Is Matrixyl the next miracle anti-aging ingredient?

Sophie says (via Facebook)…I’ve been reading about Matrixyl but I can’t understand the studies. Does it really postpone the advent of wrinkles?

The Beauty Brains respond:

One of our favorite beauty science blogs, Colin’s Beauty Pages, has covered this topic recently so rather than reinvent the wheel we’ll steal…uh… we’ll plagiarize…uh…I mean we’ll reference the work that Colin’s already done. (Follow the link above to read Colin’s original post.)

What is Matrixyl?

Matrixyl belongs to a class of chemicals known as peptides which are made of small string of proteins connected to a larger carbon chain. (It’s officially known as palmitoyl-pentapeptide 3 and there are two other ingredients under the Matrixyl brand name: Matrixyl 3000 and Matrixyl synth 6). These three peptides can supposedly signal the substructure of skin to trigger increased collagen production. It kind of works like this: As the natural collagen (and elastin) in your skin breakdown they release small protein fragments. When these tiny fragments are detected by receptors in the dermis, they trigger the production of new collagen and elastin. Matrixyl stimulates this feedback loop in the same way the broken protein fragments do.

What has the research shown?

Lab testing has shown that when Matrixyl is applied to cultured human skin cells in test tubes, the treated cells produce twice as much collagen as untreated cells. This is highly encouraging but, since skin is such a complicated organ, it does not necessarily mean that Matrixyl will have the same effect when applied topically to a living person. As Colin points out, it’s not as easy as “just bunging it in a cream and hoping it will work.” (I love the way the British talk!) While there is evidence of small beneficial effects there doesn’t seem to be enough data to justify calling Matrixyl the next “miracle” ingredient. At least not yet.

The Beauty Brains bottom line

As Colin also mentioned, just because an ingredient works in the lab doesn’t mean it will work equally well on skin. Matrixyl seems promising but if it’s out of your price range I wouldn’t take out a second mortgage just to give it a try.

PS Thanks Colin! Feel free to steal our content any time.