Kinetin is a plant-based extract also known as N6-furfuryladenine, analogues of which have been isolated as a naturally occurring compound in the DNA of most living organisms. According to research published in the Journal of Anti-Aging Medicine in 2002, kinetin’s “chemical structure, natural occurrence, and several biological effects are well documented,” and it also appears to be “a powerful natural antioxidant with pluripotent effects in protecting DNA and protein from oxidative and glyoxidative damage.” In simplified terms, this means that scientific research supports the claim that topically applied kinetin-based compounds, such as creams or lotions, may be effective in fostering cell health. Additionally, kinetin encourages cell division, which may be a factor in maintaining firm, plump skin surface cells, rather than irregular and debris filled cells.
In its raw state, kinetin is a white powder. However, it is typically sold in cream or lotion form in 0.1 to 0.2 percent concentrations. Some of the more popular products that contain kinetin are Kinerase® Lotion, produced by Valeant Pharmaceuticals, and Senetek PLC’s Kinetin Plus. Both of these products are designed for daily maintenance and make similar claims of reducing the appearance of wrinkles and other effects of photodamaged skin. An interesting note is that the before and after sample photos on both the Kinerase® and Kinetin Plus websites appear to be exactly the same photo. It raises the question of whether the actual formulations used in these specific products have been tested, or if both companies base their claims on some third party testing of a generic product formulation, which may or may not have the same results as their own formula(s.)
- An all-natural, plant-based extract.
- Scientific research supports some of the claims made about kinetin.
- Formulations containing kinetin are offered by a variety of reputable manufacturers.
- Can be used in conjunction with other, invasive, treatments, such as Botox® or microdermabrasion with no expected side effects.
- In improper concentrations, the topical application of kinetin can lead to cell death.
- As a comparatively less researched compound, the full range of effects of kinetin use are unknown, as is its mechanism of operation.
- While kinetin itself has been tested in clinical trials, not all products that contain kinetin appear to have been.
- Products containing kinetin do not incorporate some of the later developments in skincare technology, such as peptide-based treatments.
The Bottom Line
Peptide-based skin care products appear to have a more established record of clinical testing than do kinetin-based treatments. While users report few negative issues with kinetin, the product is not as well researched as competing compounds. Some products containing kinetin are relatively inexpensive, which allows users to test the product with minimal risk before investing in some of the more expensive, highly touted lines. It may be a good solution for users looking for a non-animal protein-based product. However, like most skincare advancements, kinetin is not an end-all, be-all solution and should probably be used in conjunction with a variety of different products.