This is a pre-emptive strike. I don't really want to write about another new 'Botox in a jar' since none of them work and I'm beginning to sound like a worn record. However, despite a tacky little website and a few desultory sellers on eBay, Newtox by Lon Cosmetics is beginning to crop up on all sorts of message board thanks to postings from deeply unimaginative marketeers pretending to be ordinary women who just happened to have stumbled across a miracle cream that they can't wait to tell everyone about. So in advance of them, I want it to be known that I am not enamored of something just because it is a pentapeptide.

The trouble with pentapeptides is they get people gushing without their brains engaging. People literally write: "its stuffed with petrapeptides".  That's like me saying: "its a slam dunk" (which I confess I have even though I can only vaguely associate to that sport with a hoop).

Peptides are molecules that link amino acids. A pentapeptide links five amino acids. This gets lab rats excited because they can target the role of a pentapeptide more specifically. Pentapeptides can communicate with a cell and, if they can also be targeted, then the logic is that they can be 'programmed' to do specific things to a cell (eg repair it).

Newtox combines two types of pentapeptide technology - palmitoyl
pentapeptide and acetyl hexapeptide, also known as "argireline" - to
make a compound that is supposed to mimic both a collagen shot and a
Botox injection simultaneously.

Hexapeptides do not work like Botox. They don't destroy the protein, like Botox does, but keep it from connecting to the cell and turning on the muscle contraction. Theoretically. In practice, these topical applications don't have a very powerful effect and give the impression of working mostly by clinging to the surface of the skin.

On the other hand, palmitoyl pentapeptides are somewhat more worthwhile. They are known as matrixyl and there is some evidence that they boost collagen. Better still is a combination of two peptides that form matrixyl 3000, a good anti-oxidant.