May 05, 2021
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of skincare ingredients around, but only a handful can truly go beyond providing superficial results, and target our skin cells to deliver truly skin rejuvenating benefits. Peptides are one of them.
We have talked about peptides in a few of our articles regarding wrinkles and hydration. But what exactly are peptides, and what do they do for the skin?
Peptides are made up of amino acids that are fragments of proteins needed by the skin, like collagen and elastin. When amino acids are combined in certain formations they create specific peptides, which in turn become specific proteins that make up the skin’s foundation, and are responsible for its texture, strength and resilience.
Researches over the years have shown that different peptides work in very specific ways to target an exact skin care need, and they also teach skin how to help revitalize its building blocks and revive aging skin. Using products with peptides topically is like sending little messengers to the skin, which trigger the skin to perform specific functions like building collagen and elastin, fight free radicals, and reduce inflammations, depending on the type of peptide used.
Let’s get into some of the peptides commonly found in contemporary skincare products.
Collagen is vital for young and healthy looking skin, but with age, the skin produces less collagen. Palmitoyl tripeptide-5 can enter epidermis and can penetrate deep into the dermis, where it works on the specific skin receptors and stimulates the production of collagen in the skin. It thus firms the skin, and reduces wrinkles and fine-lines. This peptide also stimulates hyaluronic acid and elastin synthesis. The combine effect is increased water content and elasticity, and less wrinkles Additionally, it supports the healthy functioning of the skin cells and helps in removal of toxins. In a clinical study, 77% of the participants saw significant visible improvement in firmness and elasticity, and 60% noticed significant reduction in the appearance of pore size after 4 weeks.
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Suitable for even sensitive skin, this peptide works with aquaporins, a protein naturally found in the skin, to regulate the way water moves between the basal layers of the epidermis and the stratum corneum to improve overall hydration, and balance adequate hydration between different skin layers, thereby alleviating signs of dehydration and dryness.
In vitro studies, Acetyl Hexapeptide-37 has also shown to boost the synthesis of collagen I by 61%. This means tighter, firmer skin, with fewer fine lines and wrinkles.
Also called Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1 is a messenger peptide that directly stimulates collagen I, glycosaminoglycan (chains of polysaccharides linked to a central protein in the dermis of the skin, for example, hyaluronic acid), and fibrillogenesis, and reinforces the epidermis. Result are similar to retinoic acid but without the irritations. Many studies and clinical trials have found that applying it twice daily for at least four weeks can result in statistically significant reductions in wrinkle length, depth and skin roughness. It also helps decrease the appearance of pores, and help the skin retain moisture.
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Acting as a cellular messenger, studies have shown that Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 can significantly stimulates the regeneration of collagen fibers in the dermis and the production of hyaluronic acid in the skin, which helps reduce wrinkles, as well as tighten skin by attracting moisture to the epidermis.
In addition, it reduces inflammatory cytokines, known as interleukins, which in turn, reduces the cumulative damage that UV radiation, pollution, stress, and other pro-inflammatory factors bring to the skin. Studies have shown Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 reduces interleukin production by 86% after UV exposure. It has also been shown to lighten pigmentation, and even skin tone. Some studies suggest it may help in reducing the appearance of rosacea.
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Found in soybean and rice bran proteins, clinical studies have discovered that soy and rice peptides stimulate collagen and glycosaminoglycans synthesis and fade areas of UV-induced pigmentation, which help reduce fine lines, undereye dark circles, puffiness, and boost hydration level as much as 35% after 8 weeks of usage. As an antioxidant, they also have the ability in reducing inflammation and oxidative damage.
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