Unlike a lot of new buzzwords in skincare, Peptides have been an integral part of the skincare world for a while now but there is still some mystery around them. Think of any skin concern you may have, most likely, there is a peptide for that. That’s not all. They also help build essential proteins for the skin. Sounds too good to be true, right?
Well, we have done our homework and are here to demystify this multipurpose miracle worker for you, because no matter your skin type, Peptides might just be the skincare addition you’ve been seeking!
What are Peptides?
To answer this, we need to go back to biology basics. We all know that protein is important for the body but do you know how important protein is for our skin? Protein is the foundation of our skin – protein is made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein that make up our skin. When certain amino acids are combined, they form Peptides (there are hundreds of Peptides). So, just think of Peptides as short chains of amino acids which act as a catalyst for protein production in the body, building proteins that the skin needs for its structure and integrity.
Peptides make proteins like Collagen, Elastin and Keratin that are crucial for maintaining the texture, firmness and elasticity of our skin. In the absence of Peptides, our skin doesn’t remain intact, the result is a loss of firmness, the appearance of wrinkles and a change in texture.
What can Peptides do for your skin?
Peptides are naturally occurring in all human beings but as we age, our peptide production and therefore, protein production slows down. This is why our skin starts to lose its resilience and firmness. Peptides act as a biological messenger, signaling our skin cells to create new proteins which leads to firm, flexible and hydrated skin. Additionally, they also ease inflammation and strengthen the skin barrier, promoting overall skin regeneration.
Apart from the collagen boosting effect which helps reduce pigmentation and improves skin elasticity, Peptides like Copper Tripeptide are helpful in healing wounds because of their regenerating properties whereas Keratin-based Peptides help in restoring the skin’s moisture and improve hydration.
In skincare, Peptides are known for their anti-ageing benefits and reversing skin damage but they have a range of benefits for your skin:
1. Increases Collagen synthesis
The protein that gives your skin its youthfulness is Collagen. As you grow older, collagen production decreases, which causes wrinkles, dehydration, discoloration, loss of firmness, and a dull complexion. It has been scientifically proven that Peptides not only stimulate Collagen but also help in decreasing Collagen breakdown.
Read more about how to boost Collagen naturally here.
2. Improves Texture
A recently discovered benefit of Peptides is their ability to improve skin texture that has experienced photo-ageing. Photoageing is when skin is exposed to harmful radiation and pollution, skin ages prematurely. We like Skinpot.Co’s Hyper-Repair Exfoliation Peel because of its deep cleansing formula that diminishes pigmentation and improves the overall skin texture, leaving behind radiant and smooth skin.
3. Significantly reduces Wrinkles
Since Peptides have properties similar to Collagen, they are able to affect the skin on a deep level. Studies have shown that with just 3% of Peptides in a topical formula, research participants experienced highly significant reduction in wrinkles. Aminu’s Copper Peptide Serum targets all signs of ageing while enhancing skin elasticity and integrity. With undiluted Copper Tri-Peptide this miracle serum also treats textural damage, enlarged pores and adult acne.
4. Strengthens Skin
Peptides strengthen proteins and connective tissue in the dermis (thickest layer of the skin), allowing the skin to recover quickly from injury and retain its structure, making skin stronger.
5. Locks in hydration
Peptides are not just protein-builders for the skin, they also promote Hyaluronic acid production which is key to retaining moisture in our skin. Peptides can be taken orally or used topically to realize their hydrating effects. If you are battling with wrinkles, dark circles and crow’s feet around the eyes then Nature Trail’s AM TO PM Under Eye Cream with its powerful Tri-Peptide formula visibly reduces wrinkles and crow’s feet by providing intense hydration to the eye contour.
6. Has Anti-inflammatory Properties
Antioxidants found in Peptides help to soothe and calm the skin, leading to lesser inflammation.
What are the best Peptides for skin?
Different groups of Peptides benefit the skin in different ways. Based on the requirement of your skin, you can choose Peptides from the following subgroups:
1. Carrier Peptides
They transport important elements (like Copper and Manganese) in our bodies to induce wound healing.
2. Enzyme inhibitor Peptides
They work to slow down the skin’s natural breakdown of Collagen and elastin.
3. Signal Peptides
They send messages to different parts of the skin to increase its production of proteins.
4. Neurotransmitter Peptides
They block chemical signals that cause muscle contractions to smooth fine lines and wrinkles.
What are Some Popular Peptides in Skincare Products?
There are hundreds of different Peptides and all of them have a specific purpose and benefit. Some products may contain several combinations of Peptides that work together. When looking for Peptides in skin care products, look for words ending in “Peptide” or beginning with “Palmitoyl.”
Let’s look at some of the most common Peptides in detail:
1. Matrixyl 3000
Often found in moisturiser creams, Matrixyl 3000 stimulates Collagen production and repairs Collagen proteins, reducing fine lines, wrinkles and making the skin firmer.
2. Copper Peptides
Dermatologists recommend moisturisers with Copper Peptides because of their ability to remain on the surface and thus, effectively moisturise the skin. These Peptides are larger hence, difficult for the skin to absorb fully.
According to dermatologists, this synthetic peptide is the closest thing to Botox. This Peptide restricts muscle movement that leads to wrinkle formation.
4. Palmitoyl tripeptides
This synthetic peptide is also known as pal-GHK and works best to reverse skin damage caused by exposure to sun and environmental pollution.
This Peptide acts on specific parts of the skin and is highly effective in evening skin tone, increasing skin elasticity and reducing discoloration.
Who Should Use Peptide Products?
Who doesn’t aspire for a firmer, smoother and healthier skin? So really, anyone can benefit from including Peptides in their skincare. In fact, Peptides can be used as a preventive measure before the signs of ageing start to show. Moreover, peptides are suitable for all skin types and it is okay to use them during pregnancy as well. If you are not sure about your skin type, take this skin test to find out.
How Often Should You Use Peptides?
Peptides are safe to be included in your daily skincare regime and can be used twice in a day. It is rare to experience irritation or sensitivity due to peptide products but it is a good practice to always do a patch test before including any new product in your routine. To know more about conducting a patch test, click here.
To make the most of your Peptide product, you can consider getting a facial peel before using Peptide products as Peptides will be able to penetrate the skin better after a peel.
How Long Does It Take To See Results?
Using Peptide products will gradually make your skin firm and smooth over time. You can start seeing an improvement in your skin after regularly using Peptide products for 3-4 weeks. Consistent use of Peptides holds long term benefits which become clearly visible after 3 to 6 months.
Choosing peptide products
1. Pick the Right form
To reap the maximum benefit of peptide-based products, we would recommend opting for products that are not easily washed off the skin, like moisturiser or serum.
2. Other Ingredients
3. Avoid using with AHAs
Using Peptides with AHAs (alpha hydroxy acid) will make them less effective as acidic pH is not suitable for peptides. To know all about exfoliating acids like AHAs, read our blog.
Whether you are young or old, incorporating Peptides into your skincare regime has multiple benefits. Peptides have already proven to work well for mature skin as it addresses various anti-aging skincare concerns like sagging, fine lines, wrinkles and pigmentation. Furthermore, their exceptional ability to reduce skin damage and strengthen the skin structure makes it a great addition to your skincare ritual – regardless of your age. Afterall, keeping your skin cells healthy and young for a prolonged period of time requires daily attention.
- Shristi Mehra