An Open Label Clinical Trial of a Peptide Treatment Serum and Supporting Regimen Designed to Improve the Appearance of Aging Facial Skin

September 2016 | Volume 15 | Issue 9 | Original Article | 1100 | Copyright © September 2016

Zoe Diana Draelos MD,a Tatiana Kononov BS MBA,b and Theresa Fox BSb

aDermatology Consulting Services, High Point, NC
bRevision Skincare, Irving, TX

A 14-week single-center clinical usage study was conducted to test the efficacy of a peptide treatment serum and supporting skincare regimen in 29 women with mild to moderately photodamaged facial skin. The peptide treatment serum contained gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and various peptides with neurotransmitter inhibiting and cell signaling properties. It was hypothesized that the peptide treatment serum would ameliorate eye and facial expression lines including crow’s feet and forehead lines. The efficacy of the supporting skincare regimen was also evaluated. An expert investigator examined the subjects at rest and at maximum smile. Additionally, the subjects completed self-assessment questionnaires. At week 14, the expert investigator found a statistically significant improvement in facial lines, facial wrinkles, eye lines, and eye wrinkles at rest when compared to baseline results. The expert investigator also found statistically significant improvement at week 14 in facial lines, eye lines, and eye wrinkles when compared to baseline results at maximum smile. In addition, there was continued highly statistically significant improvement in smoothness, softness, firmness, radiance, luminosity, and overall appearance at rest when compared to baseline results at the 14-week time point. The test regimen was well perceived by the subjects for efficacy and product attributes. The products were well tolerated with no adverse events.

J Drugs Dermatol. 2016;15(9):1100-1106.






Facial skin ages over time, showing signs such as fine lines and wrinkles, increased visual and tactile roughness, reduction in firmness and radiance of the skin, and an increase in redness and hyperpigmentation.1,2 Collagen breaks down and a decrease in the amount of water held in the epidermis leads to fine lines and wrinkles.3 Additionally, repeated facial expressions made over time cause persistent wrinkles in the same pattern as the expression line that is formed.4
Peptides are a family of ingredients thought to ameliorate aging skin. Peptides are comprised of amino acids and are used in the body to signal between cells and influence the up- and down-regulation of numerous cellular functions. They have been shown to play an important role in cell signaling, collagen synthesis, and inhibition of neurotransmitter release for reduced muscle contraction.5
A multi-ingredient peptide-based treatment serum has been designed to improve the signs of facial aging especially due to expression lines such as crow’s feet and forehead lines. Effective ingredients include gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) and 7 different peptides including acetyl hexapeptide-8, acetyl octapeptide-3, dipeptide diaminobutyroyl benzylamide diacetate (DDBD), trifluoroacetyl tripeptide-2, and palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7. GABA is the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter naturally occurring in the central nervous system and has also been associated with skin barrier homeostasis.6,7 Topical application of peptides, especially those with a fatty acid group attached, have been shown to reduce the signs of aging in facial skin including minimizing fine lines and wrinkles and increasing firmness.8-10 There are several different neurotransmitter inhibiting peptides that are commercially available and these peptides work to reduce fine lines and wrinkles associated with facial expressions caused by underlying facial muscles. The most popular neurotransmitter inhibiting peptide is acetyl hexapeptide-8, which works through inhibition of the formation of the SNARE protein complex and thus inhibits acetylcholine release.11 Reduction in the depth of wrinkles with topical application of acetyl hexapeptide-8 was shown in two previous studies.12,13 Acetyl octapeptide-3 is similar to a sequence found in the SNAP-25 protein and regulates neuronal exocytosis to inhibit neurotransmitter release.14 DDBD is a tripeptide-like compound similar to Waglerin-1, a protein found in the venom of the Temple viper, which blocks neuromuscular contraction.15 DDBD inhibits acetylcholine activity at the neuromuscular synapsis and has an enhanced muscle relaxation activity profile.16 Trifluoroacetyl tripeptide-2 has a lifting effect, reducing skin slackness and sagging. It boosts the production of collagen and inhibits matrix metalloproteinases.17 Palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7 restores communication balance in aging skin specifically by inhibiting proinflammatory interleukin-6 and interleukin-8.18