Matrixyl 3000: an in depth view with Sederma!

First Posted on March 11, 2021 in:anti-agingdecoding activesinsights & debunkspeptides

Whether you are a skincare newbie or skincare junkie, you’re bound to hear about peptides. It’s that exotic ingredient that shows up in your anti-aging creams and serums that usually comes with a stinging price tag. Yet even for this fancy, seemingly high-tech ingredient category you’ll still have to avoid some duds.

The reality is as chemists, you can synthesize a gajillion different peptides out there but very few actually do anything for the skin. So how do you as a consumer know? We probably sound like a broken record here, but the simplest answer is -- ones that have been through the ringer of rigorous testing. Our friends at skin actives specialist and manufacturer, Sederma, were kind enough to share the insights of how they develop their state of the art peptide products. So let’s take a closer look at how a company like Sederma creates their star peptides and prove that it actually does something for skin!

The Screening Phase (aka. The “throw things at a wall until something sticks” Phase)

    Peptides are actually a very unglamorous, generic name for “small chunks of protein” made up of amino acids. Synthesizing peptides is a bit like playing lego. The amino acids are your building blocks, and the combinations are absolutely endless. Unfortunately, some 99% of the peptides turn out to be about as useful as llama poo for your face. So to even begin trying to find a winning peptide, Sederma goes through an extensive screening process.

    In this phase, new peptides go through a slew of test tube/petri dish tests. Researchers look for any signs of this peptide interacting (positively of course) with desirable skin pathways such as calming inflammation or boosting collagen production.

Effects of MatrixylⓇ 3000 on ECM components in petri dish

Collagen I




Hyaluronic Acid



    For Sederma’s classic, most well-known peptide Matrixyl 3000, they tested the peptide blend on human fibroblasts, cells that are responsible for building and maintaining your skin’s support network, the extracellular matrix (ECM). In the cell culture, they found that Matrixyl 3000  was able to increase collagen I, fibronectin, and hyaluronic acid production. These are important compounds in charge of holding everything “up”in the skin. Furthermore, in a DNA array study, Sederma showed that the ingredient can activate genes that promote collagen production.

    Now… here’s the problem with the peptide world. Some may finish this part and declare “voila! My work is done, skin miracle found.” But the reality is, any takeaway at this phase is still very early. There’s no guarantee that these peptides in a formula, when applied topically will actually do all these magical things for your skin. So again, for more peace of mind in regards to efficacy, look for peptides that have been through actual human clinical testing.

Human Testing Phase

    This is why Sederma’s not quite done with validating Matrixyl 3000 yet even with the fantastic in vitro results. After the initial screen, they make sure their peptides work on real human skin. What’s really cool is that Sederma not only tests on human skin, they do it over and over again in different ways to better their understanding (and ours) of how this peptide is helping.

  1. Ex vivo study on skin explants

To see if the collagen boosting effects observed in petri dishes translate over to real skin, Sederma tested the ingredient ex vivo on cutouts of human skin. This test showed that in a skin cutout, Matrixyl increased 4 different types of collagen content in skin whereas untreated skin cutouts rapidly lost collagen. 

  1. Human Clinical Tests

# of test subjects

vs Placebo?

Test Duration

Use Level

Results Highlights in Areas Covered by Deep Wrinkles

24 female volunteers (age: 40-65)


2 months, twice daily


~20% reduction in wrinkle depth and volume

39 male volunteers (age: 40-65)


2 months, twice daily


~10% wrinkle depth reduction, ~30% reduction in wrinkle density

28 female volunteers (age: 40-65)


2 months, twice daily


Dermal structural improvement with confocal microscopy imaging


     With in vitro and ex vivo backing, it’s time to validate Matrixyl 3000’s effects in real human subjects with placebo-controlled studies. What’s really neat is that Sederma uses a whole range of techniques to analyze the results: Silflo impressions to get quantitative wrinkle reduction data, cutometer skin elasticity analysis (think of this as a fancy, technical suction cup), and even confocal microscopy for in-depth skin imaging.

One incredibly noteworthy clinical involves confocal microscopy imaging which allows them to monitor the improvements at different layers within the skin, including the structure of the dermis. In our opinion, we’d consider this next level anti-aging. The thing is, you can kick in that cell turnover, shed some new skin, but the integrity and structure of that new skin isn’t the same as youthful skin. But Matrixyl 3000 was able to show a 13.9% improvement in the structural integrity after two months of use (twice a day).

Matrixyl 3000 Use Guide

    So if there’s anything you take away from this, it’s that for fancy ingredients like peptides, look for clinical validation. 

If you’re convinced about adding Matrixyl 3000 to your skincare routine, the best thing about it is that while some peptides can be very fragile and finicky, Matrixyl 3000 is quite robust. It’s compatible with a wide range of pH and no known serious incompatibilities. Since Sederma tested Matrixyl 3000 primarily at a 3% use level, we’d recommend shopping for a product that shares transparent percentages!


  • Not all peptides are made equal, and not all peptides are validated well.
  • Matrixyl 3000 is one of the OG peptides that has been substantiated as a true anti-aging active
  • The amount of Matrixyl 3000 needed is roughly 3% twice a day.


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