Peptides are these amazing short chain amino acids–the building blocks of proteins! They’re often combined in anti-aging products to tackle the decreased production of collagen and elastin. Some can provide other benefits as well and without irritation. Some peptides calm inflammation and promote wound healing. Acetyl Hexapeptide-3, a neuropeptide, sends a signal to relax muscles to prevent wrinkle formation. Decapeptide-12 or lumixyl is a tyrosinase inhibiting peptide that prevents the formation of melanin therefore preventing hyperpigmentation. In the treatment room, I use peptides after a glycolic or lactic acid peel because the skin is better prepared to drink in the peptides. Skin recovery mode is kicked up and I see better results from the peels with an increased radiance and smoother texture to the skin.
I’m excited to see where peptides take us in the future. I think there is potential here for products that can build collagen and elastin while at the same time preserve the barrier function of the skin. They work so well with other know collagen building treatments and home care products.
My biggest tip here is to read product labels to make sure that the serum or cream professing to contain peptides actually has a decent percentage. I always read my labels before I buy. My general rule of thumb is to see them listed in the top half of the ingredient deck. Peptide products tend to be more expensive so make sure you get what you pay for. To see how the FDA requires cosmetic products to be labeled click here.