Peptides are becoming more and more common as an ingredient in skincare products, typically in anti-aging products and treatments. They can be an effective ingredient, but if you aren’t familiar with peptides, not to worry, we’ll get you caught up. The biggest problem with peptides isn’t actually their validity as an ingredient, but the hype surrounding many peptide-based products. Let us set the record straight right now: there are no peptide-based products that act as a substitute for plastic surgery, despite claims to the contrary. That’s not realistic, and if somebody tries to tell you it is, they aren’t being honest about the efficacy of their product. However, that doesn’t mean peptides are all hype! Let’s take a deeper dive in what peptides are, and what they can do.
So… what the heck are peptides?
Simply put, peptides are small fragments of proteins. They are made up of amino acids, with different amino acids combining in certain formations to create specific peptides (there are loads of different peptides… hundreds of them). Because proteins are the basic building blocks of your skin, without peptides, your skin won’t remain intact, and you’ll lose firmness, gain wrinkles, experience poor skin texture changes, and lose the “bounce” your skin once had. The reality is that we’re just scratching the surface of what peptides can do, (as they relate to skincare products), and different peptides seem to work in specific ways to target specialized skincare needs. Very interesting stuff!
If you’re looking to a single peptide to revitalize and rejuvenate your skin, you’re going to be disappointed. But don’t be deterred- that’s true for most skincare ingredients. They work better in skincare “cocktail” products with a mix of other ingredients. Some call it the “entourage effect.” It’s the phenomena of different ingredients working synergistically, much more effectively than they ever could by themselves. That especially seems to be the case when it comes to peptides as a skincare ingredient.
Peptides for more youthful skin
Over time, collagen is depleted by both age and environmental factors (like UV and pollution). The result is skin that slowly becomes thinner and wrinkled over time. As collagen slowly breaks down, it produces specific peptides. These peptides basically signal a message to your skin that collagen is breaking down, and more needs to be generated. When you apply peptides topically, as you would in a skincare product, it can trick your skin into thinking that collagen is breaking down, and triggering it to produce new collagen. And we all know that in the realm of skincare, more collagen = healthy, youthful, supple looking skin. It gives your skin more “volume.”
Science is catching up as we unlock more and more of the potential of peptides in skincare. It’s not all hype! When used properly, peptides can be an effective ingredient to encourage collagen production and create a more youthful look to your skin. Just be careful that the peptide-based products you choose don’t make outrageous claims!