The Skin Rejuvenators
PEPTIDE SKINCARE BENEFITS
- Steady firming and smoothing of your skin
- Encourages collagen production
- Protects against infection
- Fight the signs of aging
- Improve skin colour
- Improve skin hydration
- Create new fibroblasts
In the world of anti-aging skincare ingredients, there are some major players experts talk about all the time: retinol, hyaluronic acid, and antioxidants. And while peptides aren’t necessarily always at the top of the list, they’re more commonly used (and more effective) than you may think. Touted as an anti-aging superhero ingredient they’re one that gives people bang for their buck – minus the irritation. Peptides are found naturally in the skin. They are comprised of short strings of amino acids. So perhaps before we define what peptides are and what they do, we should first revisit what amino acids are.
What are Peptides?
When it comes to skincare, not all peptides are created equal. While there are hundreds of peptides, there are specific ones that are more efficacious for the skin than others. For example, carrier peptides deliver trace minerals to the skin to boost collagen, while enzyme inhibitor peptides work to slow down the skin’s natural breakdown of collagen. Signal peptides send messages to different parts of the skin to promote collagen, elastin and other proteins; and neurotransmitter peptides, touted as “Botox-like,” block the release of chemicals that cause the muscle contraction of expression lines, thus smoothing wrinkles.
Peptides act as signalling mechanisms that tell the body to produce more collagen. Collagen is the protein responsible for strong, firm, youthful skin, so more collagen equals fewer wrinkles. And you probably haven’t met anyone who doesn’t want smoother, firmer skin. Anyone can benefit from using them, even as a preventative measure. And here’s the biggest pro when it comes to peptides: Pretty much anyone and everyone can use them. Unlike many other collagen-boosting ingredients-retinoids, even Vitamin C-which can often have irritating side effects, peptides are generally fairly well tolerated by everyone including those with sensitive skin.
A peptide typically comprises between 2–50 amino acids. They are composed of a vast range of tiny fragments of amino acids. On their own, they are part of the body’s complex communication system that tells different aspects of skin to do a better job. Peptides may be easier for the body to absorb than amino acids and proteins because they are smaller and more broken down than proteins. They can more easily penetrate the skin and intestines, which helps them to enter the bloodstream more quickly.
What do Peptides do?
When collagen is depleted by age and environmental factors, including sunlight, it is not fully replaced. As a result, smooth, young skin slowly becomes thinner and wrinkled over time. As collagen deteriorates, it produces certain peptides. Research from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) shows that these peptides send a “message” to your skin that it has lost collagen and needs to generate more. Unfortunately, as we age, whilst the message is received, the amount of collagen produced is not always enough to satisfy your now-aging thinning skin. We need help! We need skincare with Peptides.
When skincare peptides are applied topically, your skin doesn’t need to wait for natural collagen breakdown to start collagen production, in a manner it “is tricked” by the topical application into believing that its a collagen breakdown and that your body needs to manufacture new collagen, kind of like a false alarm. But your skin doesn’t know it’s a false alarm, and will now produce more collagen over and above the amount it might naturally produce. The increased collagen production can successfully minimise wrinkles and give your skin a more youthful appearance with the application of peptides that trigger the production of collagen. It is therefore important to use a good peptide wrinkle cream.
Amino acids are the building blocks of both peptides and proteins. Amino acids maintain the skin’s hydration, texture, resilience, and overall supple, healthy appearance. There are many amino acids, but most scientists agree that there are twenty (20) that are important to our health, divided into two types: essential and non-essential.
- The “non-essential” term doesn’t mean that those amino acids aren’t important; rather, it means that your body can make them on its own, so it’s not “essential” for you to get them elsewhere, such as from food or supplements.
- “Essential” amino acids, on the other hand, are essential because they must be obtained from foods or supplements; a deficiency in even one of them can result in health problems.
Amino acids are naturally present in skin, as part of what’s called our natural moisturising factors (NMFs). Within skin’s uppermost layers, amino acids work as conductors, orchestrating an incredibly complex “concert” that allows our skin to thrive and to stay hydrated.
Benefits of Peptides in Skincare
Peptides are short chains of amino acids that act as building blocks of proteins such as collagen, elastin and keratin. These proteins are the foundations of your skin and are responsible for its texture, strength and resilience. Without peptides, our skin is less intact which can lead to a loss of firmness, the appearance of wrinkles, a change in texture and less ‘bounce’.
In skincare, peptides are used to help reinforce those proteins naturally occurring in the skin, therefore rejuvenating and maintaining it. Different types of peptides have different effects, from smoothing wrinkles or repairing barrier function to increasing firmness and hydration. Several peptides can be combined in one product, and most are found in anti-aging products for skin that has started to demonstrate a decrease in the production of those essential proteins. On skincare product labels look for words that end in “peptide” – many also begin with “palmitoyl”.
It’s important for you to keep in mind is that as special as peptides are, they need “friends” in the form of supporting ingredients to help address all the needs of the skin. Any skincare formula worthy of your hard-earned dollars must include the specialised ingredients we refer to in so many of our other skincare product recommendations, those being antioxidants, skin-replenishing ingredients, and skin-restoring-ingredients (which includes peptides). Peptides can do a lot on their own, but they can’t do it all alone.
