top of page

Matrixyl: A Cosmetic Peptide for Increased Collagen, Elastin, & HA Production (Reduces Wrinkles 37%)

Understanding GHK-Cu and Matrixyl in Skincare

Previously, we delved into the world of GHK-Cu peptides for skincare. Today, we shine the spotlight on matrixyl, another peptide with impressive skin-supporting credentials. Before diving deeper, let's take a moment to discuss the specific scenarios where each peptide shines in maintaining skin appearance and health. GHK-Cu offers broad benefits, making it ideal for mature skin or skin requiring extensive repair. It addresses both aging and inflammatory skin issues like adult acne. Matrixyl, in contrast, is specifically tailored for concerns like fine lines or wrinkles. Although both are formidable contenders in the skincare arena, their mechanisms differ, yielding unique results.

Exploring Skin Anatomy

Knowledge of skin anatomy will provide a clearer understanding of matrixyl’s impact on skin.

The Epidermis:

  • Stratum Corneum: The outermost layer populated by dead keratinocytes. Also home to a lipid matrix that forms a water-resistant outer skin barrier.

  • Stratum Lucidum: "Extra" keratinocytes. Exists mainly in thicker skin areas (palms and soles), enhancing protection.

  • Stratum Granulosum: Here, keratinocytes are producing and amassing keratin.

  • Stratum Spinosum: Dominated by young keratinocytes and also immune defenders called Langerhans cells.

  • Stratum Basale: The deepest layer, home to basal keratinocytes (stem cells are differentiating to produce these keratinocytes that migrate upward through these layers, amass keratin, and eventually "die" when they reach the stratum corneum), melanocytes, and Merkel cells.

The Dermis:

  • Papillary Dermis: Comprises thin collagen and elastin fibers, blood and lymphatic vessels.

  • Reticular Dermis: Densely packed with collagen, elastin, fibroblast cells (the cells that produce these collagen and elastin proteins), sebaceous and sweat glands, hair follicles, and mast cells.

Matrixyl’s Role in Skin Health

Matrixyl, technically palmitoyl pentapeptide-4, consists of a peptide and a fatty acid. The palmitoyl group, derived from palmitic acid, helps the peptide traverse the lipid-rich matrix in the stratum corneum. The peptide itself is a chain of five amino acids: Lysine-Threonine-Threonine-Lysine-Serine.

So what does matrixyl do?

Once matrixyl permeates the outer lipid matrix (in that outer layer of the epidermis) and reaches the dermal fibroblasts, it encourages collagen production and may even prevent collagen degradation.

As the skin ages, it undergoes multiple changes. A decline in collagen and disorganization of collagen and elastin fibers results in wrinkles. This is where matrixyl’s promotion of collagen production comes to the rescue, even being compared to Botox for its wrinkle-reducing capabilities.

Matrixyl also boosts hyaluronic acid (HA) production by fibroblasts. HA, a powerful moisture retainer, contributes significantly to skin hydration and volume, making it crucial for youthful skin. Aging affects collagen and HA differently: reduced collagen causes sagging and wrinkles, while decreased HA dries out the skin.

Finally, let's reflect on a study about matrixyl’s effect on periocular wrinkles. Within 28 days of applying a 0.005% pal-KTTKS (matrixyl) formulation, there was a noticeable reduction in wrinkle depth, thickness, and rigidity. This reinforces matrixyl’s formidable prowess in skincare.


Schagen SK. Topical Peptide Treatments with Effective Anti-Aging Results. Cosmetics. 2017; 4(2):16.

Aldag, C., Nogueira Teixeira, D., & Leventhal, P. S. (2016). Skin rejuvenation using cosmetic products containing growth factors, cytokines, and matrikines: a review of the literature. Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology, 9, 411–419.

ACS Omega 2022, 7, 28, 24695–24704. Publication Date:July 11, 2022


bottom of page