Life Extension Magazine®

Issue: June 2020

Topical Collagen Helps Restore Youthful Skin

A topical formula with a trio of peptides has been shown to synthesize all major collagen types to revitalize aging skin.

Scientifically reviewed by: Dr. April Parks, MD, MS, on April 2020. Written By Robert Goldfaden and Gary Goldfaden, MD.

Replenishing depleted collagen levels is one of the first steps to revitalize aging skin.

Many commercial topical creams target type I collagen.

Overlooked is the role of other collagen types in rebuilding the skin’s scaffolding.

A topical formula featuring three peptides has been shown to synthesize all major collagen types in the dermis and dermo-epidermal junction.

By providing total collagen support, these peptides can visibly improve skin firmness and smoothness, while producing long-lasting anti-wrinkle effects.

Collagen: The Foundation of Youthful Skin

Structure of collagen fiber

Collagen is the main protein of connective tissues in humans and accounts for 70%-80% of the skin’s dry weight.1 It’s vital for skin cohesion, firmness, and resilience.2,3

Skin has five major collagen types that can be divided into two classes:

  1. Fibrillar collagens (type I and III) reside in the dermis where they form well-organized, rope-like fibers that supply robust tensile strength and resistance to stretching and tearing.4 In fact, type I collagen is stronger than steel on a gram-for-gram basis.5
  2. Non-fibrillar collagens (type IV, VII, and XVII) reside in the dermo-epidermal junction where they self-assemble a scaffolding network that anchors the dermis to the epidermis above it.6-9 This provides structural integrity and mechanical stability to the skin.

In essence, this collagen team organizes the underlying architecture of the skin to keep it firm, smooth, and youthful.

What Causes Collagen Loss?

Aging decreases the synthesis of collagen fibers in the dermis, and causes existing collagen fibers to become disorganized, stiff, and fragmented.10,11

Decreased production of non-fibrillar collagens also contributes to skin aging.12-15

The unfavorable effects of aging on skin tissue are exacerbated by chronic exposure to sunlight and air pollution.

These environmental factors generate inflammation and oxidative stress that trigger activation of collagen-destroying enzymes known as matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs).16-19

The end results are wrinkles, fine lines, dryness, and saggy skin.

Many topical products focus only on type I collagen without recognizing the significance of other collagen types in restoring youthful skin integrity and function.

That is why scientists developed three unique peptides that renew all major collagen types to rejuvenate aged and damaged skin.

Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5

Peptides are compounds composed of amino acids, which form the building blocks of proteins in our skin, including collagen.20

A group of peptides has been shown to activate growth factors that promote youthful collagen synthesis.20,21

An in-vitro study found that one of these growth peptides called palmitoyl tripeptide-5, along with another peptide:22

  • Increased type I collagen by 110%
  • Increased type III collagen by 40%
  • Increased type IV collagen by 190%
  • Increased type VII collagen by 60%
  • Increased type XVII collagen by 120%

These findings have translated into impressive real-world benefits.

In a clinical study, topical application of palmitoyl tripeptide-5, twice daily for two months, increased skin firmness by 10.8% compared to a placebo.22

Researchers investigated the efficacy of palmitoyl tripeptide-5 in diminishing fine lines and wrinkles.

Participants who applied a topical formulation with palmitoyl tripeptide-5 experienced a reduction in fine lines by 20% and in deep wrinkles by approximately 28% within minutes of initial application. These parameters further improved to about 38% and 50%, respectively, after three months.21

Researchers concluded that this topical treatment containing palmitoyl tripeptide-5 was “well tolerated and provided both immediate and long-term improvements in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.”20

Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1 and Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7

During the aging process, specialized cells known as fibroblasts become less active and produce lower levels of collagen than in youth.23

Two peptides—palmitoyl tripeptide-1 and palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7—have been shown to breathe new life into aging fibroblasts.

These peptides were shown to increase production of collagen types I, IV, VII, and XVII.24

By stimulating dermal regeneration and strengthening the dermo-epidermal junction, these peptides can drop years off the outer appearance of skin.

This was demonstrated in a clinical study involving 23 females between the ages of 42 to 67 who topically applied a combination of these peptides to one half of the face and a placebo to the opposite side.24

By day 60, researchers observed the following improvements:24

  • 39.4% decrease in area occupied by deep wrinkles
  • 32.9% decrease in wrinkle density
  • 19.9% decrease in main wrinkle depth
  • 23.3% decrease in main wrinkle volume
  • 16.0% decrease in roughness
  • 16.2% decrease in complexity

An assessment of skin tone and elasticity showed improvements of 15.5% and 5.5%, respectively, during the same time frame.24

woman holding her face

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Collagen Peptides Restore Youthful Skin

  • Collagen is essential for skin firmness, cohesion, and resilience.
  • Fibrillar collagens (Type I and III) form rope-like fibers in the dermis that supply high-tensile strength, whereas non- fibrillar collagens (Type IV, VII, and XVII) self-assemble a scaffolding network in the dermo-epidermal junction that tightly connects the dermis to the epidermis above it.
  • Aging and chronic exposure to external factors like sunlight and air pollution reduce the synthesis of collagen and increase its degradation to set the foundation for wrinkles, fine lines, and sagging skin.
  • Many topical products only target type I collagen and overlook the significant impact of other major collagen types in rebuilding the skin’s scaffolding.
  • A new topical formula has been developed with a trio of unique peptides—palmitoyl tripeptide-5, palmitoyl tripeptide-1, and palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7—shown to regenerate all major collagen types in the dermis and dermo-epidermal junction.
  • Controlled human studies show that these peptides provide total collagen care to reconstruct the dermis and reinforce the dermo-epidermal junction, which improves firmness, smoothness, and erases wrinkles to restore a youthful appearance.

