If you pay attention to anti-aging skin care ingredients, then you’ve probably heard of peptides. Science has proven that peptides can reduce wrinkles in your skin. But what are they and how exactly do they work? I’d like to explain in a way that’s easy to understand.
Human skin is made up mostly of collagen. Collagen is a protein that provides a foundation and thickness for skin. Generally speaking, people under 30 have plenty of collagen – which results in smooth, tight skin. People over 30 have less collagen – which makes the skin thinner and shows more wrinkles.
Collagen is reduced over time with age and the environment (like sunlight). Your body naturally produces peptides when collagen deteriorates – just not enough to keep a youthful appearance. Peptides send a message to your skin that it has lost collagen and needs to create more. When peptides in skin care products are applied, your skin receives that same message – that collagen has been broken down and your body needs to manufacture new collagen. Initially, the research on peptides was done in connection with wound healing. Published studies showed peptides to be helpful in causing cells in the skin to produce more collagen as part of the body’s natural response to help skin heal.
Some of the peptide names you may run across in skin care products include Argirelene, Acetyl Octapeptide-3, Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, and Matrixyl to name a few. Argirelene works by causing facial muscles to relax. When facial tension and movement is not permitted, fibers are protected from the strain forced on them by the hundreds of expressions made everyday. With less strain, the collagen and elastin fibers are able to keep the skin smooth and line free. Octapeptide is a version of Argirelene which does the same thing with reducing muscle contractions. Oligopeptide not only increases collagen production, but also hyaluronic acid production – which means increased hydration for your skin.
I personally like using peptides over other anti-aging ingredients such as Retin-A or retinoids. Retin-A is known for reducing fine lines and wrinkles, but it comes with a price of the following side effects: thinning skin, redness, flaking, peeling, dry skin and sun sensitivity.