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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

AUS MEDIC CO. Illuminating Peptide Moisturiser AUS MEDIC CO. Intensive Peptide Eye Lift Serum HomeFacialPro 寡肽原液 The Jojoba Company Ultimate Serum EO LABORATORIE` Natural & Organic Moisturizing Facial Tonic Institut Esthederm Osmoclean Hydra-Replenishing Fresh Lotion Shiseido Benefiance Nutriperfect Eye Serum Kate Ryan Vitamin C Daytime Repair Serum Comfort Zone Skin Regimen Vitamin C Booster Garden of Wisdom (GOW) Concord Grape Antioxidant Serum Germaine de capuccini Excel Therapy O2 Pollution Defense Emulsion Kate Ryan Collagen Booster Intense Repair Serum La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra 8 Moisture Mist Paula's Choice Calm Soothing Toner For Normal To Dry Skin Umoua Barrier Repair Essence Advanced dermistry⁺ Pore Refining & Spot Correcting Concentrate 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 Lululun Face Mask Precious White Schaebens Cell Therapy Hydrogel Mask Skin Actives Collagen Serum TJOY Glutathione Rejuvenation Essence DISAAR Snake oil Olay Professional Prox Wrinkle Smoothing Cream Anti-Aging Moisturizer The Glow Maker Niacinamide Booster Serum (Vitamin B3) DMCK Elixir Plus Ampoule Glo Skin Beauty Pro 5 Liquid Exfoliant Institut Esthederm Hydra Replenishing Cleansing Milk Institut Esthederm Osmoclean Alcohol Free Calming Lotion Institut Esthederm Osmoclean Pure Cleansing Gel Medik8 Liquid Peptides Medik8 Physical Sunscreen Neogen Agecure Antiager Facial Base Coat Nu Skin Ageloc Lumispa Cleanser Blemish Prone Skin Nu Skin Ageloc® Lumispa™ Cleanser Sensitive Skin Olay Professional Prox Deep Wrinkle Anti-Aging Treatment Olay Regenerist Detoxifying Pore Scrub Olay Regenerist Regenerating Cream Cleanser Paula's Choice: PC 4 Men Shave Skin Actives Antioxidant Serum Sun Ozon Med Sonnencreme-Gel 30 Lsf Hoch Bionike Defence Tolerance Ar+ Comfort Zone Skin Regimen Tea Tree Booster Elisabeth Arden PRO Hydrating Antioxidant Spray Institut Esthederm Intensive Hyaluronic Eye Serum Medik8 Clarity Peptides Olay Eyes Pro-Retinol Eye Treatment