It is highly challenging to deliver cosmetic actives and drugs to the skin because of the stratum corneum (SC). The permeability of large hydrophilic peptides or compounds across the stratum corneum on the outer skin surface is extremely low because of the lipophilic properties of the uppermost skin layer.
A short synthetic peptide was found to facilitate efficient transdermal protein drug delivery through the intact skin. Besides, the transdermal-enhancing activity of the peptide was sequence-specific and dose-dependent. The peptide creates a temporary opening in the skin barrier to enable insulin or other drugs to reach the systemic circulation. So peptides hold potential as drug delivery vehicles for cosmetic purposes because of their simplicity, biocompatibility, and multi-functionality.
The delivery system was applied to treat melisma. Treatment with a cream formulation containing the transdermal peptide co-administered with other agents resulted in measurable inhibition of melanin production and melanocyte apoptosis. After four weeks of application, patients demonstrated a significant lightening of facial hypermelanosis lesions and almost wholly restored dark lesions to normal skin color after 12 weeks. These innovative peptide technologies give the patients even, young, and healthy-looking skin. Its topical application induces restoration of the skin’s most important structural dermal components.
LifeTein is working on a safe cell penetration peptide for the co-administration with another short cosmetic peptide. A few short peptide candidates have been proved to significantly and visibly improve the skin’s evenness and overall appearance, and reduce keratinocyte-induced activation of melanocytes. Together with the cell penetration peptides, the cosmetic peptide acts safely and as a result inhibits the skin pigmentation process, which is of major cosmetic concern.