If you use skin care products, particularly those used on the face, you may have seen peptides in the list of ingredients.
So what are peptides and why are they so popular in the more high end skin care products?
Peptides naturally occur in the body. They are, like proteins, composed of amino acids.
There are 20 different amino acids in the human body and they can be combined in many different ways to form amino acid chains.
When a chain of amino acids is is over 50 acids long, it is considered a protein. When it contains less than 50 acids, it is considered a peptide. So basically, peptides are a part of a protein.
All peptides influence cells in the body in some way. Different types of peptides influence different types of cellular activity in a body. So peptides used in skin care are ones that direct the skin cells to behave in a certain way.
The peptides found in skin care products are actually synthetic and created in a lab. They are able to penetrate the skin and still remain intact.
There are many different peptides available for skin care but the four most important and effective ones are as follows-
1. Acetyl Hexapeptides also known as Argireline as known as a neuropeptide. This type of peptide is often marketed as an alternative to botox because it claims to relax certain types of facial wrinkles. Clinical studies published by the International Journal of Cosmetic Science claim that a 10% concentration of this peptide can reduce wrinkle depth by 30% if used consistently within thirty days.
2.Palmitoyl Pentapeptides also known as Matrixyl, works by stimulating the deeper matrix layers of the skin to increase the production and synthesis of collagen and hyaluronic acid.
It basically tells the skin to make more collagen, a process that also helps to heal wounds faster. It is purported to be a least as effective as Retinol without the potential for irritation.
In clinical studies, this peptide has been found to
3.Palmitoyl Oligopeptides. Similar to palmitoyl pentapeptides as it also stimulates the synthesis of collagen and hyaluronic acid in the deep layers of the skin, this peptide offers mild UV protection(you would still need to use a sunscreen)!
4. Copper peptides also called copper gluconate, is actually copper attached to a peptide to help deliver copper into deeper layers of skin. Copper has been used to treat wounds to promote faster healing for years. It helps with skin healing and regeneration and also helps to remove damaged collagen.
So all in all, although peptides in skin care are synthetic, there is some biological basis for the effect they have on our skin.