I spotted Celazome N45 Firming Peptide Cream ($139) that claims to be a 45% concentration of peptides and bioactives. The cynic in me immediately wondered what was in the other 55%.

My more generous nature came to the fore and I looked at the actives first. It proved worthwhile. Two are well known, but a third is a peptide that is new to me. Celazome N45 has Matrixyl 3000, the collagen stimulating combination of two peptides, palmitoyl oligopeptide and palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7. It also has the neuropeptide that limits muscle movement and formation of expression lines, acetyle hexapeptide-8, known as Argireline. More interesting is acetyl tetrapeptide-9, which also goes by the name of Dermican.

The starting point for how acetyl tetrapeptide-9, works is the role played by things called proteoglycans. These are protein-sugar (glycosaminoglycan chains) complexes that are involved with collagen fibers. Acetyl tetrapeptide-9 targets one in particular, called lumican that is involved in both the synthesis of collagen fibrils and their organization into functional fibers, ensuring the integrity of the extra-cellular matrix.

As always, there are no independent studies. But the manufacturer of Dermican claims that in the stimulation of collagen I synthesis, it showed increases of 49% and 112% at 2.2 and 7.4 μg/ml respectively. So effectiveness seems to be dose dependent.

The rest of Celazome N45 is unremarkable. The dominant ingredient is squalane (whether from shark or olive we are not told and there is an anti-inflammatory amino acid called palmitoyl proline, which you can also find in Cindy Crawford’s Meaningful Beauty. There is a useful botanical called rumex occidentalis, which is meant to prevent age spots by inhibiting tyronase production. Celazome buyers will be pleased to know that this plant is in Euoko’s skin whitener that costs $710 for a months’s supply.

There are a few things in that I’d rather not encounter – propylene glycol, diazolidinyl urea and triethanolamine, plus a few fillers that I’d be wasting my money on – various fatty alcohols, copolymers and emulsifiers. Still I’m a sucker for a new peptide and I’m tempted to try this. Has anyone else yet?

Ingredients: De-ionized Water, Squalane, Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Alcohol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Butylene Glycol, Palmitoyl Proline, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Acetyl Tetrapeptide-9, Rumex Occidentalis Extract, Magnesium Palmitoyl Glutamate, Sodium Palmitoyl Sarcosinate, Coco-Glucoside, Bisabolol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Lecithin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Propylene Glycol Diazolydinyl Urea/iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl taurate Copolymer, Polysorbate 60, Polysorbate 20, Carbomer, Triethanolamine, Fragrance