Summary

With advancing age, your skin progressively loses collagen, and this is compounded by increased exposure to external damaging factors.

Depletion of collagen weakens the skin’s underlying support structure, contributing to wrinkles, sagging, and creping.

A novel, topical formula has been developed with three unique peptides—palmitoyl tripeptide-5, palmitoyl tripeptide-1, and palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7—shown to replenish all the major collagen types in the dermis and dermo-epidermal junction.

By providing total collagen care, these peptides help correct structural changes in aging skin to boost firmness and smoothness, erase wrinkles, and restore a youthful appearance.

Gary Goldfaden, MD, is a clinical dermatologist and lifetime member of the American Academy of Dermatology. He is the founder of Academy Dermatology in Hollywood, FL, and Cosmesis Skin Care. Dr. Goldfaden is a member of the Life Extension® Medical Advisory Board. All Cosmesis products are available online.

If you have any questions on the scientific content of this article, please call a Life Extension® Wellness Specialist at 1-866-864-3027.

References

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  2. Krieg T, Aumailley M. The extracellular matrix of the dermis: flexible structures with dynamic functions. Exp Dermatol. 2011 Aug;20(8):689-95.
  3. Frantz C, Stewart KM, Weaver VM. The extracellular matrix at a glance. J Cell Sci. 2010 Dec 15;123(Pt 24):4195-200.
  4. Nyström A. Collagens in wound healing. In: Ågren MS, ed. Wound Healing Biomaterials: Woodhead Publishing; 2016: 171-201.
  5. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK21582/. Accessed March 24, 2020.
  6. Burgeson RE, Christiano AM. The dermal-epidermal junction. Curr Opin Cell Biol. 1997 Oct;9(5):651-8.
  7. Abreu-Velez AM, Howard MS. Collagen IV in Normal Skin and in Pathological Processes. N Am J Med Sci. 2012 Jan;4(1):1-8.
  8. Yurchenco PD. Basement membranes: cell scaffoldings and signaling platforms. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2011 Feb 1;3(2).
  9. Nishie W, Kiritsi D, Nystrom A, et al. Dynamic interactions of epidermal collagen XVII with the extracellular matrix: laminin 332 as a major binding partner. Am J Pathol. 2011 Aug;179(2):829-37.
  10. Varani J, Dame MK, Rittie L, et al. Decreased collagen production in chronologically aged skin: roles of age-dependent alteration in fibroblast function and defective mechanical stimulation. Am J Pathol. 2006 Jun;168(6):1861-8.
  11. Quan T, Fisher GJ. Role of Age-Associated Alterations of the Dermal Extracellular Matrix Microenvironment in Human Skin Aging: A Mini-Review. Gerontology. 2015;61(5):427-34.
  12. Farage MA, Miller KW, Elsner P, et al. Characteristics of the Aging Skin. Adv Wound Care (New Rochelle). 2013 Feb;2(1):5-10.
  13. Neerken S, Lucassen GW, Bisschop MA, et al. Characterization of age-related effects in human skin: A comparative study that applies confocal laser scanning microscopy and optical coherence tomography. J Biomed Opt . 2004 Mar-Apr;9(2):274-81.
  14. Feru J, Delobbe E, Ramont L, et al. Aging decreases collagen IV expression in vivo in the dermo-epidermal junction and in vitro in dermal fibroblasts: possible involvement of TGF-beta1. Eur J Dermatol. 2016 Aug 1;26(4):350-60.
  15. Chen YQ, Mauviel A, Ryynanen J, et al. Type VII collagen gene expression by human skin fibroblasts and keratinocytes in culture: influence of donor age and cytokine responses. J Invest Dermatol. 1994 Feb;102(2):205-9.
  16. Park SY, Byun EJ, Lee JD, et al. Air Pollution, Autophagy, and Skin Aging: Impact of Particulate Matter (PM10) on Human Dermal Fibroblasts. Int J Mol Sci. 2018 Sep 12;19(9).
  17. Mancebo SE, Wang SQ. Recognizing the impact of ambient air pollution on skin health. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2015 Dec;29(12):2326-32.
  18. Pittayapruek P, Meephansan J, Prapapan O, et al. Role of Matrix Metalloproteinases in Photoaging and Photocarcinogenesis. Int J Mol Sci. 2016 Jun 2;17(6).
  19. Quan T, Qin Z, Xia W, et al. Matrix-degrading metalloproteinases in photoaging. J Investig Dermatol Symp Proc. 2009 Aug;14(1):20-4.
  20. Schagen SK. Topical Peptide Treatments with Effective Anti-Aging Results. Cosmetics. 2017;4(2):16.
  21. Trookman NS, Rizer RL, Ford R, et al. Immediate and Long-term Clinical Benefits of a Topical Treatment for Facial Lines and Wrinkles. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2009 Mar;2(3):38-43.
  22. Available at: https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0319/8073/files/syn_tc_brochure.pdf. Accessed March 25, 2020.
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  24. Available at: https://irp-cdn.multiscreensite.com/2d058be6/files/uploaded/POD-Matrixyl%203000-%20Brochure%20%281%29%20%281%29.pdf. Accessed March 25, 2020.

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