Szechuan pepper extract has been studied for its ability to lift wrinkles both in short-term and long-term.
Society of Cosmetic Scientists and the Société Française de Cosmétologie writes:
Zanthalene® (the registered trademarked name for this pepper berry extract) was launched as an anti-itching cosmetic ingredient. Because tingling is a sort of ‘paralytic pungency’, and Zanthalene® potently inhibits synaptic transmission, we have investigated its capacity to relax subcutaneous muscles and act as a topical lifting agent for wrinkles.
An anti-wrinkles extract rich in spilanthol, a lipophilic alkamide having sensory properties similar to those of Zanthalene®, was used as a reference.
Short-term (lifting effect) and long-term (anti-wrinkle) improvements of skin roughness parameters were evaluated by both objectives’ and subjectives’ measurements.
An immediate ‘lifting’ effect was observed with the sanshool-rich lipophilic extract, at dosages at which the reference alkamide extract was inactive in the objective assays. Limited desensitization after repeated application and good overall tolerability were observed, although a modest long-term anti-wrinkle effect was shown by both products.
Pepperberry essential oil was also studied (in vivo, on rats) as a potential natural transdermal penetration enhancer.
Cytotoxicity and enhancement activity of essential oil from Zanthoxylum bungeanum Maxim. as a natural transdermal penetration enhancer.
Artaria, C & Maramaldi, Giada & Bonfigli, A & Rigano, Luigi & Appendino, Giovanni. (2011). Lifting properties of the alkamide fraction from the fruit husks of Zanthoxylum bungeanum. International journal of cosmetic science. 33. 328-33. 10.1111/j.1468-2494.2010.00629.x.