Planet Skincare has been bitten by the snake venom bug. But at least the UK beauty company isn’t jumping on the Royal bandwagon in this Diamond Jubilee year. Platinum Crème Excellence (GBP125, or nearly $200) boasts Syn-nake, a peptide, and platinum, Gwyneth Paltrow is supposed to be a fan and I have been testing it out.

In order to love Platinum Crème Excellence (especially with its hefty price tag), you’d have to like Syn-ake (dipeptide diaminobutyroyl benzylamide diacetate).  It is the most dominant active in this potion and is one of those expression line inhibitors (with a twist that it is supposed to mimic the action of snake venom). This isn’t really my favorite peptide as I tend to prefer ones that encourage things – such as the production of collagen - rather than inhibit them.

A Planet spokesperson told a cosmetics trade magazine that Platinum Crème Excellence is unique because “a high number of Matrixyl Peptides are blended with Syn-ake”. This is odd, because I can’t see the Matrixyl peptides (typically, palmitoyl-pentapeptide 3) in the ingredients list.

What there is though, is acetyl tetrapeptide-17. The lab that manufacturers this describes it as a “pure tetrapeptide that is able to reduce the nerve response to external stimuli”, making the skin less sensitive to pain and irritation. I believe that this peptide comes hand in hand with Planet’s other key active, colloidal platinum.

Colloidal platinum is platinum nanoparticles suspended in a liquid (usually water). Platinum nanoparticles are antioxidant (source) and researchers in Japan found that they prolonged the life of worms. It is being used in cancer treatments as it has the ability, in certain chemical forms, to inhibit the division of living cells. This may mean that the platinum used in my facial may help my aging skin cells struggle on a bit longer. Platinum has also been tested on animal skin and is thought to helpful in the treatment of “hyperproliferative skin diseases”. On the other hand, there does seem to be some evidence of toxic effects of platinum accumulation (at least in tests on fish).

The platinum makes this Planet Skincare cream much more interesting to me than the Syn-ake, which is a little gimmicky. But there is not much else here to justify the price, unless you count glucosamine, which is an amino sugar that forms chitins (the stuff that makes exoskeletons on shellfish) that go to work on hyperpigmentation.  Plus there is vitamins E and C, tea and ginkgo extracts as well as shea butter.

After a month of using Planet on my neck, I haven’t seen much difference, although it does seem to be smoothing and hydrating. But I am interested in finding out more about precious metals, their role as antioxidants and their safety. And not just platinum, but gold and diamonds – the latter especially as it is a Diamond Jubilee Year.

Ingredients: Aqua, Coco-caprylate, Caprylic/capric triglyceride, Glycerin, Dipeptide diaminobutyroyl benzylamide diacetate, Glyceryl stearate, Cetearyl alcohol, Butyrospermum parkii (shea butter), Hydroxyethylacrylate /Sodium acryloyldimethyl taurate copolymer, Squalane, Polysorbate 60, Cetearyl glucoside, Acetyl tetrapeptide-17, Colloidal platinum, Glucosamine sulfate, Sodium stearoyl glutamate, Tocopheryl acetate, Centella asiatica extract, Ginkgo biloba leaf extract, Maltodextrin, Silica, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Chlorphenesin, Ascorbic acid, Potassium sorbate, Citric acid