What Are Peptides?
You've heard of peptides before, but you are about to hear about it a lot more come 2022. It’s already an enormous part of the skincare industry, and for good reason: peptides are beneficial to your skin, helping to stimulate collagen production and reduce uneven skin tone, fine lines, redness, and more.
This is not a trend that will go away, so it’s time to buckle in and learn a little more about peptides. How do peptides work? What the heck are they? How do you get them? Here’s everything we know about peptides, including why you should be incorporating them into your skincare routine.
Okay, So What Are Peptides?
Peptides, also known as polypeptides, are the result of amino acids coming together. If you think back to 12th grade Chemistry (it has been a while for us, too), you will remember that amino acids are the building blocks of larger protein molecules. Of course, because your skin is so delicate, large complex proteins can’t penetrate the skin. That’s where peptides come in. They make up certain proteins that help yield healthy, luminous skin.
For example, collagen is made of three polypeptide chains; adding more to your skin can help stimulate collagen production. Collagen, as you know, creates firmer, more beautiful skin.
Beyond that, though, peptides are actually essential to how the body functions. In addition to being the building blocks of proteins that are important to skin structure and function like collagen, peptides are also the building blocks for enzymes, hormones, and an energy source for our bodies. Peptides are very important!
You actually already have peptides. They naturally occur in your skin. But, as with almost everything else in our bodies, its production decreases as you age. The slow decrease of peptides in your skin can lead to uneven, dull, and wrinkled skin.
What Are All the Benefits of Peptides?
The benefits of peptides are many. Because so many of the proteins that your skin needs in order to be healthy are far too large to be absorbed
Peptides can improve your skin barrier, which is your body’s natural line of defense against UV rays, pollution, and other toxins. Since your skin barrier can easily be damaged, it is important to help build up a stronger one with peptides.
As mentioned previously, peptides create collagen, the protein that helps skin become firmer and more plump, which makes existing wrinkles and fine lines less visible. Every year after we turn 30, we lose 1 percent of collagen, making it an essential protein that we should seek out. Another protein, elastin, also helps to do the same and is generated by peptides. (And yes, elastin does help make your skin more elastic!)
Another benefit of peptides is that it may help to ease inflammation and repair damaged skin. Considering how we encounter so many pollutants on a daily basis, it’s important to reverse the effects of damaged skin.
Should I Use Peptides?
Yes! It is clear that peptides are crucial to keeping your skin youthful. It is safe to use on all skin types, and it is the perfect thing to add to any anti-aging skincare routine. The factor that is most worth considering is the form in which you apply the peptides. Serums and moisturizers are great vehicles for peptides, as it allows for the ingredient to sink into your skin. When it comes to peptides, a good rule of thumb is to use a product that stays on your face, as opposed to using one that instructs you to wash it off, like a cleanser.
Be wary of how you pair products. Though peptides work well with many other ingredients, like niacinamide, vitamin C, and hyaluronic acids, using it in conjunction with an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) will reduce the efficacy of peptides.
Evidently, peptides are very important to the health of your skin. Are you using peptides? If not, will you start incorporating it into your daily routine?