glass test tubes

Remember Intel Inside? The high profile and incredibly successful campaign to create brand awareness for — of all things — microprocessors spawned surprisingly few jokes other than one that I perhaps made up about Intel Inside really being a warning sign. This came to mind when I noticed that there is a Matrixyl Inside logo that cosmetics manufacturers are being invited to put on their anti-aging serums, and it prompted me to take a look at the latest power peptide to join the Matrixyl line up, Matrixyl Synthe 6.

First, a Matrixyl 101

Matrixyl® is a trademark of Sederma and is the name given for a series of anti-wrinkle actives that contain a specific “matrikine,” a peptide that can link to a matching cell-surface receptor.

Matrixyl was launched by Sederma in 2000. Then, in 2003, Matrixyl 3000 was created based on two peptides: a palmitoyl tripeptide and a palmitoyl tetrapeptide. They established themselves as two of the most popular and reliable anti-aging ingredients.

Then, a couple of years ago, Sederma gave a boost to Matrixyl Inside with a new palmitoyl tripeptide that goes by the name Matrixyl Synthe’6.

What is Matrixyl Synthe’6?

Basically, Matrixyl Synthe’6 is palmitoyl tripeptide-38, a peptide produced from derivatives of the amino acids lysine and methione sulfone (the latter is synthetic). Palmitoyl tripeptide-38 is a matrikine-mimetic compound that regulates cell activity, wound repair and collagen tissue remodeling.

As the name implies, Matrixyl Synthe’6 stimulates six major constituents of the skin matrix and the dermal-epidermal junction. And these are:

1. Collagen I - It is the major component of the dermis.

2. Collagen III - This type of collagen is produced in the earliest phases of wound healing, before type I collagen synthesis initiation. It is mostly found in elastic tissues, including the skin, muscles and blood vessels, and it diminishes with age in favor of collagen I.

3. Collagen IV - This has important wound healing stimulation properties, as it interacts with keratinocytes, which induce epidermal cell proliferation immediately after a skin injury.

4. Fibronectin - A glycoprotein that appears to have a role in the stimulation and acceleration of in vivo tissue repair.

5. Hyaluronic acid - Known for facilitating wound repair, hyaluronic acid is thought to improve skin moisture and elasticity. Hyaluronic acid has a demonstrated ability to promote the delivery of active ingredients to the inner layers of the skin. Its free radical scavenging properties indicate that it may also have a role in UV protection

6. Laminin-5 - Alongside collagens and proteoglycans, laminins are important components of the basement membrane. Laminin-5 anchors the epidermis to the dermis. It also regulates keratinocyte migration, facilitating the healing of injured epidermis.

Does it work?

Very little independent research exists for Matrixyl. Indeed, we had to wait more than a decade for the first independent study — happily it confirmed that Matrixyl boosts collagen. But anecdotal evidence for both Matrixyl and Matrixyl 3000 is very positive, and my own skin seems to respond well to products with Matrixyl Inside.

The only studies on the performance of Matrixyl Synthe’6 are from the manufacturer, Sederma. In vitro tests of twice daily applications of a formulation containing 2% Matrixyl synthe’6 for five days found that type I, III and IV collagens significantly increased (p<0.01) by 105%, 104%, and 42% respectively. Significant increases were also shown for laminin-5, fibronectin and hyaluronic acid.

There are also the results of a placebo-controlled clinical study of 25 women aged 42 to 70 years. In this study, 2% palmitoyl tripeptide-38 was applied twice daily for two months on two facial skin areas especially prone to wrinkling: the forehead and the crow’s feet by the eyes. Forehead wrinkle volume and depth decreased by 31 and 16.3%, respectively, and lifting improved by 28%. On the crow’s feet, wrinkle surface, volume, and maximum depth diminished by 28.5, 21.1, and 15%, respectively.

The only independent study I could find was on safety. The CIR says that in diluted form there was negligible toxicity but some ocular irritation. No skin or allergic reactions were observed.

Where can you find it?

Not many products yet have Matrixyl Synthe’6 inside. Note that it is a very expensive ingredient, and beware of any products flaunting a high concentration unless they cost a fortune. In any case, Sederma’s own studies were at the 2% level. We reviewed it in Lumavera Anti-Aging Serum ($120) and it is one of the additions to the new formula in Your Best Face Correct ($150 in the shop), which I am currently testing.

Marta Wohrle is an anti-aging skin care and beauty expert and the founder/CEO of Truth In Aging. Marta is dedicated to uncovering the truth behind anti-aging product claims.