When shopping around for skincare products, are you easily lured by words like peptides, collagen booster, amino acids, repair? Hmmm. Another question, have you ever wondered if products containing peptides are really worth the hype or the hefty price tag? Hmmm… Have we got you staring into space with your fingers on your chin?
Well! Wonder no further! We’ll break down the science behind peptides and how they work so you can make a confident decision on whether this ingredient really deserves your hard earned cash! Although in our opinion, the answer is a big fat yes.
Of course, we’ll have to start with:
What are peptides?
Here’s the thing, our body already produces a whole lot of different peptides for all sorts of essential functions - hormone regulation, energy production, protein synthesis and so much more. Both peptides and proteins, such as collagen and elastin, are made of chains of amino acids. The difference between the two is the size and structure. Peptides traditionally have up to 50 amino acids whilst proteins have above 50 amino acids.
Collagen peptides can be considered the foundation for new collagen and elastin fibers. It ensures that your skin tissue remains firm and your hair and nails strong. Without peptides, our body simply cannot function.
At this stage, you’re properly wondering why we would need to apply more peptides if the body already produces them. The quick answer is - we age. As we age, we tend to produce less peptides, proteins and lipids that keep our skin supple, smooth and firm. That’s why peptides in skincare can be quite beneficial to keep premature aging at bay.
How do peptides work in skincare?
If you think that peptides in skincare products replace the lost peptides, then you must read on, we beg you. It’s a common misconception. Simply applying peptides onto your skin doesn’t necessarily mean you have given yourself more peptides or collagen. The mechanism is a little more complex than that. The peptide triggers a pathway that signals skin’s cells to produce more collagen.
Peptides are more efficient in skincare products than proteins. This is because proteins are not easily absorbed through the top layer of the skin due to their larger size. Therefore peptides are more likely to get deep into the cellular level and trigger a response.
Benefits of peptides for skin
At enough concentration, signalling peptides can produce significant results within a short period of time.
- Reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by stimulating the skin to make more collagen.
- Increasing skin firmness. When there is sufficient amount of collagen present, the skin feels and looks more taut.
- Strengthen the skin barrier. Peptides can help amp up the health of skin cells and consequently improve skin barrier function.
- Boost of collagen production can also boost hydration.
- Provide anti-inflammatory properties. Antioxidants present in peptides can help calm and soothe the skin.
For most optimal results, we recommend treating peptides as if it’s one of the ingredients in a cocktail. You’ll need to mix a few active ingredients to get the best out of each.
Products that we’ve been loving which contain peptides:
Earth Harbor’s Celestine Hydra Plumping Peptide Serum cleverly uses peptides derived from seaweed. Not only is seaweed full of essential minerals and vitamins but it’s also abundant in amino acids, proteins and bioactive peptides. Seaweed peptide is combined with hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, aloe vera juice and pomegranate oil.
Herbal Dynamics Beauty Volumising & Smoothing Rapid Lip Mask contains Palmitoyl tripeptide-38 which can boost the skin’s ability to synthesise hyaluronic acid. By adding deep hydration, it gives the lips moisture, plumpness and smoothness.
Herbal Dynamics Beauty’s Clean and Calm Cucumber Cooling Eye Cream contains four different types of peptides. Yes, four! Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1 to heal and promote collagen synthesis, palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7 to fight inflammation and glycation induced aging, acetyl hexapeptide-8 and acetyl octapeptide-3 to calm muscle contraction to prevent wrinkle and fine line formation over time.
Hanskin’s Hyaluron Skin Essence has hydrolysed collagen which can also be considered peptides. It helps encourage the skin to naturally produce collagen.