TikTok is the land of skincare trends, and one thing that has piqued everyone’s interest is a relatively unknown ingredient dubbed ‘Botox in a bottle’. We’re talking about hexapeptide-8, also known as Argireline.
Peptides, a very versatile group of skincare ingredients, offer many skin benefits, including anti-aging and skin-restoring abilities. A small group of peptides has been shown to inhibit neurotransmitting signals and theoretically, replicate the muscle-relaxing abilities of botulinum toxin.
For those who want to treat dynamic wrinkles without having to go under a needle, there seems to be a solution: Argireline. But, what does Argireline do and do the actual studies prove its antiwrinkle benefit claims?
In this article, we explore the benefits of Argireline and share some product recommendations if you’re looking to integrate this into your skincare routine.
Everything You Need to Know About Argireline
Ingredient Type: Peptide
Benefits for the skin: anti-aging benefits, improves skin texture, promotes collagen production, and increases water retention abilities of the skin and moisture levels.
Who can use it: it’s suitable for everyone, even for sensitive skin types. People who are looking to have healthy skin and improve wrinkle formation, especially crow’s feet and forehead may benefit the most.
What to use it with: a study shows that Argireline combined with tripeptide-10 citrulline can significantly improve transepidermal water loss.
What not to use it with: Argireline is generally safe to be used with every skincare ingredient.
What is Argireline?
Ar-gir-i-line, acetyl hexapeptide 8 and acetyl hexpeptide-3, is a synthetic peptide that falls in the group of neurotransmitter-inhibiting peptides. This ingredient got a lot of buzz around it from the ‘speculation’ that it has the same effect on the skin as Botox.
Botox, botulinum toxin, is a muscle relaxant. When injected into the skin, it works in the nerve-muscle junction and inhibits muscle movements. Muscles create the so-called dynamic wrinkles, which over time turn into deep lines even when our face is resting, called static wrinkles. By using injectable neurotoxins, we can prevent these deep folds from forming.
Argireline on the other hand, has a molecule similar to botulinum toxin, and theoretically, should act the same way as Botox. But, does it? Not, really because unlike Botox, it doesn’t seem to relax muscle movement.
Does the research support the claims though?
In vitro studies have shown that Argireline is as potent as Botox in inhibiting the neurotransmitters at the neuromuscular junction. A randomized placebo-controlled study has shown a significant improvement (more than 40%) in wrinkles on subjects using Argireline twice daily, compared to placebo.
However, the evidence suggests that less than 1% of Argireline gets absorbed into the skin and the other part just stays on the top layer of the skin. Therefore, Argireline is not working at the level of neuro-muscular junction to truly relax facial muscle movement.
At best, argireline works as a great humectant, helps skin retain moisture, and can boost collagen production.
What are the argireline benefits for your skin?
- Increases collagen production, although the exact mechanism of how Argireline stimulates collagen production remains unknown. Consistent use of Argireline can prevent skin sagging and the formation of fine lines and wrinkles.
- Improves fine lines and wrinkles. It prevents muscle movement and the formation of dynamic lines when applied topically. The avoidance of repeated muscle movement will result in fewer wrinkles. One study shows that argireline applied topically twice a day, resulted in a 48.9 % reduction in wrinkles.
- Moisture retention. Just like other peptides, Argireline benefits the skin by improving moisture retention. Some Argireline serums are also formulated with a peptide complex and hydrating ingredients, helping even in skin moisture.
- Smoother complexion. Argireline benefits such as decreasing the expression of wrinkles, and boosting collagen and skin hydration, can create a smoother skin complexion.
Are there any side effects?
Until now, argireline remains a rather safe ingredient. However, always patch-test a new product before applying it on the whole face.
How to use it in your skincare routine
Skincare products are generally layered starting from the thinnest to the thickest. When using an argireline serum, pay attention to areas that are more prone to wrinkles like crow’s feet, frown lines, forehead wrinkles and nasolabial fold. When in doubt, always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Argireline better than retinol?
Argireline and retinol are part of two different groups that work through different mechanisms. Although the benefits for the skin seem to be the same (anti-aging), Retinol is a well-known ingredient with decades of research and clinical studies, while Argireline is still a new, and in some ways, mysterious ingredient. So, no, argireline is not better and it can’t substitute retinol or botox.
Can I use Argireline every day?
Yes, Argireline can be used daily up to two times a day.
What not to use with Argireline?
Argireline can be paired with any ingredient.
Does Argireline actually work?
The evidence suggests that Argireline increases skin moisture and there’s positive evidence that proves its wrinkle reduction abilities. However, more research should be done.
The Ordinary Argireline Solution 10%
The Ordinary Argireline solution is probably what made Argireline famous in the first place. The reason why Deciem became so famous it’s because of its single-ingredient serums and educating people on ingredients and skincare.
This serum contains a high percentage of Argireline (10%) and the rest of the ingredients list is pretty simple (typical The Ordinary).
The brand recommends applying a few drops on the ‘eleven eye’ wrinkles (frown wrinkles) and around the eyes twice a day. It targets aging skin and crow’s feet.
Unlike the general recommendations, The Ordinary recommends not mixing Argireline with their acids, vitamin C and Resveratrol.
MooGoo Amplified Anti-Ageing Serum with Argireline®
Compared to the previous serum, this product is definitely on the pricier side, but for a good reason. MooGoo has created a modified version of Argireline that is 50x more potent than standard Argireline. Keeping in mind that 99% of this skincare ingredient stays on the surface of the skin, they have created Argireline® Amplified Peptide, to penetrate deeper into the skin layers.
Their research shows a 20% reduction in wrinkle depth after 28 days. It also shows that wrinkle control effects last up to 5 days as the neurotransmitters reconnect the skin and the muscle. Similar to injectibles, but not as dramatic.