Skincare Ingredients 101: Peptides
When you think about the best anti-aging ingredients, what comes to mind? Retinol? Hyaluronic Acid? Vitamin C, perhaps? While all of those definitely fit the bill, you can’t forget about peptides. While peptides are one of the most results-driven ingredients in the skincare market today, perhaps you’re not exactly sure of what they are and how they can work wonders for your complexion. Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered.
What are Peptides?
Peptides are naturally occurring biological molecules. They’re found in all living organisms and play a key role in biological activity. Like proteins, peptides are synthesized naturally from transcription (the first step in gene expression) of a series of the genetic code — aka, DNA.
A singular peptide is a short chain of amino acids, and proteins are larger chains of peptides. In simpler terms, amino acid = peptide = protein = life. Other than water and fat, proteins are the largest constituent of our body. Proteins and peptides are essential to our existence because they are a part of every cell regulating our body.
What Do Peptides Do For Skin
Peptides for the skin have numerous benefits, so they are one of the most attractive anti-aging ingredients. When it comes to the function of peptides in skincare, where do we start? They are absolutely vital — in fact, peptides are the essential building blocks of the skin. Without them, the skin does not remain intact. Peptides are incorporated into skincare products because of their performance-specific effects, such as hydration, improved skin tone, and other anti-aging benefits, including:
- Improved skin texture and tone
- Reduction of fine lines and wrinkles — even mature skin
- Protection against environmental stressors
- Expedited wound healing
- Repaired protective skin barrier proteins
- Improved firmness, elasticity, and clarity
- Reduction of age spots due to photodamage
- Skin cells are protected against UV radiation
- Reduced inflammation and free radical damage
Benefits of Peptides
Aside from being crucial to the skin’s structure and function, peptides are found in every human cell and play a vital role in how the body functions — they frequently act as a biologic messenger. If you lack peptides, your body cannot function properly. They have several uses within the body, such as being the critical components for enzymes and hormones.
As mentioned, peptides are found in every cell and tissue and perform a wide array of crucial functions. Peptides’ role and benefits depend upon the types of amino acids involved in the chain, their sequence, and specific shape. Research suggests bioactive peptides may:
- Lower high blood pressure
- Prevent age-related bone loss
- Kill microbes
- Reduce inflammation
- Build strength and muscle mass
- Prevent the formation of blood clots
- Improve immune function
- Act as antioxidants
When to Use Peptides In Skincare
Even though peptides are already present within the body, anti-aging peptides for skin health are vital because we lose 1% of collagen per year after the age of 30. When you introduce peptides onto the skin with a serum or moisturizer, they signal (or trick) your body that it needs to heal, so it produces more collagen (and even hyaluronic acid) where it’s needed — from injured to aging skin.
However, not all peptides are created equal. While there are hundreds of variations, some are more effective for skin than others. For example, carrier peptides deliver trace minerals that help boost collagen, while signal peptides send messages to different parts of the skin to stimulate collagen, elastin, and other essential proteins. Neurotransmitter peptides are known as “Botox-like” peptides that block the release of chemicals that cause the muscle concentration responsible for expression lines, so fine lines, and wrinkles are lessened. Lastly, enzyme inhibitor peptides help slow down the skin’s natural breakdown of collagen.
Peptides can work wonders, but their benefits can be elevated when used in conjunction with other age-fighting ingredients. As proof positive, we suggest giving SiO Beauty’s Energy Serum a try so you can see for yourself. The serum is formulated with collagen peptide PP56, hyaluronic acid, amino acids, and Camellia Japonica flower. As the polymers in the serum break apart, they release water droplets that cause a cooling sensation. Hydrolyzed collagen peptides create a moisture shield to support the skin’s barrier and stimulate visible rejuvenation for fresher, smoother-looking skin. Powerful alone, but designed to work in conjunction with SiO Cryodrop, this serum uses diamagnetic properties that penetrate the skin and work deep for lasting anti-aging benefits.