About Skin Peptides
If you’re looking for the best ingredients offered by skin-care manufacturers, peptides are top of the pile. The skin has natural peptides, which increase its structural strength and keep it firm and plump. However, the peptides used in skin-care products are synthetic. Peptides are basically strands of amino acids, which enter the skin to treat common skin-care problems, such as wrinkles, etc. Due to their effectiveness, peptides as well as products that contain them are often expensive.
Peptides are active ingredients that transmit signals to the cells. Due to age and external factors like stress and the sun, collagen in the skin breaks down, leading to formation of wrinkles. When you apply peptides topically, they send signals to your skin to cause the manufacture of new collagen, making your skin more youthful and supple.
What peptides do
The first ever peptides were used for fighting age, including stimulating elastin, collagen and GAG synthesis (glycoasminoglycans-which give the skin its plumpness).
These days, there are second and third-generation peptides on the market that do much more than fighting age, like treating under-eye circles or hyperpigmentation, reducing cellulite, de-sensitizing sensitive skin, stimulating hair growth, or even treating hair loss.
Types of peptides
There are plenty of different peptides available in the anti-aging skin-care market and they have different roles. Some appear in trade names like Argireline or Matrixyl, and these may be a blend of different peptides. For example, dipeptides and tripeptides are made of two and three amino acids respectively. A tetrapeptide contains four amino acids, etc.
Here are some common skin peptides and how they work:
Argireline (acetyle hexapeptide-8)
This is the most popular of peptides known as neuropeptides. Argireline works by relaxing your facial muscles, thus reducing the formation of wrinkles. This is one of celebrity doctor, Dr. Oz’s favorite anti aging ingredients.
This is another example of a neuropeptide that claims to increase the skin’s smoothness and reduce wrinkle depth.
Matrixyl (Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4)
This first generation peptide is the most common and most studied ingredient in skin-care.
It promotes collagen synthesis and is shown to increase many types of collagen, including type 1 and 4, as well as GAG’s. The effects on the skin are decreased wrinkle volume, wrinkle depth, and skin roughness.
Matrixyl 3000 (Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide/Palmitoyl Oligopeptide)
This is a combination of two different peptides (dual peptide) that work together to promote the process of wound healing. Part of the process involves boosting collagen synthesis. When the skin is wounded, new skin tissue replaces damaged tissue. So, a peptide than can enhance wound healing may also increase collagen in uninjured skin.
Copper peptides combine with copper molecules to perform their function. The peptide and copper molecules combination enters deep into the skin to promote skin healing and collagen growth. Since they hook up with copper molecules and send these molecules through several layers, copper peptides are often very tiny molecules.
Trylagen (Tripeptide-1, Tripeptide-10)
This peptide inhibits the activity of MMP enzymes, which are known to break down elastin, collagen and other proteins. It also increases collagen types 4,3 and 1.
How are peptides used?
In most cases, peptides need time to work but some neuropeptides have immediate effects. Peptides are ideally applied in creams or serums for an extended period of time. Normally, the results can be seen in 4-12 weeks.
Peptides are great ingredients for anti-aging skin-care products. However, as with any other ingredient, they’re not the only option when it comes to making your skin look young and healthy. Remember, the best way to improve the appearance and health of your skin is to use products with a combination of great ingredients and protect your skin from the sun every day.
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