Causes of Facial Wrinkling

One of the most striking signs of skin aging is increased wrinkles of the face. This can occur naturally over time and is attributed by certain biochemical, histological and physiological changes, and that are enhanced by environmental exposure. There are other secondary factors that can cause characteristic folds, furrows and creases of the face. One of it being repeated facial movements caused by the contraction of the muscles of facial expression. Recent studies clearly establish that these changes can be significantly reduced by inhibiting the SNARE complex formation – vital membrane proteins that mediate neuronal exocytosis. Their inhibition by short synthetic peptides can decrease facial wrinkle formation, and thereby reverse the appearance of aging.

Mechanism of Action

Facial muscles contract upon receiving neurotransmitter signals. The SNARE complex controls an essential part of the contraction process at the synapses. It is a ternary complex formed by 3 proteins – VAMP, Syntaxin and SNAP-251 . This complex acts like a cellular hook that captures the vesicles and fuses them with the membrane, allowing the vesicles to release the neurotransmitters (acetylcholine) and trigger muscle contraction.

The SkinMTX products feature the signature active Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, that mimics the SNAP-25 protein and compete to take its place within the complex. The SNARE complex is destabilised, and the vesicles cannot dock and release neurotransmitters, thereby modulating muscle contraction, and attenuating the formation of facial lines and wrinkles.


Botulinum neurotoxins has been extensively used in the medical aesthetics field to overcome the appearance of wrinkles and aging. However, its use is limited because of its high toxicity. Paradoxically, the Botulinum Toxin A is the most potent toxin known to humankind, thus its usage is under strict medical control.

Botulinum neurotoxins, works to break down the neurotransmitters that are sent from the neuron to the muscle. The mediating complexes are completely broken down, leading to muscle paralysis and reduction of muscle tension.

SkinMTX brings the latest advancements in skincare with Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, clinically proven to be able to modulate muscle then and minimise repeated facial contractions similar to the effects of Botulinum neurotoxin. It targets the same protein complex as Botulinum toxins, but in a less invasive and non-permanent way.

These synthetic peptides attenuates the release of neurotransmitters by competing with existing molecules to reduce the formation of the vesicle-release complex. This prevents the release of neurotransmitters and greatly reduces muscle contractions. Muscles are relaxed (not paralysed), allowing for a safer, topical alternative to preserve a youthful appearance.


An independent study1 of the effect of Acetyl Hexapeptide-8 on the elasticity of the skin was performed. Using silicone facial replicas and confocal microscopic analysis, the researchers measured changes in the depth of skin wrinkles. The skin replicas (Figure 5.) show the improvement in facial smoothness at 15 and 30 days post-Acetyl Hexapeptide-8 treatment, compared with the results obtained on the control. The researchers concluded that Acetyl Hexapeptide-8 reduced the depth of wrinkles by 17% on average after 15 days, and by 27% on average, following 30 days of treatment.



Acetyl Hexapeptide-8 in cream format was applied twice daily around the eyes of 14 volunteers, aged 39 to 64, for 28 days. Silicon imprints of the treated areas were obtained before the test and after 28 days, and roughness was measured by confocal profilometry. A decrease of up to –31.80% in wrinkle depth was observed.