Have you ever incorporated peptides into your skincare routine? You might not know this, but peptides are in moisturizers, serums, and a lot of collagen supplements. They are known for anti-aging, smoothing, repairing and hydrating properties. But what exactly are they? And how do they affect the skin?
Below, we break down all you need to know about peptides, how they work, how to get them, and what to look for.
What are peptides?
Made out of amino acids (the building blocks of proteins), keratin, and elastin — peptides are a small molecule that can penetrate the skin easier than collagen. Without peptides, you’d experience dry hair, brittle nails, and wrinkles. Essentially, they help the skin hold its firmness and elasticity.
How can my skin benefit from them?
Not to get too scientific, but the sad truth is that we lose 1% of collagen per year after the age of 30. Translation: Our skin’s communication channels start to slow down. Applying peptides signals to the body that it should produce more collagen.
For example, if you are experiencing fine lines or wrinkles, peptides will work hard to alert collagen and hyaluronic acid to pump back into your skin — creating a healthy, and optimal skin barrier.
Because they work to help direct the skin to produce more collagen, it’s a great anti-aging source, leading to less fine lines and wrinkles. Additionally, because they have anti-inflammatory properties, they can also decrease inflammation, irritation, redness, and even out skin tone.
Finally, peptides help improve the skin barrier to protect it from pollution, bacteria, ultraviolet rays, and other toxins.
Are there any risks?
To start with, peptides are great for anyone interested in decreasing inflammation, reducing wrinkles and fine lines, and aiming for firmer and tighter skin. And because your body makes them naturally, it is completely safe to get more with skincare products. The only side effect you might have is a bit of irritation, although it is rare.
What products should I get?
Most dermatologists will suggest serums or moisturizers, so you can ensure it will stay on the skin and penetrate, rather than wash off like a face wash. Not to mention, peptides work well with hyaluronic acid and Vitamin C, so it should be a rather seamless add to any skincare routine.
When selecting a product, look at the label and make sure it begins with “palmitoyl.”
Before expecting a product to work instantly, understand how long it takes for a skincare product to actually work and show results.
Photo via Getty