What Peptides Can Do for Your Skin
Peptides are a type of ingredient that can benefit your skin in many ways, such as reducing inflammation, improving skin tone, and smoothing out wrinkles.
You may have heard of peptides as one of the latest skin care trends that promise to transform your skin. But unlike some other ingredients that are more hype than substance, peptides are actually worth paying attention to.
Peptides are amino acids that form the proteins that your skin needs. One of these proteins is collagen, which is made of three peptide chains. By adding peptides to your skin, you can stimulate the production of collagen. More collagen means firmer and younger-looking skin.
Your body naturally produces collagen, but as you age, the production slows down, which can lead to sagging and wrinkled skin. That’s why many people look for ways to boost their collagen levels, such as eating foods rich in collagen or taking collagen supplements.
But collagen molecules are too big to penetrate the skin, so applying them topically won’t do much. Peptides, on the other hand, can absorb into the skin and act as signals for the other cells. They tell the cells to make more collagen and elastin.
Benefits of peptides
Peptides have many benefits for the skin, depending on the type and concentration of peptides used.
Strengthened skin barrier
The skin barrier is your body’s first line of defense against harmful agents, such as bacteria, UV rays, pollution, and toxins. The skin barrier can be weakened by factors such as over-exfoliation, exposure to smoke and pollution, or lack of sleep. Peptides can help restore a stronger barrier.
Collagen can plump up the skin and lips. When the skin is firmer and fuller, wrinkles and fine lines will appear less noticeable.
Enhanced skin elasticity
Besides collagen, peptides also form elastin fibers, another type of protein. These fibers give the skin a firm and tight look.
Peptides can help soothe inflammation, heal damaged skin, and balance out skin tone.
Some peptides have antimicrobial properties, meaning they can kill the bacteria that cause acne.
How peptides work for skin
Peptides can get past the outer layer of the skin, so they don’t just sit on the surface. They act as messengers for the other cells, telling them to produce more collagen and elastin.
How to choose peptide products
There are so many products on the market that contain peptides that it can be hard to know which ones to choose.
Peptides work well with other ingredients, such as vitamin C, niacinamide, antioxidants, and hyaluronic acids. Using a peptide with an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) will actually make the peptides less effective.
Drawbacks and limitations of peptides
Peptides are often marketed as a miracle solution, with some claims that peptides are as good as Botox. This is because some peptides can temporarily block the chemicals that cause muscle contraction, but they’re not as powerful as Botox.
While peptides can definitely improve your skin, they also have some limitations and drawbacks to be aware of.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
Peptides are often very expensive.
Research is still ongoing. Other ingredients like AHAs and retinol have more scientific evidence for their anti-aging effects.
There are many different kinds of peptides, and some may not have any impact on the skin.
Ask a dermatologist or another trusted source for recommendations, as some products may use “peptide” as a marketing term.
In rare cases, a peptide allergy can occur.
The bottom line
Peptides are amino acids that form the building blocks of proteins that your skin needs, like collagen and elastin.
Using peptides can lead to firmer, younger-looking skin and possibly fewer breakouts. Peptides are generally considered safe, but more research is needed on how well they work.