If you’re trying to build a skin care kit with products that fight the signs of aging, you may have heard of the ingredient argireline. This ingredient, which is also called acetyl hexapeptide-3, is a popular element in anti-aging serums and topical creams. Unlike other peptides, argireline mimics the effects of Botox on a short-term basis, which slackens the muscles in certain areas to prevent frown lines and crow’s feet that form over time. Many people who use this peptide believe it is quite effective in fighting the effects of fine lines and wrinkles. However, before you use argireline, it is important that you understand how it works, what it can do for your skin, and its potential side effects.
What is Argireline?
Argireline is one of many peptides that are often found in skin care products, especially in those that are formulated to decrease the signs of aging. However, unlike other peptides that communicate with healthy cells and boost the skin’s own ability to heal, argireline is a synthetic peptide with effects much closer to those of injectable protein Botox, which dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons use to paralyze certain muscles in the face to restrict their movement.
However, unlike Botox, argireline simply restricts muscle contractions instead of paralyzing the facial muscles. As a result, this peptide offers some of the same results as the injectable toxin but with far fewer side effects.
You may see argireline referred to as “Botox in a jar” because unlike Botox, this peptide is more often found in topical creams and serums. In some cases, it is combined with other peptides so that muscle movement is restricted while healthy cells are encouraged to create new collagen. You may see this peptide under its other name (acetyl hexapeptide-3) in anti-aging moisturizers, neck creams, and night creams that are designed to reduce wrinkles while you sleep.
If you have never used a product that contains argireline and are concerned about its side effects, you may want to ask your dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon if it is the right choice for you skin. You may want to also ask your doctor about the effects of this peptide and whether it might interact with any medications you’re taking.
Overall, the peptide does not have the same side effects that retinol or glycolic acid do, but it is important to cover all your medical bases before you begin using a topical cream or serum that contains argireline.
How to Use Argireline
While it’s important to follow all directions on any argireline cream or moisturizer packaging, there are some basic steps you can take when you first add this product to your anti-aging regimen. If you have chosen a daytime serum or cream, apply it in the morning after your cleansing and toning regimen, paying special attention to areas where you want to control wrinkles, such as crow’s feet or the forehead.
While you can use most argireline creams and serums around the eyes, you should apply them with extreme caution. Upon initial application, apply the product sparingly until you’re certain it won’t cause any unpleasant side effects.
Argireline Side Effects
While the side effects of this peptide are still being studied, the most common one that has been reported is brain fog with long-term use. This side effect is usually mild; however, it can grow to the point where it is noticeable. If you experience this side effect after using your serum or cream on a daily basis, scale back your usage until the fog subsides. If it persists, then you should discuss the side effects of argireline with your doctor as soon as possible.