Palmitoyl Tripeptides Are an Anti-Aging Ingredient Fit for Sensitive Skin

Palmitoyl Tripeptides Are an Anti-Aging Ingredient Fit for Sensitive Skin

Palmitoyl Tripeptides Are an Anti-Aging Ingredient Fit for Sensitive Skin

How to Use The Final Takeaway

If you're looking for a skincare ingredient that targets multiple concerns, you may want to consider palmitoyl tripeptides. As a powerful—though perhaps lesser-known—component of many skincare products, palmitoyl tripeptides offer some pretty straightforward benefits, including reducing fine lines and wrinkles and improving skin elasticity.

We asked board-certified dermatologists Justine Park, MD, and Jody Alpert Levine, MD, to give us the 411 on palmitoyl tripeptides, including their potential side effects, how to use them, and more. Keep reading to learn more.

What Are Palmitoyl Tripeptides? 

Palmitoyl tripeptides are tiny molecules consisting of three amino acids (this is where the “tripeptide” in the name comes from) attached to a fatty acid, says Levine. They help boost collagen production and prevent collagen breakdown, so they’re often used in skincare products to achieve anti-aging benefits like improving the skin’s elasticity and firmness. A fairly mild ingredient, they tend to be a good option for people with sensitive skin.


You may want to try palmitoyl tripeptides if you have concerns regarding fine lines, wrinkles, skin tightness and elasticity, skin firmness, photodamage, or collagen synthesis. Research shows that when these workhorse ingredients are added to skincare products, they may help improve all of these common concerns.

"Incorporating palmitoyl tripeptides in skincare helps to combat signs of aging, leading to smoother, youthfully rejuvenated skin," Levine says. She explains that as we age, collagen production slows down, contributing to the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and even texture issues. Palmitoyl tripeptides promote collagen growth, "which is key for maintaining skin structure, elasticity, and firmness," she says.

Park says palmitoyl tripeptides may offer anti-aging benefits similar to those you can achieve with retinol. This is “due to their ability to induce collagen formation and reduce the production of pigment in the skin,” she says. For some people with sensitive skin, incorporating retinol into their routine can be difficult because it can cause irritation, redness, burning, and other uncomfortable symptoms. If you’re looking for an alternative that’s a bit friendlier to sensitive skin, palmitoyl tripeptides may be a better choice.

Safety and Side Effects

The dermatologists we spoke with say that palmitoyl tripeptides are generally safe for use in skincare and don't cause issues for most people. "In fact, they seem to be well tolerated even in cases of sensitive skin," Park says. But, as with any skincare product, there's a chance that some people might experience irritation or an allergic reaction when using the ingredient. "In sensitive individuals, they may cause redness, itching, irritation, dryness or breakouts," Levine says. "In rare cases, an allergic reaction may occur."

To be safe, check in with a board-certified dermatologist before using any products containing palmitoyl tripeptides. They can help you determine if the ingredient is a good fit for you, and guide you toward specific products that help address your skincare concerns.

How to Use

You can find palmitoyl tripeptides in serums, creams, and moisturizers—scan the ingredients list to see if they’re there. Park recommends seeking this ingredient out if you have sensitive skin because of its low potential for irritation and collagen-boosting and brightening benefits.

It’s best to consult with a board-certified dermatologist to create a customized regimen of products that are best suited for your skin, learn when to use each, and find out how to incorporate them into your skincare routine. “Similar to starting with any new product, it is important to gradually introduce a product containing these peptides to allow your skin to adjust and then to use [it] with consistency, as directed by your dermatologist, for optimal results,” Levine says. “If your skin tolerates the product well, you can gradually increase the frequency of use to once daily.” She recommends using the products as directed but notes that they’re most commonly used daily after cleansing and before applying heavier creams, moisturizers, and sunscreen.

The Final Takeaway

Palmitoyl tripeptides are a component of many anti-aging skincare products. One of the main benefits of palmitoyl tripeptides is that they help increase collagen synthesis, making them a good option for people with aging-related skincare concerns such as fine lines, wrinkles, skin elasticity, and texture. They're also mild enough to work well for people with sensitive skin. If you have any questions or concerns about palmitoyl tripeptides, make an appointment to check in with a board-certified dermatologist.

Article Sources Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.

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  2. Resende DISP, Ferreira MS, Sousa-Lobo JM, Sousa E, Almeida IF. Usage of synthetic peptides in cosmetics for sensitive skin. Pharmaceuticals. 2021;14(8):702.

  3. Bae SM, Ahn YH, Jung JK, Hwang JG. A study on the skin anti-wrinkle effect of novel palmitoyl tripeptide. Journal of the Society of Cosmetic Scientists of Korea. 2010;36(1):65-69.

  4. Lintner K, Gerstein F, Solish N. A serum containing vitamins C & E and a matrix‐repair tripeptide reduces facial signs of aging as evidenced by Primos® analysis and frequently repeated auto‐perception. J of Cosmetic Dermatology. 2020;19(12):3262-3269.


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