Tetrapeptide-21, also named GEKG (Sequence: Glycine-Glutamic acid-Lysine-Glysine), was derived from extra cellular matrix (ECM) proteins.
Tetrapeptide-21 is a novel bioactive with anti-aging properties based on the skin's own structures for use in skin care formulations.
Tetrapeptide-21 has shown promise as a skin cream ingredient that can stimulate skin growth and repair. When collagen breaks down, it forms specific tetrapeptides that signal to your skin that it was damaged and needs to make new collagen. So by applying Tetrapeptides topically, your skin believes it has lost collagen recently and needs to make more. It activates collagen production and therefore stimulates dermal filling, repair and renewal mechanisms of the skin.
This peptide demonstrated an increase of collagen (Type I) production on the protein level and mRNA level, hyaluronic acid synthase 1 production, and a strong increase in fibronectin. Increase in collagen, procollagen, hyaluronic acid and fibronectin, as well as skin elasticity, were measured in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study (10 women/eight weeks). A placebo-controlled study with 30 subjects was carried out to analyze the effect of GEKG on facial wrinkles. GEKG significantly decreased skin roughness. (Link to source PDF.)