This Buzzy Ingredient Could Be the Secret for Getting Rid of Wrinkles in a Flash

Adenosine triphosphate is what you never knew you needed.

CLEAN SLATE: Adenosine Triphosphate Could Be the Secret for Reenergizing Your Skin

Getty Images/ InStyle

Since the start of the new decade, things have been chaotic to say the least. So if every part of you, including your skin, is looking a little tired, adenosine triphosphate (ATP for short) is exactly what your face may need for a little energy boost — plus it helps to reduce the look of wrinkles. 

ATP is a skincare ingredient that is praised for its unmatched benefits. We’re talking about anti-aging, soothing, and the ability to improve the appearance of wrinkles and moisture levels. When applied to your skin in a skincare formula, it can boost collagen production, strengthen, and calm skin – everything your skin is craving when it’s acting lethargic. 

Double-Board-Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Jaimie DeRosa says you can think of ATP as the energy or ‘food’ that your cells need to grow and regenerate. “Without ATP, cellular processes stop, so it really is a vital part of skin renewal and regeneration,” she explains. 

To learn more, we spoke with a few skin experts to help us further understand how ATP benefits the skin.

What is adenosine triphosphate (ATP)?

ATP is naturally found in the body and is a primary source of energy for living cells. “You can think of it as gas for a car,” Board-Certified Dermatologist, Dr. Ramya Garlapati, MD, FAAD explains. When the gas runs out, the car can’t perform. The molecule takes the chemical energy that comes from the breakdown of food molecules and then releases it to fuel other cellular processes. 

How does it benefit the skin? 

In the skin, ATP helps to energize intracellular processes. “What’s even more exciting is that extracellular ATP and its byproduct adenosine have also been shown to have effects on almost every cell type in the human skin,” Dr. DeRosa explains. 

As your skin ages, the dermal levels of ATP decrease, leading to a reduction in the energy level of skin cells which affects the skin’s appearance. “By increasing ATP levels, fibroblast function improves,” Dr. Garlapati shares. Fibroblasts are the cells responsible for collagen production. This can result in anti-aging benefits and improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles when applied directly to the skin, as well as an increase in the moisture levels in the skin in women in their 30s to 50s. 

ATP will also provide soothing properties to the skin and boost the creation of healthy, new collagen while boosting fibroblasts function in the skin. You can think of it as your skin's daily cup of coffee.

Do certain skin types benefit from it more than others? 

ATP is generally safe without any side effects, Dr. Garlapati shares. As it has anti-aging properties, those who are concerned with signs of aging would benefit the most from using it. 

It has been shown that, as we age, the dermal levels of ATP are reduced, which means that there is not as much energy stored in skin cells to “power” the creation of healthy components of the skin, which can be reflected in the appearance of the skin. “This is why aging skin definitely benefits from ATP-containing skin care products,” Dr. DeRosa adds, “It’s also really nice in that it is well tolerated by all skin types, including those with sensitive skin.” 

What ingredients does ATP work with best? 

In skincare, the source of ATP is typically from yeast, and it has been found to work best when paired with D-ribose, which is a carbohydrate found in nature. “The reason this combination is important is that D-ribose can help regenerate ATP levels, and thereby making the ingredient work even better,” Dr. DeRosa explains. 

What type of products include ATP as an ingredient? 

ATP is available in various formulations such as moisturizers, serums, skin toners, eye creams, etc. “You can select a formulation based on your personal preference,” Dr. Garlapati explains. We're fans of Paula's Choice Pore-Reducing Toner.

From non-toxic makeup and skincare to sustainability practices, Clean Slate is an exploration of all things in the green beauty space. Find out what's really in your products — and what's being left out.

Related Articles