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All About Matrixyl In Skincare: Matrixyl, Matrixyl 3000, and Matrixyl Synthe’6 Explained

  • Matrixyl is a complex of matricins peptides
  • It regulates cell activity and supports all skin’s essential components, including collagen and hyaluronic acid
  • When used in skincare products, it can enhance firmness, improve texture, minimize wrinkles look, and smooth rough patches
  • It’s stable, gentle, and suitable for all skin types
  • Matrixyl can be paired with most skincare actives, including retinol and vitamin C, for boosted effects
  • It provides the most benefits when used in concentrations of 3-10%

Whether you’ve seen The Ordinary Matrixyl 10% + HA on the skincare aisle, you’re a fan of peptides, or perhaps a skincare devotee fond of anti-aging ingredients, chances are you’ve come across Matrixyl — or its later versions Matrixyl 3000 and Matrixyl Synthe’6. It turns out this guy is an unprecedented complex of actives that work like cell messengers to help skin age better. What’s interesting about Matrixyl is that it targets all components of the skin structure (aka collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid), dictating cells to repair and build themselves as well as to produce the proteins required to maintain resilient skin. This is why Matrixyl can be a game-changer in your anti-aging routine, especially if other treatments such as retinol or vitamin C haven’t yielded to your expectations.

So what exactly is Matrixyl, and how does it work in your skincare products? Keep reading to find out.

What is Matrixyl?

Matrixyl is a trade name for palmitoyl pentapeptide-4, a matricins peptide that has the ability to regulate cell activity. That means Matrixyl can send signals to your cells to rebuild the skin’s extracellular matrix composed of collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid, which are all structural proteins essential to maintaining skin integrity and have a major role in how your skin ages.[1] Yep, your skin needs both collagen and elastin to preserve elasticity and firmness, as well as hyaluronic acid to support proper hydration in cells. However, levels of these proteins are drastically affected by age and environmental factors such as sun damage, which exacerbates the look of fine lines and wrinkles as well as makes the complexion appear dull and dehydrated. This is why Matrixyl might be a skin savior and an unprecedented anti-ager — because it works from the inside to support all essential components needed by the skin to function properly.

For the record, according to the University of Reading’s research, Matryxyl can nearly double the collagen content (types I, III, and IV) usually produced by the body.[2]

Interestingly, it was found that Matrixyl has a molecular weight small enough to penetrate the skin in deeper layers, where it can reach the fibroblasts (collagen-producing cells) and stimulate them.[3] This means topical products containing Matrixyl do actually sink into the dermis, triggering changes at a cellular level. Also, Matrixyl was proven in a bunch of clinical studies to help diminish fine lines and wrinkles, refine texture, encourage healing, and improve hydration when applied topically, though most aren’t independent research.

Matrixyl, Matrixyl 3000, and Matrixyl Synthe’6

Simply put, Matrixyl 3000 and Matrixyl Synthe’6 are the next two generations of Matrixyl developed by the same brand (Sederma). Both are matricins peptides, meaning they have more or less the same anti-aging effects as Matrixyl and work to consolidate the skin’s extracellular matrix.

  • Matrixyl: palmitoyl pentapeptide-4
  • Matrixyl 3000: palmitoyl tripeptide-1 and palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7
  • Matrixyl Synthe’6: palmitoyl tripeptide-38

Even though the differences between all three types are slightly unclear, one thing we know for sure: they all work synergically, so if you have all of these peptides in a single formula, you hit it big.

Matrixyl side effects

Most clinical studies have found Matrixyl to be well tolerated and safe for all skin types, including sensitive ones. It doesn’t cause irritation nor affect the protective barrier, so it can easily be integrated into most routines. Just make sure you use products with at least 3% Matrixyl, but no more than 10%, as Matrixyl expresses most of its benefits in this range.

Matrixyl and retinol

Matricins peptides, aka Matrixyl, have long been waiting to replace retinol in the skincare scene, but they certainly need more research to compete with it in terms of potency. In theory, Matrixyl could work better to improve skin aging than retinol because it’s more stable, has better penetration, and affects all skin’s structural components. But this is something that has yet to be proved. The good news, however, is that these two powerful actives can be teamed up in your skincare routine so you can get the best of both worlds. Retinol and Matrixyl can be used together and work in tandem to reduce aging signs and spur collagen growth for bouncy and firm skin. 

Final words

Matrixyl is definitely something you should consider adding to your beauty arsenal. It should be easy to do so since all sorts of products contain it, like The Ordinary Matrixyl 10% + HALe Mieux Collagen Peptide SerumClinical Skin PolyPeptide Firming Serum, and Olay ProX Hydra Firming Cream. All of these products work hard to tone and firm your skin and lessen the apparition of fine lines and wrinkles.

Read next: 10 Best Matrixyl Serums to Arrest Aging Signs


Women’s Concepts uses reliable sources, including dermatologists’ insights, clinical trials, and scientific journals, to find accurate information and support all the facts shared in our articles. All statements and claims have clear and legit references. Read our editorial policy to learn more about our sources of information, our process of researching and fact-checking the content, and how our team strives to keep all articles updated, completed, and trustworthy.

  1. Aldag C, Nogueira Teixeira D, Leventhal PS. Skin rejuvenation using cosmetic products containing growth factors, cytokines, and matrikines: a review of the literature. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2016 Nov 9, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5108505/
  2. Jones, Roanne & Castelletto, Valeria & Connon, Che & Hamley, Ian. (2013). Collagen Stimulating Effect of Peptide Amphiphile C-16-KTTKS on Human Fibroblasts. Molecular pharmaceutics. 10. 10.1021/mp300549d. 
  3. Choi YL, Park EJ, Kim E, Na DH, Shin YH. Dermal Stability and In Vitro Skin Permeation of Collagen Pentapeptides (KTTKS and palmitoyl-KTTKS). Biomol Ther (Seoul). 2014 Jul, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25143811/
Who wrote this?
Ana Vasilescu
Ana Vasilescu
Ana Vasilescu is the founder of Women's Concepts and a certified skincare consultant. She has over five years of experience working in the beauty editorial industry and over a decade as an acne sufferer. With a background in dermatological research, Ana brings a wealth of expertise to a diverse range of topics, from buzzy ingredients to anti-aging and acne advice. She holds a BA in Sociology and Political Sciences. Find her on LinkedIn or Instagram.
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