Nonapeptide-1: A Skincare and Skin Lightening Peptide

by | Jul 22, 2022 | Research

Nonapeptide-1 (aka Melanostatine) was earlier formulated for its antimicrobial functions in yeast streptomyces clavifer. With recent experiments, Nonapeptide-1 (topical) proves that it can inhibit the production of melanin and reduce melanin synthesis and skin pigmentation, making it a prime peptide for treating certain skin conditions. Nonapeptide-1 is produced synthetically via recombinant genetic technology. This is because of its newfound effect on melanin formation.

The Medical Benefits and Functions of Nonapeptide-1

Nonapeptide-1 inhibits melanin production. Nonapeptide means radiance promoter and whitening agent. In a clinical setting, Nonapeptide-1 potently inhibits melanin activities. This is possible by inhibiting the action of tyrosinase, therefore, preventing melanocytes from producing melanin.[1]

Your skin contains a variety of cells. The skin cells responsible for producing melanin are called melanocytes. These cells produce melanin through a pigment called tyrosine. Tyrosinase is the enzyme that helps convert tyrosine into melanin pigment. Nonapeptide reduces hyperpigmentation in the skin and lightens dark spots following sun radiation (UV rays) and certain skin diseases. Nonapeptide does this by inhibiting the activities of tyrosinase. All these are to prevent the uncontrolled increase in pigmentation and to give control over brown skin and patches.

Nonapeptide-1 can also inhibit melanin production by inhibiting melanocyte-stimulating hormone activity (MSH). Nanopeptide-1 is a melanocyte-stimulating hormone antagonist. MSH antagonists have a precise effect on skin physiology. Nonapeptide-1 accomplishes this by blocking the action of its natural ligand (a-MSH) on its receptor, MCR-1. As a result, approximately 33% of the melanin synthesis induced by the receptor is inhibited. This will go a long way toward preventing tyrosinase activation and, as a result, melanin production.

During pregnancy, an experiment shows that melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH) levels rise in response to certain medical conditions (diabetes, Addison’s disease) and exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. Melanocyte-stimulating hormone is a byproduct of adrenocorticotropic hormone. Synthetic versions of melanocyte-stimulating hormone (Melanotan II) mimic the original molecule’s actions, which can cause skin darkening.

MSH activities are not visible in everyone due to individual differences—redheads do not respond to MSH activity due to changes in their MSH receptors, resulting in poor response to MSH in the blood.

Nonapeptide-1 induces skin lightening. In this case, Nonapeptide-1 can be an additive in whitening or spot-correcting products. It completely blocks receptor entry, reduces melanocyte activity, and helps to stabilize and brighten skin color.

Nonapeptide research on fungi indicates that it can inhibit melanin II synthesis at about 200 ug/mL concentrations. Fungi are used in this context because they have a nearly identical reaction to Nonapeptide-1 as humans, and the resources required for this experiment are less.

After 28 days of Nonapeptide-1 administration, there was a rapid reduction in pigmentation. Nonapeptide-1 inhibits tyrosinase activities by 25-35% at a micromolar concentration of 100 while decreasing melanin content in melanocytes by 27-43%.[2] According to the scientists “This inhibition was independent of cell proliferation and cytotoxic effects. Our data suggest that peptide-mediated inhibition of melanogenesis is due to reduction in tyrosinase activity.”

Nonapeptide-1 modulates pain signaling and behavior in the Central Nervous System by acting as a Dopaminergic and Opioid receptor. Nonapeptide-1 may thus play a role in the Central Nervous System, influencing behavior and pain.[3] Accordsing to the researchers, “The results of these investigations indicated a significant central action of MIF-1 in mice and a participation of dopaminergic receptors in certain effects of MIF-1 on the behaviour of experimental animals.”

Nonapeptide-1 protects the skin from photodamage while also modulating existing photodamage. This is critical for those seeking skin cancer prevention.[4] It’s also worth noting that Nonapeptide-1 can help with skin cancer treatment at various stages.[5]


Products of Nonapeptide-1

  • Shampoo Bar by Brenntag Specialties improves hair conditioning, softening, compatibility, cuticle sealing, and repair. It also makes hair rigid by retaining the protein in the hair while protecting it.
  • Shaving Bar by Brenntag functions to soothe and moisturize the skin by reducing sebum levels and skin redness. It is also a sensory improver that impacts a powdery, silky, and velvety skin feeling. When applied, it gives the skin a fresh and beautiful pink color.
  • Sulfate-free Body wash produced by KLK OLEO serves as a cleansing agent. It reduces irritation and mildness. It influences viscosity and increases foam formation.
  • KLK OLEO Hand Wash is a sulfate-free, anionic surfactant and cleansing agent. It ensures reduced mildness and irritation. It influences viscosity and increases foam formation.



Melanostatine-5 (Nonapeptide-1) is a skin-whitening and spot-correction agent that works to reduce hyperpigmentation. It is well-known for inhibiting Tyrosinase activity and the formation of melanin. Nonapeptide-1 has many skin benefits but has some drawbacks, including the temporary blocking of chemicals that initiate muscle contraction.

Nonapeptide-1 is a research chemical that should only be used for scientific and educational purposes; it should not be consumed or used by humans.



  1. Mohammed YH, Moghimi HR, Yousef SA, et al. Efficacy, Safety and Targets in Topical and Transdermal Active and Excipient Delivery. Percutaneous Penetration Enhancers Drug Penetration Into/Through the Skin. 2017;369-391. Published 2017 Jan 25. doi:10.1007/978-3-662-53270-6_23
  2. Abu Ubeid A, Zhao L, Wang Y, Hantash BM. Short-sequence oligopeptides with inhibitory activity against mushroom and human tyrosinase. J Invest Dermatol. 2009;129(9):2242-2249. doi:10.1038/jid.2009.124.
  3. Brus R, Szkilnik R, Stanosek B, Makowska B, Piguła J. Central action of melanostatin (MIF-1) in mice. Acta Physiol Pol. 1984;35(5-6):447-453.
  4. Lagova ND, Smirnova ZS, Sof’ina ZP, Smirnova LI, Kashnikova NM. Ispol’zovanie peptidnogo gormona melanostatina i ego analogov dlia sinteza novykh protivoopukholevykh soedineniĭ [Use of the peptide hormone melanostatin and its analogs for the synthesis of new antitumor compounds]. Vopr Onkol. 1988;34(1):73-79.
  5. Ishihara Y, Oka M, Tsunakawa M, et al. Melanostatin, a new melanin synthesis inhibitor. Production, isolation, chemical properties, structure and biological activity. J Antibiot (Tokyo). 1991;44(1):25-32. doi:10.7164/antibiotics.44.25.

Disclaimer: The products mentioned are not for human or animal consumption. All the information shared in this article is for educational purposes only.