The company behind Striking, a new skincare range that doesn't just use any old peptides but "smartpeptides", is called Helix Biomedix. According to its website, Helix has a vast proprietary library of peptides. One cannot help but wonder why so few of them appear in the Striking products.

Perhaps it's because they're just so goddamn smart.

Well, let's see. Striking Rejuvenating Eye Creme  has but one peptide, hexapeptide-21. The only literature I could find about this was on the Helix website. It is supposed to stimulate collagen production and fibroblast cells. The only research cited does not refer to whether hexapeptide-21 does what it says, but only that it was shown to be "non-cytotoxic, non-mutagenic, non-irritating and non-sensitizing".

The peptide in Striking Restorative Moisture Creme looks more promising. Palmitoyl hexapeptide-14. A 12-week study showed that "palmitoyl hexapeptide-14 is equivalent to RENOVA® (0.05% tretinoin) in reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles with none of the irritation and redness caused by retinoid based products".

Even if these peptides were to undergo more rigorous testing and be shown to be so smart that they could beat Big Blue at chess, I would still hesitate to use these potions. These lonely peptides seem to be adrift in a sea of things that are mostly there to bulk up: silicones, copolymers, emollients and emulsifiers (all those ceteareths), and film-forming acrylates.

Ingredients in Striking Rejuvenating Eye Creme

Water, shea butter, cetyl octanoate, cyclopentasiloxane, cetyl esters, cetearyl alcohol, glycerin, bis diglyceryl polyacyladipate-2, dimethicone, phytosteryl isostearate, ceteryl glucoside, hexapeptide-21, tocopherol, behenyl alcohol, ceteareth-20, squalane, polysorbate 80, hydroxyethyl/acrylates, sodium acryloyldimethyltaurate copolymer, laureth-4, polysorbate 60, disodium EDTA, potassium sorbate, methylisothiazolinone.

Ingredients in Striking Restorative Moisture Creme

Water, caprylic/capric triglycerite, C12-15 alkyl benzoate, sesame oil, glycerin, pentylene glycol, propanediol glyceryl stearate, cetearyl methicone, PEG-100 stearyl, hydroxyethyl/acrylates, sodium acryloyldimethyltaurate copolymer, dimethicone, panthenol, shea butter, palmitoyl hexapeptide-14, sodium hyaluronate, tetrahexydecyl acsorbate, linoleic acid, soybean sterols, soy phospholipids, tocopheryl, ascorbyl palmitate, green tea, squalane, sunflower seed oil,dipotasium glycrrhizate, rosemary, magnesium aluminum silicate, polysorbate-60, stearic acid, phenoxyethanol, xanthan gum, potassium sorbate, ehtylhexylglycerin, disodium EDTA