Ingredients in Skin Care: What is Argireline?
Long gone are the days when skin care was simply a case of washing your face with Pears Transparent Soap and a flannel. Then followed by a quick slick of Pond’s Cold Cream.
These days, with the advent of so much science and technology when it comes to what we put onto our skin, we’re all a bit more informed. We know that there’s a difference between a cleanser and a face wash. And we know that our moisturisers are best kept to the specific areas of the body they’re meant for. (Or at least we do if we keep up to date with all the latest in our skin journal!)
We know that there are all manner of skin types and we can use all manner of skincare ingredients and products that promise to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, improve moisture levels in the skin and have various other anti-aging effects.
But every now and again, a new ingredient comes along, with a confusing, unpronounceable name. And we get flummoxed.
So, are we being blinded by science?
Anti-Aging Skincare Products: Fact or Fiction?
Are we paying good money for something that’s simply got a great marketing team (and budget) behind it? Or is the latest buzz ingredient truly going to change our skin care regime, and our skin, forever?
Here, we aim to separate the fact from fiction and tell it how it is. In the spotlight this week, we look at an ingredient called argireline. Hailed as an alternative to Botox, what is it about argireline that makes it work, does it really work and is it safe to use?
We don’t include argireline in our skin care range, so here’s our impartial view on this new skin care ingredient on the block.
But first, what about Botox and collagen? Is argireline the same, or is it a different protein involved in anti-aging skin care?
A Brief History Anti Ageing Skin Care Products: Botox
One of the most effective, and quickest ways, to banish wrinkles and skin drooping is to have Botox. Botox (and other injectable neurotoxins) works by freezing the muscles that are causing fine lines and wrinkling, effectively stopping them from moving. This makes the face appear younger, because we’re unable to frown or ‘scrunch up’ the areas of the face we’ve had treated.
But the only way to administer Botox is to inject it directly into the face. Once there, it can work its magic on our frown lines and crow's feet. If we're needle phobic, then we may have a problem and will need to turn elsewhere, and that, generally, is collagen based beauty products in our quest to minimise wrinkles and fine lines.
Collagen: An Alternative to Botox
Until now, if we didn’t want to have our face injected with biological toxins, our only other option is to choose one of the many skin care products on the market that help to turn back the tide on ageing.
Products containing collagen have always proven popular. Collagen is a protein that forms a sort of ‘biological scaffold’ under the skin. This scaffold supports the skin and stops it from sagging. As we age, we naturally lose our normal levels of collagen and this scaffold loses its strength.
The skin then begins to droop, causing fine lines and wrinkles - the tell tale signs of ageing. That’s why taking steps to boost collagen production or to introduce more collagen to the skin, are popular alternatives to going under the surgeon’s knife (or needle).
There are also all manner of anti ageing skin care ingredients, products and formulations to choose from. From hyaluronic acid that helps the skin retain moisture (a dry skin best friend) to salicylic acid that removes dead skin cells and debris from the surface of our skin, we have a multitude of options.
But now, step forward, argireline.
What is Argireline for Skin
Also known (in medical circles) as acetyl hexapeptide-3 or acetyl hexapeptide-8, argireline is a peptide that helps to reduce muscle movement, and is used in particular on the forehead and around the eyes.
So, as you may have picked up, argireline helps to minimise visible signs of ageing in the same places as the botulinum toxin used in Botox does. However, argireline is not a toxin.
Argireline: A Peptide Complex
As we mentioned above, argireline is being touted as an effective alternative to Botox. Scientifically speaking, argireline is a synthetic peptide.
Peptides are short chains of molecules called amino acids (that also form long chains, forming the proteins in our body, including our skin). They go on to form proteins such as collagen and elastin, that keep our skin youthful and supple.
For this reason, it's use in any skin care products that claim to be anti-aging is going to become big business.
How Does Argireline Work?
In anti-aging skin care products, peptides work by sinking deep into the lower layers of skin and signalling to the body to manufacture proteins, and in the case of argireline, to manufacture the proteins collagen and elastin.
Argireline has two main benefits for helping to restore the skin’s natural youthfulness. First of all, it helps to reduce the movement of the muscles that cause wrinkles to form. In this way, it’s much like Botox, only it doesn’t need to be injected.
It has has this paralysing effect on muscles because it interferes with the messages that are sent from the nerves to the muscles. This means that the muscles aren’t told to contract by the nerves, meaning that they stay relaxed. The more relaxed the muscles, the less they can cause wrinkling. Therefore, arguable, argireline is the closest we can get to Botox, without the needles.
Secondly, argireline also stimulates the production of collagen. Collagen, as we discussed above, helps to keep the skin lifted, youthful and plump. The more of it that we have, the more youthful our skin.
In addition to an increased production of collagen, this also helps to keep the skin more hydrated. Properly hydrated skin looks fresher and younger looking, than dehydrated, parched skin.
What Are the Benefits of Argireline for Skin?
Using an argireline solution as part of your daily skincare routine will help to promote healthy skin that has reduced visible fine lines and wrinkles. In fact, it's been touted as the first peptide to target dynamic lines and prevent them from forming. Argireline is one of the most exciting amino acid peptides to reach the market.
The use of argireline may not have the same dramatic and near instant effects as an injectable, but it's certainly a close second.
Are There Any Side Effects of Argireline?
There are no known argireline side effects and it's considered a safe ingredient to use and suitable for all skin types. However, if you have sensitive skin, start by using it a few times a week before building up to every day.
How to Use Argireline Serums
Argireline is best used in a product that’s water based, rather than alcohol based. Water helps to deliver the active peptides deep into the surface of the skin, where it’s needed the most.
Some cheaper skin care brands tend to mix argireline with alcohol as it’s easier to manufacture. But this can have a drying effect on the skin, and won’t have the desired anti ageing effect.
Each product will have its own directions for use. But in general, argireline is best used on targeted areas, such as on the fine lines around the eyes, or the deep lines that can form between the eyebrows, the so called ‘11’ lines.
It’s best to use slowly to begin with, to make sure you’re not sensitive to any of the ingredients. Then you can build up to using twice a day.
Some experts claim that the benefits of argireline are even more pronounced when used in conjunction with another peptide called matrixyl 3000.
Looking After Your Skin with Sönd
As we mentioned at the beginning, at the moment, we don't add argireline to our skincare products because anti-aging isn't our key focus. Instead, our alkalising products have been developed to look after the needs of skin that breaks out easily, is particularly oily or dry or that simply acts up.
So by all means, add an argireline serum to your skincare routine while using our products to balance out your stressed out skin!
This article is not meant to treat or diagnose. Please visit your doctor for advice about any health concerns you may have.