What Are Peptides in Skincare?

Lately, we’ve all been seeing and hearing more about skincare products with peptides, but what do they actually do for your skin? Well, let us start by telling you it’s a powerful antiaging ingredient you don’t want to miss out on. These tiny fragments of protein have the ability to instruct your skin to repair and rejuvenate itself, encouraging your skin to look and act younger. It can help smooth fine lines and wrinkles while restoring firmness and plumpness back to your skin. 

Did we pique your interest? Great! Let’s talk about this.

So, what exactly are peptides? 

Peptides are short chains of amino acids which are the building blocks of proteins in your body. Your skin is comprised mainly of collagen, a protein made of long chains of amino acids. Inevitably, over time, collagen breaks down, leading to the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, a loss of firmness and skin that doesn’t bounce back as it once did. When collagen breaks down, tiny fragments are formed known as peptides. These types of peptides act as little messengers that signal your skin to produce new collagen to repair itself.  

There are hundreds of peptides, some are naturally occurring in your body, while others are engineered in laboratories to mimic the function of natural peptides.  

Peptides in skin care can boost collagen production.

When we topically apply signal peptides, your skin thinks that they are collagen breakdown products. These signal peptides essentially trick your fibroblasts (collagen and elastin-producing skin cells) to manufacture new collagen to increase the skin’s firmness and elasticity. Very clever right? 

Now, signal peptides are just one type of peptide. There are many different types to serve different purposes in your body.

Three main categories of skincare peptides:

When used in skincare, peptides can be categorized into three main categories: signal peptides, carrier peptides, and neurotransmitter peptides.

Signal peptides: act as tiny cell communicators that send messages to your skin cells, instructing them to perform specific functions such as building new collagen and elastin. The purpose of signal peptides is to create a biological response and affect a certain outcome in the skin.

Carrier peptides: are facilitators designed to deliver trace elements such as copper and magnesium (think copper peptides) to where they need to go to assist with wound repair and enzymatic processes. These trace minerals have been proven to improve collagen production, and therefore the skin’s appearance and resilience. 

Neurotransmitter inhibitor peptides: work by inhibiting acetylcholine release by a variety of chemical interactions. By blocking the nerve signals that activate muscular contractions, it relaxes the facial muscles that lead to expression wrinkles. You can think of this as topical Botox.  

Peptides can address many skin concerns.

There are many benefits of adding peptides to your skincare such as:

– Helping improve your skin barrier and hydration

– Aiding in a reversal of aging processes 

– Providing stimulation of natural growth factors in your skin

– Boosting collagen and skin elasticity 

– Reducing the look of undereye bags and puffiness

– May help provide a botox-like effect on the skin by ‘freezing’ the muscle under the skin

– Aiding in healing wounds  

Typically, you can find peptides as a key ingredient in a lot of anti-aging products including Cleansers, Moisturisers, Serums and Eye Creams. While there are many different options, the best way to include peptides as a part of your daily skincare routine is to choose based on your specific skin concerns. For example, if you are looking to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and puffiness around your eyes, we would recommend going for an eye cream with peptides as the main ingredient. 

Here at GMA, we decided to put together some of our favorites go to antiaging products that contain peptides:

If you would like to speak with one of our #GMASkinexperts to see how we can help you with your skincare regimen that works best for your unique skin, don’t hesitate to contact us for a complementary consultation.

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