Peptides in skin care are hot in our industry these days, but what does it really mean? In this post, we will explore what peptides are and how they can really benefit the health of your skin.
Let’s start with what a peptide is: it is a short chain of amino acids that link together to form a protein. You may be wondering ‘what’s an amino acid?’ Amino acids are organic compounds comprised of four elements: carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, and hydrogen. Our bodies create peptides in large amounts every day. Certain peptides help regulate vital functions in the body such as hormones. Well known glycoprotein hormones includes FSH (follicle stimulating hormone), LH (luteinizing hormone), and HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin). These hormones are all essential to regulating a woman’s menstrual cycle and ovulation. The peptides serve to signal certain actions to take place within the body.
What does this all have to do with skin? Just like peptides work together inside the body to signal production of healthy bodily functions, they can work together in the skin to regulate healthy skin functions. Cosmetic peptides are not the same as what our body creates, but they can transmit signals to the skin cells to perform certain actions.
A large majority of peptides used in skin care are focused on creating what we all want: more collagen! Some examples of this ingredient are Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4 (AKA Matrixyl), Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, and Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7. Do you notice how they all have the word ‘peptide’ in their name? That is a clear indication that peptides are present in the ingredients, and may likely point towards signaling more collagen production in the skin. We love collagen when trying to reverse the signs of aging and damage and create new, fresh, beautiful skin.
Hopefully this helps to explain a little bit more about peptides in skin care, and how they can benefit the health and appearance of your skin. As always, check the ingredients label in your product to understand what is really in there, and how it will serve your skin.