Matrixyl is a peptide designed to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Its efficacy is still being investigated. It is also referred to as palmitoyl pentapeptide-4 or palmitoyl pentapeptide-3. The conjugation with the palmitoyl introduces the potential for more consistent delivery across the skin and better stability to skin proteases.(1)
Matrixyl is a synthetic peptide currently under scientific investigation for its potential to stimulate collagen production in the skin. It is a matrikine – a messenger peptide that may regulate cell activities by interacting with their specific receptors. Collagen is a protein that helps give the skin its structure and elasticity, but with age, bodies produce less collagen, which can lead to wrinkles and sagging skin. By possibly stimulating collagen production, Matrixyl may help improve the skin’s overall appearance and reduce the visible signs of aging.
Molecular formula: C39H75N7O10
Molecular weight: 802.1 g/mol
Other known titles: Palmitoyl pentapeptide-4, (palmitoyl pentapeptide-3 prior to 2006)
Research and Clinical Studies
Matrixyl Peptide and Collagen Synthesis
Studies suggest that Matrixyl may act as a signal peptide fragment of the C-terminal propeptide of type I collagen. (2) The scientists indicate that it may act by signaling fibroblasts and “stimulates feedback regulation of new collagen synthesis and ECM proteins.” Fibroblasts are a type of cell that is found in connective tissue. They play a crucial role in forming and maintaining the extracellular matrix (ECM), a complex network of proteins and carbohydrates that provides structural support to tissues and organs. The main extracellular matrix proteins are collagens, elastins, fibronectins, and laminins. Fibroblasts produce and secrete collagen, the ECM’s main structural protein. Collagen provides tensile strength to tissues and organs and is essential for maintaining their shape and integrity. During wound healing, fibroblasts are responsible for depositing new collagen fibers to replace damaged tissue. Researchers suggested that Matrixyl may potentially stimulate collagen production in a concentration-dependent manner close to the critical aggregation concentration, indicating that self-assembly and collagen production are interrelated.(3) Self-assembly of peptides includes hydrogen bonds, electrostatic interactions, hydrophobic interactions, aromatic interactions (π–π stacking), and van der Waals forces.
Matrixyl Peptide and Wrinkles
Several studies suggest the anti-wrinkle potential of Matrixyl, due to its proposed action on fibroblasts and collagen synthesis. One clinical trial investigated its potential in 93 female subjects aged 35-55 who applied a moisturizer containing Matrixyl on one side of their face and a placebo control on the other for 12 weeks.(5) The study reported that the peptide appeared well-tolerated and improved in reducing wrinkles and fine lines compared to the placebo control. Researchers also reported that self-assessments showed improvements in fine lines, wrinkles, and other facial improvement parameters.
Crow’s feet, also known as laughter lines, are wrinkles at the outer corners of the eyes as people age, caused by the repetitive movement of facial muscles and loss of skin elasticity. One clinical study aimed to investigate the anti-aging potential of Matrixyl on 21 female subjects with crow’s feet.(6) The cream was applied twice daily to the periorbital area for eight weeks. The results indicated improvements in several subjects using Matrixyl, which appeared to exhibit better results when compared to other peptides and placebo based on data, clinical photos, and self-assessment questionnaires.
Another study aimed to isolate the potential of Matrixyl to improve overall smoothness and wrinkle depth appearance in the periorbital region.(7) Two double-blind, randomized, controlled, split-face studies were conducted in women aged 30-70 with moderate to distinct periorbital wrinkles. After 4 weeks, the peptide was reported by researchers to have appeared to improve the smoothness of periorbital skin and reduced the apparent depth of larger wrinkles.
Matrixyl Peptide and Scar Prevention
One study investigated the potential of Matrixyl on fibroblast contractility and its potential role in scar formation.(8) Matrixyl was reported to reduce the expression of α-SMA (alpha-smooth muscle actin) and inhibit the trans-differentiation of fibroblasts to myofibroblasts. Scientists indicate alpha smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) is a protein commonly found in smooth muscle cells, including those in blood vessels and hollow organs such as the intestines and bladder. It is also considered to be expressed by a specialized type of cell called a myofibroblast, which plays a key role in wound healing and tissue repair. In the context of fibrotic scarring, the expression of α-SMA by myofibroblasts is associated with the deposition of excess collagen and the development of scar tissue.
Matrixyl Peptide and Tissue Repair
One animal study investigated the potential of Matrixyl in promoting wound healing. Animals were divided into seven groups and monitored for 21 days.(9) Results suggested that Matrixyl may positively impact wound healing, with larger potential seen in the high-concentration Matrixyl groups compared to a positive control group. The scientists reported that “the macroscopic results showed that wound healing was improved from 63.5 up to 81.81% in treatment groups compared to that in the negative control group.”
