Peptides are one of the most popular powerhouse ingredients in skin care. They can stimulate collagen production, reduce inflammation, relax facial muscles and increase elastin. Peptides can also help your skin look firmer, smoother and more youthful overall, while dramatically reducing the appearance of wrinkles. Here, we delve a little deeper to help you get acquainted with these remarkable compounds essential for youthful, healthy-looking skin.
Peptides are formed when amino acid fragments are linked together by means of a peptide bond. Two linked amino acids form a dipeptide. Three linked amino acids form a tripeptide etc. There are hundreds of different types of peptide combinations and each has a different effect on skin, from smoothing wrinkles or repairing the skin barrier to increase firmness and hydration. The major contribution of peptides in anti-aging skin care is their remarkable ability to increase collagen production. Collagen, along with elastin, is the protein that forms the structure of skin, keeping skin firm, plump, smooth and youthful. Collagen production declines significantly as we age. Environmental and lifestyle factors like UV, pollution, and smoking can also degrade collagen. The reduction of collagen results in sagging, wrinkles, loss of elasticity and firmness in the skin.
Peptides in Skin Care
Peptides in skin care are a way to help alleviate this problem by stimulating collagen synthesis (production) when applied in a serum or cream. How this is achieved is a matter of debate as some experts say that peptides exceed the 500 Daltons Rule meaning they should not be able to pass thru the skin barrier due to their molecular size and would, therefore, have little impact on skin. However many studies suggest that peptides can dramatically improve collagen synthesis and skin appearance.
One theory is that peptides work through “cell signaling.” Cells have the ability to communicate with each other to coordinate certain actions. It appears that peptides used in skincare are able to mimic some of these cell-signaling processes. According to research from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), when collagen is degraded, peptides signal skin cells to produce more collagen. Synthetic peptides have been developed that can mimic these naturally occurring peptides. When applied topically they can cause the skin to think collagen is depleted and trigger the production of more.
One study featuring 20 female participants between the ages of 40 and 62 found that a collagen-like peptide applied directly to the skin significantly improved appearance, making skin look smoother while also acting “deeply and intensely on wrinkles.” Both the depth and length of wrinkles were reduced. (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15648443).
A double-blind study with a control group found that application of a topical product containing palmitoyl pentapeptide-3 effectively increased the production of collagen and provided significant improvements and reductions in fine lines. (International Journal of Cosmetic Science).
Peptides can even be taken orally, and there are studies to prove that daily oral supplementation helped increase skin hydration, increase collagen density and decrease collagen fragmentation. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26362110)
Types of Peptides
Signal Peptides mimic the natural signaling processes of cells, triggering the production of collagen, and elastin and promoting skin firmness, strength, suppleness, and elasticity. This is the most widely used category of peptides and includes popular Tripeptide-29, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, and Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-3.
Carrier Peptides enhance the delivery of trace amounts of copper and manganese into skin cells. These minerals assist in wound healing, increase collagen production, and act as anti-inflammatories and antioxidants. These include copper tripeptide and manganese tripeptide-1.
Neurotransmitter Peptides are peptides that relax. They work by inhibiting the release of chemicals that cause muscle contractions. This prevents the formation of fine lines and wrinkles and minimizes their depth and appearance. They are promoted as a non-invasive alternative to Botox. These include Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Acetyl Octapeptide-3, Diaminobutyroyl Benzylamide Diacetate.
Enzyme Inhibitor Peptides work to disrupt the processes of enzymes like TAT-superoxide dismutase and proteinases. They are often derived from botanicals and include soybean peptide, silk fibroin peptide, black rice oligopeptides. They are useful in minimizing melanin production, inflammation, photo-damage and the destruction of the dermal matrix.
Determine what you want to achieve in your skin care regime and select products that contain peptides that target those skin concerns. Our BLISS NMF | Transformative Moisture Mist contains Yeast Oligopeptide and Soy Amino Acid (Non-GMO Soy Peptide) which help skin retain moisture and stimulate collagen production promoting firmer, smoother more elastic skin. Soy is also a wonderful source of isoflavones. Isoflavones have been shown to protect the skin against the effects of hormone-related aging, such as in menopause.
Our HARMONY Omega 3|6 Recovery Serum features Tripeptide-29, a signaling peptide that significantly stimulates collagen production, plumps, and firms the skin and diminishes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles for a more youthful appearance.
It can take up to four to six weeks to notice a difference, so be patient and apply twice a day, particularly at night to see results from these superstar ingredients.