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Int J Cosmet Sci. 2000 Jun;22(3):207-18. doi: 10.1046/j.1467-2494.2000.00010.x.

Biologically active peptides: from a laboratory bench curiosity to a functional skin care product.

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Sederma SA, 29 rue du Chemin Vert, F-78610 Le Perray en Yvelines, France.


Small, biologically active peptides (short sequences of amino acids) were first described about 40 years ago: TRH, angiotensin, vasopressin, oxytocin, bradykinin. Since then, many more peptides have been isolated from mammalian tissue and organs, and their activity investigated. Essentially, these molecules play a hormonal (messenger) role: released at one point in the body, they act at specific receptor sites at different locations in the organism. Mostly the peptides are transported from the site of release to the site of biological activity through the blood or lymphatic fluid. The use of these molecules in cosmetics does not appear obvious, as the topical application of these highly soluble, fragile and extremely expensive molecules seems inappropriate, and systemic effects (blood transport) are not desired. This paper shows that the obstacles to using highly specific, powerful peptides as 'actives' in cosmetic products can be overcome. Cosmetically interesting activities such as stimulation of collagen synthesis, chemotaxis, anti-stinging effects and others, can be observed and substantiated with chemically modified peptide sequences. Long chain fatty acid conjugates improve skin penetration, specific activity and economic feasibility of these molecules.

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