Another article described the development of a novel conjugate of Matrixyl with imidazolium-based ionic liquid.(10) Imidazolium-based ionic liquids have antimicrobial and skin penetration properties. These conjugates also have collagenesis-inducing activity comparable to the proposed efficacy of Matrixyl.
Matrixyl peptide is available for research and laboratory purposes only. Please review and adhere to our Terms and Conditions before ordering.
- Choi, Y. L., Park, E. J., Kim, E., Na, D. H., & Shin, Y. H. (2014). Dermal Stability and In Vitro Skin Permeation of Collagen Pentapeptides (KTTKS and palmitoyl-KTTKS). Biomolecules & therapeutics, 22(4), 321–327. https://doi.org/10.4062/biomolther.2014.053
- Errante, F., Ledwoń, P., Latajka, R., Rovero, P., & Papini, A. M. (2020). Cosmeceutical Peptides in the Framework of Sustainable Wellness Economy. Frontiers in chemistry, 8, 572923. https://doi.org/10.3389/fchem.2020.572923
- Jones, R. R., Castelletto, V., Connon, C. J., & Hamley, I. W. (2013). Collagen stimulating effect of peptide amphiphile C16-KTTKS on human fibroblasts. Molecular pharmaceutics, 10(3), 1063–1069. https://doi.org/10.1021/mp300549d
- Tałałaj, U., Uścinowicz, P., Bruzgo, I., Surażyński, A., Zaręba, I., & Markowska, A. (2019). The Effects of a Novel Series of KTTKS Analogues on Cytotoxicity and Proteolytic Activity. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 24(20), 3698. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24203698
- Robinson, L. R., Fitzgerald, N. C., Doughty, D. G., Dawes, N. C., Berge, C. A., & Bissett, D. L. (2005). Topical palmitoyl pentapeptide provides improvement in photoaged human facial skin. International journal of cosmetic science, 27(3), 155–160. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-2494.2005.00261.x
- Aruan, R. R., Hutabarat, H., Widodo, A. A., Firdiyono, M. T. C. C., Wirawanty, C., & Fransiska, L. (2023). Double-blind, Randomized Trial on the Effectiveness of Acetylhexapeptide-3 Cream and Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4 Cream for Crow’s Feet. The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology, 16(2), 37–43.
- Kaczvinsky, J. R., Griffiths, C. E., Schnicker, M. S., & Li, J. (2009). Efficacy of anti-aging products for periorbital wrinkles as measured by 3-D imaging. Journal of cosmetic dermatology, 8(3), 228–233. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1473-2165.2009.00444.x
- Park H, An E, Cho Lee AR. Effect of Palmitoyl-Pentapeptide (Pal-KTTKS) on Wound Contractile Process in Relation with Connective Tissue Growth Factor and α-Smooth Muscle Actin Expression. Tissue Eng Regen Med. 2017 Jan 19;14(1):73-80. doi: 10.1007/s13770-016-0017-y. PMID: 30603464; PMCID: PMC6171572.
- Kachooeian, M., Mousivand, Z., Sharifikolouei, E., Shirangi, M., Firoozpour, L., Raoufi, M., & Sharifzadeh, M. (2022). Matrixyl Patch vs Matrixyl Cream: A Comparative In Vivo Investigation of Matrixyl (MTI) Effect on Wound Healing. ACS omega, 7(28), 24695–24704. https://doi.org/10.1021/acsomega.2c02592
- Gomes A, Bessa LJ, Fernandes I, Aguiar L, Ferraz R, Monteiro C, Martins MCL, Mateus N, Gameiro P, Teixeira C, Gomes P. Boosting Cosmeceutical Peptides: Coupling Imidazolium-Based Ionic Liquids to Pentapeptide-4 Originates New Leads with Antimicrobial and Collagenesis-Inducing Activities. Microbiol Spectr. 2022 Aug 31;10(4):e0229121. doi: 10.1128/spectrum.02291-21. Epub 2022 Aug 11. PMID: 35950860; PMCID: PMC9431032.
NOTE: These products are intended for laboratory research use only. Matrixyl (topical) peptide for sale (200mg) is not intended for personal use. Please review and adhere to our Terms and Conditions before ordering.
Dr. Marinov (MD, Ph.D.) is a researcher and chief assistant professor in Preventative Medicine & Public Health. Prior to his professorship, Dr. Marinov practiced preventative, evidence-based medicine with an emphasis on Nutrition and Dietetics. He is widely published in international peer-reviewed scientific journals and specializes in peptide therapy research.