ABSTRACT Background Oligopeptide-20 acts as positive regulator of cell proliferation and increases collagen and hyaluronic acid levels in keratinocyte and fibroblast cultures. Methods After randomization half the face of twenty volunteers was treated twice daily for two months with the oligopeptide-20 cream (0.003% w/w, 300 ppm) and the other half with the vehicle. Skin bioengineering was used to estimate the effects on human skin. Results The average number and width of wrinkles (Sew, 11.7%, p < 0.05) and cyclic average roughness (cR3, 12.2%, p < 0.005) were improved. Sesc parameter, indicative of stratum corneum dehydration was affected almost equally by the oligopeptide and the vehicle cream (p < 0.1). Volunteers noted statistically significant improvement regarding fine wrinkles and skin brightness on the peptide treated side, whereas the skin smoothness was improved on both sides. No significant changes in pigmentation measured by Mexameter were recorded. No significant changes in transepidermal water loss values were demonstrated, indicating oligopeptide-20 does not affect the skin barrier. No serious adverse or side effects were observed. Additionally, the oligopeptide cream was not irritant according to 48 hr semi-occluded patch test. Conclusion Oligopeptide-20 could be a useful and safe ingredient of anti-aging cosmetics.
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