Matrixyl and its sister molecule Matrixyl 3000 have been creating quite the buzz in the beauty world, but what’s the background behind anti-ageing’s hottest collagen-boosting siblings? We found out...

Any products in this article have been selected editorially however if you buy something we mention, we may earn commission

From high street to high end, it seems anti-ageing is fast-becoming a family affair with  matrixyl  and sister molecule matrixyl 3000, being touted as two of the most interesting anti-ageing ingredients to hit the beauty block. Now found on the labels of an increasing number of beauty products, we decided to lift the lid on skincare’s hottest sibling rivalry.

What are matrixyl and matrixyl 3000?

“An ingredient in anti-ageing creams, matrixyl's scientific name is  palmitoyl pentapeptide-4  - a peptide (mini-protein) made of 5 building blocks (amino acids),” explains dermatologist Dr Emma Wedgeworth . “The peptide is attached to a fatty acid, making it fat soluble and therefore able to penetrate the skin more effectively. The newer sister molecule, matrixyl 3000, contains two newer peptides, which are thought to be even more effective than the original.”

MORE GLOSS: What would a dermatologist do? You skin conditions deconstructed

What do they do?

Their magic has been claimed to lie in their ability to tackle wrinkles, elasticity and dwindling collagen stores in one fell swoop - taking multitasking molecules to the next level. “Matrixyl is thought to stimulate collagen production. Collagen is a very important part of the skin structure and as we age, we lose collagen which results in fine lines, wrinkles and loss of skin plumpness,” explains Dr Wedgeworth. “In the test tube, matrixyl helps to produce more collagen, as well as other important constituents of the skin such as elastin and glycosamnoglycans,” explains Dr Wedgeworth. “A small study in human subjects suggests that applying matrixyl-containing products can improve the appearance of wrinkles.”

Are they worthy of the hype?

From budget to blowout , a bevy of beauty products can be found all boasting matrixyl or matrixyl 3000 within their ingredients lists. However, this doesn’t automatically mean that they are the best of the bunch, cautions Dr Wedgeworth. “I am not routinely advising matrixyl-containing products in my clinic. I prefer to stick to ingredients such as retinoids and vitamin C, which have very good clinical evidence.” However, their unique composition and list of benefits do suggest that they do indeed have something unique to offer. “Matrixyl is a promising ingredient because it is a small molecule which helps to stimulate collagen within the skin,” says Dr Wedgeworth. “We know that collagen is simply too big to pass through the skin when applied in a cream. Matrixyl also seems to be very safe and well-tolerated, so if you are struggling with other products, it may be worth a look.”

MORE GLOSS: Sense and Sensitivity - 10 ways to build up your skin barrier

Here are the matrixyl and matrixyl 3000-containing products of note that have caught our eye as of late...

Matrixyl 3000

No.7 Protect and Perfect Intense Advanced Moisturising Body Serum

The latest addition to the Protect & Perfect bestselling range of beauty boosters, this body variation of the famous face serum aims to help smooth skin texture and visibly improve signs of ageing by increasing firmness, suppleness and hydration. Powered by the line's trademarked Matrixyl 3000 Plus formulation, it’s fast-absorbing, non-greasy and also impressively moisturising too to provide multi-faceted nourishment to neglected areas like the chest, shoulders and neck.

No.7 Protect and Perfect Intense Advanced Moisturising Body Serum, £15.  Buy online .

No.7 Protect and Perfect Intense Advanced Facial Recovery Aftersun and No.7 Recovery Aftersun Lotion

Containing both anti-ageing and aftersun reparative properties, these two winter and summer sun skin soothers boast a conditioning combination of shea and cocoa butters, ginseng, mulberry, vitamin C and of course, Matrixyl 3000 Plus to help rebuild skin’s defences against sun damage. Plus, they smell really rather nice too.

No.7 Protect and Perfect Intense Advanced Facial Recovery Aftersun, £12.  Buy online .

No.7 Recovery Aftersun Lotion, £12.95.  Buy online .

ZO Skin Health Ossential Daily Power Defense

From bargain to big bucks, this daily skin booster certainly carries a noticeably higher price tag, but also offers a wider roster of anti-ageing benefits too. The hero product of the range, it’s been developed to not only stimulate collagen production and diminish fine lines, but also to help even out skin tone, improve skin’s recovery abilities and protect against future oxidative damage for a more intensive treatment.

ZO Skin Health Ossential Daily Power Defense, RRP £113.  Buy online .


Fillerina Lip Volume Roll On

Lip plumping products are making their presence felt in a big way in the beauty industry at the moment and this particular matrixyl-containing ‘magic wand,’ so to speak, has been created to provide a needle-free alternative to fillers in order to achieve a fuller pout. Available in two different strengths, its hyaluronic acid rich formula is designed to be smoothly dispensed via its rollerball applicator five times a day - with a difference claimed to be seen after a month’s use. And with none of that awful tingling that some lip plumpers often cause.

Dosage 1, £40.  Buy online .

Dosage 2, £47.50.  Buy online .

Exuviance Age Reverse HydraFirm

Best for more mature skin types, this anti-ageing cream has been formulated to target texture, age spots, loss of firmness, lines and wrinkles as well as dry skin. Leaving skin feeling soft and smooth thanks to an effective combination of matrixyl, NeoGlucosamine and bionic peptides, it’s a good pick for those looking for a daily face cream upgrade better suited for addressing a wider variety of skin concerns.

£59.50.  Buy online .

Follow Ayesha on  Twitter  and  Instagram .