Posted by Marta

Ever since Kate reviewed Cellular Skin Rx Super Max Multi-Peptide Skin Solution Serum ($64 for 0.5oz), I have been very intrigued by it. I've been looking at the ingredients list on and off for a few days, trying to decide whether this potion is complex and sophisticated or just jumping on the peptide bandwagon.

Any product that has an active as its most dominant ingredient (in this case, seaweed extract) gets my vote. I am interested - but unmoved (pun not intended) - by the presence of not one, but three peptides that modulate facial muscle movement. I don't think I've seen three neuropeptides in one serum before. The thing is, I'm not sure that they really work significantly enough to make a difference on expression lines and I can't say I've felt much of an effect after smearing them on. Anyhow, the ones used here include Argireline (or acetyl hexapeptide-3), which is fairly common, and a newer, supposedly more powerful version called acetyl glutamyl heptapeptide-1 (also known as octapeptide or SNAP-8). According to the blurb, SNAP-8 is more effective at reducing wrinkle depth while acetyl hexapeptide reduces surface muscle tension. The third is tripeptide, a synthetic peptide made by combining three amino acids. Tripeptide is also used by Osmotics in its Anti-Radical Age Defense System, a cream that we've found effective for broken capillaries.

Then we move on, as far as I am concerned, to the real heavy guns. Palmitoyl pentapeptide-3 is our friend Matrxyl. As we have mentioned countless times before, the research results on Matrixyl are impressive (although carried out by its manufacturer and not independently) for collagen production: in vivo palmitoyl pentapeptide-3 was found to stimulate collagen synthesis by 30-117%. The results for "moderate" wrinkles aren't quite so spectacular though.

However, in addition to Matrixyl, there is its bigger and more powerful sister, Matrixyl 3000. This is the result of combining oligopeptide with tetrapeptide-3.

So with two kinds of Matrixyl and three neuropeptides, we have to ask ourselves if Cellular Rx's formulator is heavy handed or hedging his/her bets. It is possible that the tetrapeptide-3 in Matrixyl 3000 makes it not just more potent than plain vanilla Matrixyl, but capable of carrying out a different job. Tetrapeptide-3 seems to be a sophisticated anti-inflammatory that can suppress the body's production of interleukins, particularly IL6, which are the chemical messengers that trigger the body's acute inflammatory response.

SuperMax is notable for the absence of the gazillion botanicals that seem to be crammed into creams these days. I don't know whether that's a good thing or a bad thing, but there is a refreshing simplicity about SuperMax. The big question here though is whether SuperMax is just Argireline and Matrixyl with knobs on.

Well, the proof will be in the trying. The nice people at Cellular Skin Rx sent me ten 5ml samples, which I guess is a 30-day supply. I wonder if I'll like it as much as Kate did. Back in a few weeks with my verdict...

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Kate's review of SuperMax

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Seaweed extract, purified water, hyaluronic acid, Argireline, pentapeptide-3, tripeptide, acetyl glutomyl heptapeptide-1, palmitoyl oligopeptide, palmitoyl tetrapeptide-3, phenoxyethanol, ethylhexylglycerin.