Know Your Ingredients: Amniotic Extract

amniotic extract

What it is
The type of amniotic extract (or fluid) used in cosmetics is usually derived from the amniotic fluid of cows. It is extracted from live animals in their third to six month of gestation, without, supposedly, any harm to mother and child.

What it does
Although amniotic extract is said to be a treatment for premature aging and other skincare issues, I only found one study on its efficacy. The study shows that pure concentrations of human amniotic fluid can help wounds heal faster.

Side effects
Amniotic extract is generally considered to be safe.

(Source: Journal of Hand Surgery, March 2001)

Know Your Ingredients: Acacia Senegal


What it is
Acacia Senegal is derived from the plant of the same name.

What it does
Acacia Senegal is mostly used as a thickening agent.
In addition, it may have anti-inflammatory properties.

Side effects
Acacia Senegal is generally considered to be safe.


Can Acetyl Tetrapeptide-5 (Eyeseryl) Really Reduce Puffy Eyes?

acetyl tetrapeptide 5 puffy eyes

A lot of ingredients in our skincare arsenal can hydrate skin, fight wrinkles, and reduce dark spots, but, when it comes to undereye puffiness and bags, very little works. Acetyl tetrapeptide-5 (Eyeseryl) is said to do both. No wonder then, that this peptide is finding its way into more and more eye creams lately. But does it really work?

How does Acetyl Tetrapeptide-5 work?

According to Lipotec, the company that makes Acetyl tetrapeptide-5, this peptide “can fight puffy eyebags by working on several mechanisms, like improving the vascular system and strengthening the skin under the eyes preventing fluid accumulation.”

Eyeseryl strengthens skin by inhibiting glycation. Glycation is a process that causes collagen and elastin, the substances that keep your skin firm and youthful, to lose their elasticity. The result? Older-looking skin. Eyeseryl has the ability to bind itself to one of the proteins involved in glycation, so it won’t be able to attach itself to the other substances necessary for glycation. In other words, it interrupts the process, keeping skin stronger and more elastic.

Acetyl tetrapeptide-5 also fights another cause of puffy eyes: water accumulation. This can be due to several factors, but the main ones are poor lymphatic circulation and high capillary permeability. This peptide can decrease the permeability of blood vessels in the eye area. This in turn, reduces the amount of fluid that accumulates there. The results? Reduced undereye puffines.


Is Acetyl Tetrapetide-5 really effective?

A 2006 study has shown that Acetyl tetrapeptide-5 can decrease puffy eyes. A group of 20 women was asked to use a cream containing 0.01% Eyeseryl for 60 days. After only 15, 70% of them saw an improvement. As promising as this sounds, this study was conducted by the manufacturer.

I was unable to find any independent studies, which is not surprising considering that peptides are still a new phenomenon in the skincare world. But they’re getting more popular by the day, so, hopefully, more studies on them will be performed soon.

In the meantime, should you use it? According to dermatologist Leslie Baumann, using peptides is useless because their molecules are too big to penetrate skin. It has been suggested, though, that peptide may work even when they remain on the surface of the skin, by signalling to skin receptors present there how a cell should behave.

Until the controversy around peptides is settled, and we know more about their mechanism of action, I wouldn’t recommend you buy a cream because of them. But, if you find a well-formulated product that also contains peptides, go for it. If it turns out peptides work, great. If not, no harm done.

Products with Acetyl Tetrapetide-5

Acetyl Tetrapetide-5 can be found in Your Best Face Correct Eye Cream ($150.00), Lumavera Anti-Aging Eye Cream ($80.00), and Elizabeth Arden Prevage Anti-Aging Eye Serum ($100.00). They all contain hydrating agents and antioxidants, as well as a good dose of peptides.

The Bottom Line

Acetyl Tetrapetide-5 shows promise. Studies done by the manufacturer show it helps decrease undereye puffiness and bags, but, until independent studies confirm these benefits, it would be best to purchase products with this ingredient only when they also contain proven anti-aging fighters, like antioxidants.

Have you ever tried Eyeseryl?