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Signal peptides – promising ingredients in cosmetics


Agnieszka Skibska and Renata Perlikowska*  


Naturally occurring peptides found in the human skin can serve particular biological activities and play roles as signaling molecules of various physiological processes such as homeostasis, growth, defense or immunity. Their great biological activity resulted in a growing interest in the pharmaceutical industry. Researchers consider peptides either promising compounds with potential application for human diagnosis, therapy or cosmetics. Peptides are becoming interesting cosmetic ingredients with the functions to reduce premature skin aging, improve the barrier function of skin, moisturize the skin, protect it from UV-damage, and anti-inflammatory properties that alleviate acne and irritation. Till now, peptides of different origin were investigated in formulation developed to enhance collagen or elastin production, increase fibroblast proliferation, improve wound healing or skin condition. Most of them are obtained by chemical synthesis or by partial digestion of animal proteins. Short and easily synthesized peptides having an alternative amino acid sequence, and combinations have created a new field of molecules inspired by nature and implemented in cosmetic industry. Nowadays, peptides are cheaper and easier to produce in large quantities. The efficient process development methods allow obtaining nearly unlimited sequences, which makes them functionally preferred. Generally, cosmetic peptides are categorized as carrier peptides, neurotransmitter-affecting peptides, enzyme inhibitor peptides and signal peptides. The use of signal peptides in cosmetics increased over a few years. These molecules trigger a signaling cascade and stimulate fibroblast collagen production, the proliferation of elastin, fibronectin, laminin, etc. Thus, a literature search on a topical application of the most common signal peptides; and their current status in the cosmetic industry was carried out.


Peptide synthesis, bioactive peptides, skincare products, active ingredient, anti-aging, anti-wrinkle, wound healing


Department of Biomolecular Chemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Medical University of Lodz, 92-215 Lodz, Department of Biomolecular Chemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Medical University of Lodz, 92-215 Lodz

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