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Peptides: Understanding the New Skincare Obsession!

by Anant Khare 01 Apr 2022

The skincare industry (like any other industry) is not immune to changing trends and keeps on having its favourite ingredient. Though some ingredients are more hype than action, others are really worth it!

One such recent trend is peptides. Peptides have become quite popular among skincare enthusiasts and if you are also considering hopping onto this wagon, then read on as we cover some important aspects of this new wonder ingredient!

What are peptides?

Before we explain that to you, you need to understand what amino acids are.
Peptides (also known as polypeptides) are small strings of amino acids that act as building blocks of proteins like collagen, elastin and keratin. These proteins are the foundations of your skin and are responsible for its texture, strength and resilience. Lack of peptides can make your skin lose its firmness and lead to the appearance of wrinkles and uneven skin tone.

They occur naturally in the skin but are also included in many skin care products like face serums, moisturizers and so on.

So, if peptides are already present in the body, why do we even need them?

The answer is pretty simple - ageing! As we age, our skin loses its ability to produce peptides and other essential enzymes that help in keeping our skin tight and youthful. That’s why many of us switch to retinol serums and other anti-ageing products.

Topical application of peptides triggers the skin cells to perform specific functions that encourage the skin to look and act younger. There are different types of peptides that function differently:

Types of peptides

There are hundreds of peptides, but when it comes to skincare, not all of them are created equal. There are some specific peptides that are more efficacious for the skin. Let’s have a look at various types of peptides and what can they do for our skin:

Neurotransmitter peptides: They are found in injectables like Botox and topical treatments - both relax facial muscles, so they do not contract. They help in reducing wrinkles, laughter and worry lines.

Signal peptides: They are one of the most common peptides in skincare. They are an active ingredient in any best facial serum or moisturizer. They stimulate collagen and elastin production and make the skin appear firmer and fuller.

Carrier peptides: As the name suggests, they play a role in delivering trace elements like copper and magnesium to the skin. These elements help in improving collagen production and combat the appearance of photoaging skin by brightening age spots.

Enzyme-inhibitor peptides: They work by putting brakes on the body’s natural process of reducing the production of collagen over time.

benefits of using peptides on the skin

Incorporating peptides in your skincare routine can be beneficial in many ways:

- Improved skin barrier

They go deep into your skin and help in building up a strong barrier against bacteria, UV rays, pollution and other toxins.

- Reduced wrinkles

As they can boost the production of collagen and collagen can plump skin and lips, you can notice fewer wrinkles and fine lines.

- Increased elasticity in skin

In addition to collagen, peptides also make up the elastin fibres (a type of protein). This makes the skin look firmer and tauter.

- Eases inflammation

Antioxidants found in peptides can also help in reducing inflammation even skin tone and repair damaged skin.

How to use peptides?

While peptides are special, they are not enough! Additionally, this ingredient has found its way to shelves in so many products like serums, face washes, moisturizers, masks and more; it becomes too difficult to decide upon which one to buy and how to use. Here’s how to shop for peptides:

- Pick the right form:

Peptides are now present in a plethora of skincare products like creams, face serums, masks, moisturizers, face washes and exfoliators. At the same time, it is important to choose the right form of product to get maximum results. We advise going for products that have prolonged contact with your skin. For example, using the best face serum with peptides will make more sense than going for a peptide infused face wash or exfoliator as it will rinse off.

- Choose your ingredients wisely:

Peptides work well in tandem with other ingredients. But it would help if you were careful about choosing the right ingredients. For example, they work well with Vit C and niacinamide, antioxidants and hyaluronic acids. Please be careful that you do not use niacinamide serums with Vit C. Using a peptide with an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) will not be that effective.

- Look at the label:

You ideally want to see peptides listed close to the top of the ingredient list. They may also be listed as “palmitoyl.”

Are there any side effects of peptides?

If applied topically, peptides do not show any major side effects. However, some people might experience some symptoms like rash, skin sensitivity or itching. In such a scenario, you should consult with your dermatologist and have a look at the combination of ingredients in your skincare products. You can also go for a product that has a lesser percentage of the peptides.


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