More than a buzzy ingredient, peptides are a skincare POWERHOUSE! But what are they and why do they belong in your skincare routine?
Peptides are short chains of amino acids that control many functions in the body. Researchers are studying their enormous potential to treat serious diseases like cancer, reduce inflammation, kill microbes and yes, reverse signs of aging.
As you get older, your body makes less collagen and elastin—the proteins that give your skin texture, shape and resilience. Peptides in skincare trigger your body to produce more of these proteins.
A clinical study published in International Journal of Cosmetic Science found that peptides significantly improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, overall hydration levels and help fight UVB-induced inflammation. A separate study demonstrated the effectiveness of Palmitoyl Oligopeptide in significantly stimulating collagen production and skin firmness over a period of 6 months. In short, peptides keep us from looking like that shriveled, dry, spotty piece of fruit in the back of the fridge!
Two reasons peptides are so effective in skincare. First, they are the puppet master, telling cells what to do and tricking your skin into acting (and looking) younger. Second, peptides are incredibly versatile. They can contain up to 50 amino acids in a chain and swapping out just one of these produces different benefits and functions. Scientists are constantly discovering new configurations and possibilities.
3 RULES FOR BUYING PEPTIDE PRODUCTS
- Choose a brand you trust, developed by an expert who works with skin. In order for peptides to be effective, the product must contain the exact, functional amount recommended by the chemists who developed it. Many brands ignore the science and instead include a miniscule amount just so they can list a “peptide” on the label.
- Look for opaque packaging and a pump bottle. Peptides degrade in sunlight. Avoid see-through bottles or jars that you have to open with each use.
- Go for leave-on products like creams or lotions. Peptides work when they penetrate the top layer of your skin. A peptide cleanser that washes off probably doesn’t do much and is a sign a company has chosen hype over science.
Pep-Revive Daily Moisturizer (formerly Intense Moisturizer) contains efficacious levels of Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-12 (a.k.a. Palmitoyl Oligopeptide).