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What Do Peptides Do For The Skin?

What Do Peptides Do For The Skin?


Every day, it seems there's a new trendy skincare ingredient claiming to transform your skin, but peptides are one you won't want to overlook. Peptides, also known as polypeptides, naturally occur in the skin and are included in many skincare products for good reason. So what do peptides do for the skin? These short chains of amino acids are crucial for making proteins like collagen, which can lead to firmer, younger-looking skin.

While some claims about peptides are exaggerated, they genuinely offer benefits worth noting. As we age, collagen production decreases, causing wrinkles and uneven skin tone, so a peptide face cream might make a valuable addition to your skincare routine to stimulate collagen production and improve skin appearance.


What Are Peptides?

Peptides are protein fragments made of amino acids that form specific peptides, which in turn create essential proteins like collagen and elastin, crucial for maintaining skin integrity. Without these proteins, skin loses firmness, develops wrinkles, and undergoes textural changes. Research shows that peptides work in precise ways to address specific skincare needs, teaching the skin to revitalize its building blocks and rejuvenate aging skin.


What Do Peptides Do For The Skin?

Peptides are powerful skin-restoring ingredients that promote a youthful appearance by nourishing and revitalizing the skin's moisture and antimicrobial barrier, known as the microbiome. In addition to forming collagen, peptides are essential for elastin fibers, which contribute to firmer and tighter skin. Their ability to rejuvenate skin's building blocks enhances its resilience and overall health. Here are the benefits of peptides for various skincare concerns:

Boost Skin Barrier: Peptides strengthen the skin's barrier, improving moisture retention and protecting against environmental stressors and harmful bacteria.

Reduce Wrinkles: Peptides stimulate collagen production, helping to smooth out fine lines and wrinkles, resulting in a more youthful complexion.

Loss of Firmness: By boosting elastin and collagen, peptides restore skin's elasticity and firmness, making it look tauter and more lifted.

Dullness: Peptides enhance cell turnover and improve skin texture, leading to a brighter, more radiant complexion.


How To Choose A Peptide Product

Finding a product that combines the power of peptides with protective packaging and effective supporting ingredients can be challenging, but it's essential for maximizing benefits. Peptides work best in leave-on products like peptide serums, peptide face cream, and eye creams, where they have prolonged contact with the skin. Avoid peptides in rinse-off products like cleansers, as they don’t have enough time to hydrate or replenish the skin.

Packaging matters too: peptides should be stored in airtight, opaque containers to prevent degradation from light and air. When shopping for peptide products, choose formulations with additional beneficial ingredients like ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and antioxidants, and ensure peptides are listed prominently on the ingredient list, often as “palmitoyl.” Avoid pairing peptides with alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), as they can reduce peptide efficacy.


What Are The Most Common Types of Peptides:

Peptides can be challenging to identify on ingredient lists due to their long names, but there are easy ways to recognize them. Look for ingredient names ending in 'peptide' or starting with 'palmitoyl,' often followed by numbers. While not all peptides follow these rules, they're helpful guidelines. Familiar examples include:

Tridecapeptide-1: Helps reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles.

Palmitoyl Dipeptide-10: Possesses Skin Conditioning and Anti-Aging Benefits.

Sh-polypeptide-121: Vegan peptide that soothes the skin and mimic’s skin’s own collagen.

Tetrapeptide 72: This peptide helps build up the structure of the skin.

Tripeptide-5: Helps with plumpness and youthfulness of the skin.

Some peptides, like glutathione, carnosine, and silk protein, may not seem like peptides at first glance but chemically, they are. Understanding these tips makes it easier to spot peptides in skincare products.


Are Peptides Safe For Skin?

Peptides have a proven safety record for all skin types and tones. The Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel's reports from 2017, 2018, and 2022 confirm their safety in cosmetics at current preparations and concentrations. Their gentle, hydrating nature and high compatibility with skin contribute to their overall safety, and many peptides, like sh-polypeptide-121, also offer soothing benefits. Peptides can also be taken as supplements or injectables to boost health, though these methods are less effective for skin concerns. For safety information on these forms, consult your doctor.


Are The Benefits of Peptides Exaggerated?

While peptides can address many skin concerns, the hype around them is often exaggerated. Peptides can significantly benefit the skin but cannot replace cosmetic procedures, as some companies claim. No single ingredient can solve all aging and skin issues. The best approach is using products like moisturizers and serums that combine peptides with antioxidants, skin-restoring substances, and daily broad-spectrum sunscreen to visibly improve skin health and appearance.


Our Best Peptide Products

Augustinus Bader The Cream

This nourishing yet lightweight formula is clinically proven to reduce the signs of aging including the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation.


Glytone Age Defying Peptide+ Overnight Restorative Cream

A restorative cream featuring a powerful tetrapeptide complex that helps firm skin, support the density of collagen fibers and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.


Elemis Peptide4 Overnight Radiance Peel

Formulated with a blend of skin-smoothing acids with AHAs and nourishing botanical oils, this gentle milky peel works the night shift to leave skin looking and feeling silky smooth and brilliantly bright by morning.


Peter Thomas Roth Peptide21 Wrinkle Resist Eye Cream

Packed with 21 Peptides and Neuropeptides, this wrinkle-fighting, anti-aging eye cream visibly helps improve the look of crow’s feet, fine lines, deep wrinkles, darkness and puffiness.


Yon-Ka Elastine Jour

A luxurious daytime moisturizer that targets major signs of aging for a skin transformation. Infused with plumping peptides, antioxidant vitamins, and a complex of 19 amino acids.