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Les peptides en cosmétique : principe de fonctionnement et effets sur la peau
5 min

Peptides in cosmetics: operating principle and effects on the skin

Table of contents

Peptides: what are they?

Peptides are proteins increasingly used in cosmetics for their action on the formation of collagen . It is a chain of animated acins which, linked together thanks to peptide bonds, help slow down skin aging. They therefore represent a real revolution in targeting the signs of aging .

In reality, there are lots of different peptides and they don't all have the same benefits for the skin. So which are the most interesting for the cosmetics industry?


Peptides in cosmetics: how do they work?

In cosmetics, there are mainly 4 types of peptides classified according to their action on the skin.

  • Signal peptides : they have this name because their goal is to send a signal to cells to increase the production of skin constituents such as collagen, elastin, glycosaminoglycans, including hyaluronic acid. Signal peptides are therefore used to reduce wrinkles and increase the firmness of mature skin.

Among the signal peptides we find the duo P almitoyl Tripeptide-1 & Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 , marketed under the name Matrixyl 3000.

  • Transporter peptides : or transit peptides. These are those which deliver trace elements such as copper and manganese, necessary for healing. This is for example the case of the copper peptide which is in reality both a signal peptide, stimulating for example the production of collagen, but also a transporter peptide since it transports copper. This is what allows the regeneration of the skin. Copper peptide is thus useful for targeting signs of aging and redness.
  • Neurotransmitter inhibitor peptides : they relax the skin, causing the reduction of expression lines. In this category, we find acetyl hexapeptide 8 , also known by the trade name Argireline. It is the peptide that helps reduce frown lines and crow's feet wrinkles.
  • Enzyme inhibitor peptides : they can act on the production of melanin for example.

What are the most effective peptides in cosmetics?

Now, many peptides are used in cosmetic products, but they are not all equal. The effectiveness of peptides depends on their properties as well as the studies carried out to understand how they work. Here are the most studied peptides:

  • Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1

Palmitoyl tripeptide-1 is, as its name suggests, a peptide consisting of three amino acids (glycine, histidine and lysine abbreviated as GHK) attached to palmitic acid, a fatty acid to increase its solubility in oil. As a result, it penetrates more easily into the skin, which has lipids on its surface. This peptide can increase the production of collagen and hyaluronic acid, thereby reducing the presence and depth of wrinkles.

In a study of 15 women, a cream containing palmitoyl tripeptide-1 was applied twice daily for four weeks. This trial resulted in significant reductions in wrinkle length, depth and skin roughness.

Palmitoyl tripeptide-1 is often combined with another peptide: Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7.

  • Matrixyl 3000 (Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1 & Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7)

Matrixyl 3000 is a raw material that combines Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1 with Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 to form a synergistic duo to reduce wrinkles and restore smoother, younger-looking skin.


It is this super powerful duo of natural peptides which is notably present in Nooance's multi-active serum , the brand's most complete treatment. It helps to hydrate, even out the complexion, reduce wrinkles thanks to the action of peptides, but also to soothe and help repair the skin.

  • Copper peptide

The copper peptide , in the copper tripeptide-1 form, takes up the following amino sequence: glycine-histidine-lysine with copper. It is therefore both a signal peptide and a copper transporter peptide. This peptide is used to stimulate the production of collagen, elastin and glycosaminoglycans. Several placebo-controlled clinical trials have confirmed its beneficial effects on the skin.

A study also compared the increase in collagen production induced by copper peptide, vitamin C and tretinoin. The results were as follows: after one month, Cu-GHK increased collagen in 70% of those treated , compared to 50% treated with vitamin C and 40% treated with retinoic acid.

Copper peptide can also promote skin regeneration, healing and repair, a huge benefit for skin with redness.




Copper peptide, an essential anti-aging ingredient, is present in Nooance Youth Serum in 3 different forms, including copper tripeptide 1 . To best target all signs of aging, it is combined with 21% other peptides with different modes of action. This serum allows you to find firmer, more elastic skin and visibly reduced wrinkles.

  • Argireline:

Acetylhexapeptide-8 also known by the trade name Argireline, is a neurotransmitter inhibitory peptide . This peptide relaxes the facial muscles to reduce expression lines, we speak of the botox like effect . Expression lines are usually the first wrinkles to appear. They are simply due to the repeated contractions of our muscles over the years. Among the most well-known expression lines, we find crow's feet wrinkles at eye level, frown lines between the eyebrows and nasolabial folds around the mouth.

In a placebo-controlled study carried out on 10 women, acetylhexapeptide-8 at 10%, for 30 days, applied twice a day allowed a 30% improvement in wrinkles in the eyes .

Nooance's Airy Youth Eye Balm is composed of argireline to effectively target expression lines around the eyes. This balm also reduces signs of fatigue and aging as well as dark circles, bags, fine lines, while instantly hydrating and strengthening the skin barrier, which protects the epidermis from external aggressions. Its particularity is an airy texture which allows both the comfort of application of a balm texture and the ultra-light finish on the skin.




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  • Anti-aging activity of the ghk peptide - the skin and beyond, Journal of Aging Research & Clinical Practice; Volume 1, Number 1, 2012
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  • Role of topical peptides in preventing or treating aged skin, International journal of cosmetic science, 2009
  • A new matrikine-derived peptide up-regulates longevity genes for improving extracellular matrix architecture and connections of dermal cell with its matrix, International Journal of Cosmetic Science, 2020
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