INCI: Glycerin (and) Butylene Glycol (and) Aqua (water) (and) Carbomer (and) Polysorbate-20 (and) Palmitoyl Oligopeptide (and) Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-3
Actives: Palmitoyl oligopeptide (Pal-GHK) and Palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7 (Pal-GQPR)
Palmitoyl oligopeptide (Pal-GHK): It consists of a short chain of three amino acids (a.k.a. GHK peptide or glycine-histidine-lysine) connected to palmitic acid. Palmitic acid is a fatty acid added to improve the peptide’s oil solubility and thus skin penetration. The peptide GHK is a fragment of type I collagen molecule and is believed to serve as a biological indicator of increased degradation of the skin matrix. Indeed, when collagen is degraded, more of its small fragments get created in the body, including GHK. Furthermore, GHK is believed to stimulate the feedback loop triggering the synthesis of new collagen as well as other components of the skin matrix. When the key skin matrix-producing cells (fibroblasts) detect increased levels of GHK, they “assume” that the skin matrix is being lost at a higher rate and begin synthesizing it more vigorously. Thus, Pal-GHK (a version of GHK designed for better skin penetration) is intended to stimulate skin matrix replenishment via topical application, leading, presumably, to wrinkle reduction, skin firming and other benefits.
Another interesting point about the GHK is that it is a part of another well known skin care ingredient, the copper peptide Cu-GHK. Copper peptides are known to improve wound healing, activate skin remodeling, improve the structure of skin matrix, reduce scarring and exert other beneficial effects on the skin. The skin benefits of copper peptides are relatively well researched and established. In fact, most of the research showing the benefits of copper peptides has been done using Cu-GHK, which consists of the copper atom (in the ionized form) bound to the GHK peptide.
In that light, we can hypothesize that Pal-GHK may act at least partly via the same mechanism as Cu-GHK. At the first glance, this appears unlikely because the benefits of copper peptides are believed to be contingent on their copper component. However, it is possible that the addition of the palmitic acid to the GHK increases its skin concentration so much that even the normally low levels of copper in the skin suffice to activate it. It is also conceivable that many of the effects of Cu-GHK are due to the GHK peptide rather than copper and can be reproduced using a highly penetrating version Pal-GHK alone. Thus, it would be very useful to find out whether Pal-GHK and Cu-GHK indeed work at least partly via the same mechanism and, if so, what are comparative advantages and disadvantages of each. Unfortunately, such research is yet to be conducted.
Palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7 (Pal-GQPR): [also formerly known as palmitoyl tetrapeptide-3] It consists of a short chain of four amino acids (GQPR peptide / glycine-glutamine-proline-arginine) connected to palmitic acid. Palmitic acid is a fatty acid added to improve the peptide’s oil solubility and thus skin penetration. Palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7 is believed to work by reducing the production of interleukin-6 (IL-6) by the the key skin cells, keratinocytes and fibroblasts. IL-6 is a molecule that promotes inflammation, which, in turn, leads to faster degradation of the skin matrix and thus contributes to the development of wrinkles and loss of skin firmness and elasticity. By reducing the levels of IL-6 and possibly other inflammation mediators, palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7 is thought to slow down the degradation of the skin matrix and may also stimulate its replenishment.
Recommended dose: 2%