What Do You Think of Bellaplex Wrinkle Cream?

Doctor Answers 1

At Least They Don't Say Better Than Botox?!

There are some things I like about this product, but other things are a little specious to me.

Bellaplex is an anti wrinkle cream that combines two of the most popular anti wrinkle peptides: Argierline ( Acetyl Hexapaptide-3) and Matrixyl ( Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-3).

Argireline, developed in Spain by Lipotec, is in the peptide class of neuropeptide. It is theorized that it works by inhibiting the impulses that cause the facial muscles to contract. By inhibiting these muscles, the muscles are relaxed and wrinkles are controlled. This is supposed to have a Botox-like effect and has found its way into a number of anti-wrinkle formulas including DDF's Wrinkle Relax, Inhibit, and Avotex, AlphaDerma, Chella, and Bioque. If you buy this story Inhibit has the highest concentration at 20%.

However, like a number of such products, the marketing is way ahead of the scientific data. From studies that I have read there does seem to be biologic activity its advocates claim. The problem is that these studies are in vitro, in test tubes, plates etc. Clnical trials on human skin are lmited. One small study did show 27% improvement. Importantly, this was performed for periorbital wrinkles.

The problem for argireline is that it must penetrate throught the epidermis, dermis, subcutaneous tissue and sometimes muscle fascia to work. Around the eye, where all tthe above are thin, I can see this being effective. To expect a topical cream, ointment or serum to penetrate to this depth on other areas of the face I believe is asking too much.

Now, let us consider the next ingredient, Matrixyl, This peptide falls into the class of signaling peptides. This is a pro-collagen fragment sometimes referred to as KTTKS. Studies have shown that this pentapeptide ( the penta being five amino acids Lysine-Threonine-Threonine-Lysine-Serine) can promote the synthesis of type 1 and 3 collagen by fibroblasts. The chemists who developed this stuff hooked it up with the fatty acid palmitoyl. Being a lipid, this enhanced the penta-peptide's penetration into the dermis.

Besides Bellaplex's, Matrixyl is found in a number of anti wrinkle products including Oil of Olay's Regenerist, StriVectin-SD, and Strixaderm-MD.

A number of positive studies have shown that Matrixyl does seem to reduce wrinkles. Most studies have been done in the crow's feet area, but there was a split-faced, double-blind , vehicle-controlled study (the kind us dermatologists like to see) which did show that there was signficant improvement in facial lines.

The other two ingredients which supposedly gives Bellaplex its power over wrinkles, hyaluronic acid and collagen, I just don't buy.

Hyalruonic acid is a great moisturizer and I am sure accounts for a good part of the improvement Bellaplex's consumers are impressed with. However, its makers make no claim for restyalne's penetration into the dermis, so I must assume that it does not do this.

As far as collagen, the Bellaplex marketers claim that it is fresh REAL collagen. I don't know, are we walking around with stale, fake collagen? One wonders. At any rate, I remember sitting in an overheated room at the Palmer Hotel attending an American Academy of Dermatology annual meeting, and the speaker back then ( circa 1978), lambasted the phoniness of collagen claims. He said then, and we have not changed biologically since, that collagen was way too big a molecule to penetrate the epidermis. This holds true today, of course.

So with Bellaplex we have what is undoubetdly a good moisturizer. We have what is probably a nice ingredient in its Matrixyl. And we have a chemical, argireline, which is probably effective around the eyes, both the crow's feet and under the eyes.

I have not seen any scientific studies comparing this product with something we know helps with wrinkles such as the retinoids. Until then, I will have to hold judgement.

Thanks for the interesting question.

Virginia Beach Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

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