The Skin Rejuvenators
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 skin care 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 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 skin care with Peptides.
When skin care 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 it’s a collagen break down 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 an 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.
What are Peptides?
When it comes to skin care, 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 acting 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 of 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.
Benefits of Peptides in Skin Care
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 skin care, 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 skin care 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 skin care formula worthy of your hard-earned dollars must include the specialised ingredients we refer to in so many of our other skin care 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 skin care 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 Skin Care
- 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 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 skin care, anti-aging and in improving hair growth.