helps the skin retain moisture: Argireline also optimizes collagen function, which, along with the skin-smoothing effects, improves moisture levels in the skin, says Shah. And hydrated skin is always going to look more youthful than dry skin.


This peptide is best for targeted application on spots where you have deep folds or creases that have formed due to repetitive muscle movement—the crinkles around your eyes, the ‘11’ between your brows, and forehead wrinkles are all ideal spots. Because the final formulation of each individual product can vary drastically, follow product instructions for how often to use it.


Argireline is just a brand name for a particular peptide, acetyl hexapeptide-3 (aka acetyl hexapeptide-8). As a quick reminder, peptides are short chains of amino acids, the foundation for proteins including collagen and elastin, making them essential for healthy, youthful skin, says Shah. While various peptides are common in skincare, this one differs in its ability to reduce muscle movement and the accompanying wrinkles that come with it; it’s the first peptide with a targeted effect on expression wrinkles, notes Shah. “Everyone is trying to mimic Botox’s contenders, and so far, Argireline is one of the best contenders,” adds Linkner. Argireline is a peptide that affects the nerve-to-muscle communication so that the muscles can’t adequately contract, she explains. Along with its muscle-paralyzing effects, it also stimulates collagen production, further helping to keep skin smooth and wrinkle-free.

User reviews

Review 1
This is my favourite product of theirs that I’ve tried so far! It has a special place in my heart since it’s the first real serum I tried. It gives my skin the burst of hydration and revival that it needs, especially in these dry winters. I think I prefer it over their hyaluronic acid serum but I often mix the two before applying. My skin is dry/normal, not acne-prone, and somewhat sensitive. I use 2-3 drops every night and it’s a perfect transition product before I start my oil to moisturize.

Review 2
I don’t think I could live without this product! I use it between my brows, around my mouth and on my chest. It’s thick, and a little goes a long way. I roll it in with a Jade roller. It does wonders for deeper lines. Give it time though, it takes about a month to really notice a difference. The price of Ordinary products can’t be beaten, and I think they work just as well, if not better than some of my more expensive products


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