Acetyl hexapeptide-3, also known as acetyl hexapeptide-8 or argireline, is a neuropeptide which is often used as a muscle relaxer. It is a shortened peptide sequence of BotoxTM that is able to be used over-the-counter.
How It Works
Acetyl hexapeptide-3 works on the same muscle-to-nerve connections as BotoxTM, which makes sense, given that it is a shortened peptide sequence of BotoxTM.
Acetyl hexapeptide-3 blocks signals from the nerves to the muscles. The affected muscle can no longer contract, which causes the wrinkles to relax and soften.
Like BotoxTM,acetyl hexapeptide-3 must be used on expression lines, or wrinkles like forehead lines, crow’s feet (lines around the eye) and frown lines. Wrinkles caused by sun damage and gravity will not respond to muscle relaxers.
What Science Says
How well acetyl hexapeptide-3 works on the skin depends on who you ask.
Some people have wrinkle-reducing results after using creams that contain argireline. In fact, a study in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science showed a 10% concentration of topically-applied acetyl hexapeptide-3 (argireline) reduces wrinkles by 30% over a 30-day period. When injected into the skin, a 2002 study found the same reduction of 30% in wrinkles, similar to BotoxTM.
On the other hand, unfortunately, some people do not have any results at all after using acetyl hexapeptide-3. It is possible argireline may diffuse through thinner skin, like that of the elderly, and not work so well on thicker skin. Some experts go so far as to say that, while injections of argireline produced similar results to BotoxTM, acetyl hexapeptide-3 in skin care creams is unlikely to diffuse through the top layers of skin to reach the crucial muscle-nerve connections like injectable BotoxTM. But the studies say differently.
Honestly, the only way to know if acetyl hexapeptide-3 will work for you is to try.
Is it Safe?
Though acetyl hexapeptide-3 temporarily inhibits the neurotransmitter neuroepinephrine (like Botox does), the effects of topically-applied acetyl hexapeptide-3 are temporary. Even the most concentrated dose of topical acetyl hexapeptide-3 on the market today is not likely to last for more than 8 hours at a time.
Furthermore, even injectible Botox is found to stimulate collagen production due to stretching of the skin, which increases skin firmness over time, effectively fighting sagging (Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 2008). This effect is even more pronounced when Botox is used in conjunction with a stimulating filler treatment like Sculptra.
Recommended Products with Argireline
I’m a huge fan of AminoGenesis products, and this moisturizer is formulated with a high concentration of acetyl hexapeptide, as well as antioxidant alpha lipoic acid, hydrating hyaluronic acid, skin-brightening glucosamine, and antioxidant vitamin E.
Alpha lipoic acid is a potent antioxidant that has been shown to have effects on fine lines, wrinkles, and skin roughness. A 5% lipoic acid cream tested on 33 women (average age: 54.4 years) for 12 weeks found that their fine lines were reduced, and their skin smoothness was significantly increased (British Journal of Dermatology).
AQ Skin Solutions Eye Serum is a fantastic eye serum with acetyl hexapeptide and growth factors.
Like retinoids, alpha hydroxy acids, and amino acids, topically-applied growth factors have been shown to stimulate the production of collagen within the skin (Journal of Drugs in Dermatology). Most skin care products use skin cell stimulating growth factors. These have been shown in peer-reviewed, independent studies to enhance wound healing following dermatological treatments with lasers or dermatologic surgery, reduce wrinkling, and increase skin smoothness.
In a 2007 study in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, subjects used a human growth factor-containing cream on half of their face for sixty days. After the 60-day period, 83% of the subjects showed an improved average wrinkle score in the eye area, while 50% showed an improved average wrinkle score in the mouth area.
Combined with acetyl hexapeptide and dipeptide-2, this is a great eye serum!
Acetyl hexapeptide is a “freeze” peptide that may work similarly to Botox, preventing nerve-to-muscle communication. It is best used on expression lines, or wrinkles like forehead lines, crow’s feet (lines around the eye) and frown lines.
Acetyl hexapeptide works differently for different persons. Some studies show efficacy of up to 30% reduction in wrinkles for individuals in 30 days. Yet these studies also demonstrate that some people only experience an 8% reduction in wrinkles over the same course of time. It seems that different people’s skin absorbs acetyl hexapeptide differently, resulting in varied efficacy.
I approve of trying acetyl hexapeptide. My favorite products with the ingredient are AminoGenesis Simply One 10 in 1 Skin Perfecting System and AQ Skin Solutions Eye Serum.
Brought to you by AQ Skin Solutions.