Adding peptides to your skincare routine won’t deliver results immediately, as with any collagen and elastin stimulating treatment the process can take up to twelve (12) weeks. However, we will be surprised if you aren’t noticing some differences after just one (1) week, differences such as improved hydration and a more calmed and bouncy skin. And considering we lose approximately 1% of the collagen within our skin from age 30, increasing more as we age from there, it is certainly worth the short wait for these products to take effect.
For maximum benefit from your Peptide serums, we recommend teaming it with a Vitamin B (Niacinamide) serum; Vitamin C (rich with botanicals like Kakadu Plum) serum; and a Hydrating Serum containing Hyaluronic Acid.
When peptides are blended with antioxidants, skin-soothing ingredients, and skin-replenishing ingredients they can address multiple signs of aging and you will be thrilled with the results!
Commonly used Peptides in Skincare
- Matrixyl (palmitoyl- or oligopeptide pentapeptide) – a neuropeptide that reduces fine lines very well, including eczema and dermatitis. Its job is to specifically target and stimulate collagen synthesis and to repair the damage.
- Copper Peptides* (GHK-Cu) – activate a wide range of skin functions, including wound healing, anti-inflammatory response, antioxidant immune function, collagen synthesis and pro-collagen support.
- Tripeptide-1 helps with firmness
- Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1 (Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-12) these smooth wrinkles and enhance hydration by strengthening the skin’s barrier
- Myristoyl Hexapeptide-16 and Myristoyl Pentapeptide-17 help minimise redness
- Hexanoyl Dipeptide-3 Norleucine Acetate improves how skin cells function
- Azelaoyl Bis-Dipeptide-10 diminishes the appearance of forms of pigmentation, like brown spots
Research shows that the right peptide skin cream can play an important role in repairing wounds and improving skin conditions.
*Copper Peptides are a naturally-occurring tripeptide found in plasma, saliva and urine, but decline with age. The element copper combines with the amino acid glycine-histidine-lysine to form copper tripeptide. Copper Peptides activate a wide range of skin functions, including wound healing, anti-inflammatory response, antioxidant immune function, collagen synthesis and pro-collagen support. Its unique feature is the ability to stimulate the breakdown of unhealthy collagen that forms in scar tissue to then stimulate healthy collagen for wound healing. It is widely used in reparative skincare, anti-aging and in improving hair growth.
Please Note: Aspect Dr products feature higher-level active ingredients to ensure maximum efficacy without a prescription. These products are only sold at select physician, skin clinic and spa locations. If your purchase contains any Aspect Dr products – our Skin Specialist is required to speak with you regarding the use of these products before your purchase can be authorised and shipped.
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A Guide to Selecting the Best Skincare Products
Your skin is the bodies largest organ. Its major functions are protection, regulation and sensation. If our skin is not functioning to its full ability, these functions may become compromised.
It’s easy to get lost in the sea of skincare options these days. Not only are there doctors, dermatologists, skin professionals and aestheticians telling you this or that, you also have YouTubers, bloggers and beauty enthusiasts flooding you with thoughts and ideas too. It’s no wonder there are so many skin issues and concerns these days. When you don’t know where to start or what information is reliable, how is your skin really going to respond? More importantly, the use of incorrect skincare products can actually exasperate your condition or cause additional skin problems.
The use of professional active ingredient skincare is recommended. The “Professional” skincare products we recommend on this site can only be purchased through certified stockists and practitioners who are required to provide their professional advice on the application of these products, (as opposed to those you can purchase over the counter (OTC) in the department stores and supermarkets). These recommended professional products contain;-
- higher levels of active ingredients to boost your skin’s health and correct skin problems
(OTC product lines have less active ingredients to minimise the chance of irritation to protect the buyer)
- are backed by clinical studies
(not exaggerated unsubstantiated claims)
- are made in small batches and distributed to trained or licensed skin therapists, spas and salons to be supplied with professional advice on their use
(OTC products are made for the masses and sold in department stores and supermarkets)
- contain small molecule technology for dermal and epidermal penetration
(OTC products that lack active ingredients, have large molecules which are not able to penetrate the skin. When a product can’t properly penetrate the skin, it will only “superficially” treat and temporarily provide relief to skin concerns. This gives the illusion that the products are working without actually treating the skin. Professional lines use molecular technology that penetrates the skin producing clinical results)
- are packaged in airless pump packs to eliminate spoilage of ingredients when exposed to the air
- have pH balanced and adjusted ingredients – skin functions at its prime when the natural pH is between 4.5 and 5.5.
(Often OTC products don’t take pH into consideration and will leave the skin in an alkaline state. When the skin is alkaline, bacteria and free radicals (such as pollution) can invade the skin)
- do not contain unnecessary fillers and preservatives
Professional skincare often has a reputation of being “too expensive” but that is more often than not actually far from the truth. A good professional line will price their products according to the concentration of active ingredients versus fillers and are actually overall more budget-friendly. It is a common mistake to overuse products which leads to the perception that professional skincare is more expensive. Our Skin Specialist will advise you on the appropriate amount and when to use the products according to your skin condition and type.
When used properly, professional skincare products will last longer and work better giving you the ultimate bang for your buck. OTC products will have a lower upfront cost but over time can be similar in price or more expensive than professional skincare and won’t actually repair the skin condition being treated.