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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

EO LABORATORIE` Natural & Organic Moisturizing Facial Tonic Comfort Zone Skin Regimen Vitamin C Booster La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra 8 Moisture Mist Paula's Choice Calm Soothing Toner For Normal To Dry Skin Umoua Barrier Repair Essence Advanced AnteAGE Md Serum Comfort Zone Skin Regimen Ha Booster Lululun Face Mask Precious White Skin Actives Collagen Serum Medik8 Liquid Peptides Nu Skin Ageloc Lumispa Cleanser Blemish Prone Skin Nu Skin Ageloc® Lumispa™ Cleanser Sensitive Skin Paula's Choice: PC 4 Men Shave Skin Actives Antioxidant Serum Bionike Defence Tolerance Ar+ Comfort Zone Skin Regimen Tea Tree Booster Elisabeth Arden pro Hydrating Antioxidant Spray Paula's Choice Resist Advanced Replenishing Toner Ringana Anti-Wrinkle Serum DR ROEBUCK’S Tassie Anti-Pollution Serum Meaningful Beauty Youth Activating Melon Serum Olay Regenerist 3-Point Treatment Cream UFO Youth Junkie Mask Foreo Nu Skin Ageloc® Lumispa™ Activating Cleanser - Oily Olay Unscented Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream Face Moisturizer Paula's Choice Resist Weightless Advanced Repairing Toner Comfort Zone Skin Regimen Microalgae Essence DR ROEBUCK’S Boost & Tighten Serum DR ROEBUCK’S Perky Collagen Boosting Serum Olay Olay Pro-Retinol Eye Treatment Olay Regenerist 3-Point Super Serum The Inkey List Hepta-Peptide Serum La Roche-Posay Anthelios Brume Fraiche Invisible Spf 50 La Roche-Posay Anthelios Spf 50 Mist La Roche-Posay Anthelios Spf 50 Mist Medik8 Advanced Day Eye Protect Eye Cream Medik8 Advanced Day Total Protect Skinbetter Science Alto Defense Serum Bionike Aknet Acteen Sun - Cream-Gel 50+ La Roche-Posay Effaclar K [+] - Renovating Care For Oily Skin Comfort Zone Skin Regimen Tripeptide Cream La Roche-Posay La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Overnight Moisturiser Olay Luminous Brightening & Protecting Lotion With Sunscreen Broad Spectrum Spf 30 Paula's Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster Skin Actives Vitamin A Cream Comfort Zone Skin Regimen Retinol Booster Spectacle Performance Cream TRUE BOTANICALS Clear Cellular Repair Serum Kristina Holey + Marie Veronique Micronutrient + Hydro Mask La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Night Moisturizer