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If you’re looking for a peptide serum, argireline — often compared to Botox — is one of the more exciting ingredients out there. But is it worth putting down the needle and picking up the bottle?

Argireline (along with Matrixyl) is a peptide superstar. Like all peptides, argireline has the ability to interact with skin cells. But argireline is not just a peptide: it’s a neuropeptide.

How does argireline work?

Peptides are fragments of protein that are naturally synthesised by the body. Without peptides, skin loses its firmness and bounce. Topically applied peptide serums mimic the skin’s cell-signalling process, telling the skin to make more collagen.

Argireline is a neuropeptide, which means that it also does its work on the nervous system. Argireline targets the nerve-muscle connection, communicating with the nerves to relax the muscles that cause wrinkles. Botox does the same thing — but argireline does it without the needles and potential side effects.

Argireline vs Botox

Botox (botulinum toxin) and argireline are distantly related. Argireline is a shortened peptide sequence of botulinum toxin and works on the same particular nerve-to-muscle junction.

Botox works by destroying neurotransmitters involved in the cell communication that keeps muscles tense and allows wrinkles to form. Argireline blocks the action of the neurotransmitters instead of destroying them.

Argireline penetrates at the shallow levels of the skin, so it cannot treat deep-set wrinkles. However, argireline is perfect for preventing further wrinkles from forming and treating fine lines. A clinical study applied argireline to the eye area and found that the anti-wrinkle efficacy was 48.9% (compared to 0.1% in the placebo group).

Finding the right peptide serum

Look for ‘acetyl hexapeptide’ on the extended ingredients list, or Argireline (the registered name) on the packaging. Argireline works best at concentrations of 10% or higher.

Argireline works well with the support of other ingredients. Look for a peptide serum that blend argireline with regenerative oils, like the Timeless VIII Resurfacing Oil, or a rich and luxurious eye cream like Neuro Love.

Information including product recommendations provided with permission from Fountain Cosmetics.