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Though its name does not reveal it, Carnosine is a peptide, a small, two amino acid (β-Ala-His) one. It is naturally present in high concentrations in muscle and brain tissues, but the one used in cosmetic products is biomimetic, meaning that it is synthetically produced in a lab to copy the natural thing. 

A 2017 review paper on topical peptides writes about Carnosine that it is a "well-documented aqueous antioxidant with wound healing activity".  

Other than that we can write about manufacturer-done in-vitro (in the lab, not on real people) studies that show Carnosine to have anti-glycation properties. Glycation is the not-so-nice process that happens when we bombard our body with too much sugar that results in damaged body proteins and eventually in more wrinkles.  

Also, a manufacturer done in vitro study shows that carnosine might have collagen-boosing magic power. However, the 2017 research paper also mentions that even though Carnosine is a small molecule, it is water soluble and does not penetrate the skin past the top layers so we have some doubt if the collagen-boosting works in real life. We could find one anti-aging study made on real people that mentions Carnosine, but it was combined with a bunch of other anti-aging actives so it is pretty much impossible to know what Carnosine did or did not. 

One last thing to mention is that there is also a manufacturer done clinical study (done on real people) that shows carnosine being effective against the damages caused by infrared (IR) radiation. (source)

Show me some proof

  • Schagen, Silke Karin. "Topical peptide treatments with effective anti-aging results." Cosmetics 4.2 (2017): 16.
  • Kaczvinsky, Joseph R., et al. "Efficacy of anti‐aging products for periorbital wrinkles as measured by 3‐D imaging." Journal of cosmetic dermatology 8.3 (2009): 228-233.

Products with Carnosine

Ada tina C 20 Serum Aizen Carnosine Astaxanthin 4% Ultra Ampoule AUS MEDIC CO. Illuminating Peptide Moisturiser AUS MEDIC CO. Intensive Peptide Eye Lift Serum Ada tina Resveratrol Active 10 Dermovitamina Fotoclin SPF100 HomeFacialPro 寡肽原液 Institut Esthederm Osmoclean Eau Micellaire Osmopure The Jojoba Company Ultimate Serum Bactine Max Advanced Healing + Scar Defense Hydrogel For First Aid Wound Care EO LABORATORIE` Natural & Organic Moisturizing Facial Tonic Institut Esthederm Osmoclean Hydra-Replenishing Fresh Lotion Kerastase Cure Anti-Pelliculaire MELAO Retinol Night Cream Provence Beauty Retinol Firming Facial Serum Provence Beauty Vitamin A + Peptide Firming Serum Shot Shiseido Benefiance Nutriperfect Eye Serum We are Feel good Inc Good Morning SPF 50 Kate Ryan Vitamin C Daytime Repair Serum Kerastase Cure Apaisante LaCabine Pure Retinol Lululun Precious White Sheet Mask Comfort Zone Skin Regimen Vitamin C Booster Garden of Wisdom (GOW) Concord Grape Antioxidant Serum Germaine de capuccini Excel Therapy O2 Pollution Defense Emulsion Institut Esthederm Osmoclean Calming Lotion Kate Ryan Collagen Booster Intense Repair Serum La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra 8 Moisture Mist Niche Beauty Lab Theramid Azid 15% Azelaic Acid Treatment Paula's Choice Calm Soothing Toner For Normal To Dry Skin Umoua Barrier Repair Essence Advanced Vanicream Vitamin C Serum dermistry⁺ Pore Refining & Spot Correcting Concentrate skinVacious Antioxidant Serum skyn ICELAND Dissolving Microneedle Eye Patches With Hyaluronic Acid And Peptides AnteAGE Md Serum Ausceuticals Collagen Serum Comfort Zone Skin Regimen Ha Booster Glo Skin Beauty Barrier Balm ISOMERS Skincare Glutathiosome Booster Institut Esthederm Cellular Water Mist Institut Esthederm Intensive Vitamine E Lululun Face Mask Precious White Medik8 Liquid Peptides (2021) Schaebens Cell Therapy Hydrogel Mask Skin Actives Collagen Serum Solait Sensitive After Sun Face Serum TJOY Glutathione Rejuvenation Essence Canova Resurface C15 Serum DISAAR Snake oil