It’s been said that what can’t be done alone, can be done together, and that’s kind of the concept behind what peptides do for skin. Like a lot of skin care ingredients, peptides, like, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1, and Dipeptide Diaminobutyroyl Benzylamide Diacetate get a lot of buzz and yet even skin care mavens rarely understand what they are—or how to pronounce them!
Luckily, you don’t have to be able to pronounce them to benefit from peptides, which is why in this article we’ll discuss what peptides are, 10 benefits of peptides, different types of peptides, and how to use peptides in your skin care routine.
What are Peptides?
In a nutshell, peptides are little pieces of protein composed of amino acids. Those amino acids are capable of doing different things and thus, when certain amino acids are grouped together, they form different peptides that perform different functions. Found naturally in the skin as well as in many foods, they are often referred to as “building blocks” because they are used together to perform certain tasks for the skin.
Think of peptides as a little pile of bricks in your skin that perform certain functions depending on how you configure them. They might help firm the skin or they might help minimize the look of fine lines; it all depends on the kind of peptide you’re talking about.
As we said, peptides are found naturally in the skin, but as time goes on, peptides become less effective (especially after you hit 30!). That’s why it’s a good idea to look for peptides in your skin care—so your skin can get that little extra boost that time has taken away!
10 Benefits of Peptides
Remember, peptides aren’t just one trick ponies! They’ll perform a myriad of functions--it just depends on how they’re configured and what you’re trying to get them to do.
Here are just a few of the functions peptides perform:
1. Peptides help hydrate the skin.
If you have dry skin, you REALLY need to look for peptides in your skin care as they provide a fresh and revitalized appearance to dry skin!
2. They firm and tighten the skin.
Time is hard on skin, which is why it’s always great to find a product that helps firm up those areas that have, well, shall we say, “gone south?” Peptides are great for this!
3. They help alleviate temporary discomfort.
If you have sensitive skin, take note! Peptides seriously help skin discomfort so the next time your skin is behaving badly, get some peptides to whip it into shape!
4. They leave skin feeling smoother and calmer.
It’s amazing how stress, environmental factors, and even diet can make skin look and feel like it’s on a roller coaster. Peptides can really help calm skin down (sadly, as far as we know it cannot do the same for the mind!).
5. They help beautify the skin.
Have you ever gone through one of those long, lazy periods–maybe after finishing a big project at work or during a staycation–where you just wear sweats for what seems like months on end and barely remember the last time you even washed your face (even though we recommend doing it twice a day!)? You know how great it feels when you finally get your act together to put on some real clothes and some make-up? That’s sort of how peptides often work. They sense that your skin could use a pick-me up and then get to work!
6. They’re anti-aging.
Seriously, anyone over 30 not seeking out peptides in their skin care routine is missing a great anti-aging tool. From keeping the skin tight and firm to making sure it stays hydrated, peptides should be a part of your routine no matter what your age!
7. They minimize the appearance of large pores.
Those of us with large pores know how hard it is to minimize their appearance. Peptides are a big help in that area!
8. They lessen the appearance of occasional redness.
If you suffer from occasional redness you know how tough it can be to mask it. Peptides can offer some relief in that area!
9. They give skin back its natural glow.
By caring for the skin with its natural defenses, peptides help restore skin’s vitality and glow!
10. They protect the skin.
Some peptides act as antioxidants, helping to protect the skin against environmental stressors that can harm it!
Different Types of Peptides for Skin
As we mentioned above, different kinds of peptides do different things, which is why it’s important to have some grasp of which peptides do what.
Here are just a few different kinds of peptides you’ll find in skin care:
Matrixyl 3000 – If you’ve ever cooked anything in your life, you probably know that once you’ve added all the basic ingredients to a dish, you pick up the salt and pepper shaker and season the whole meal. It’s just a little thing but it makes an enormous difference in taste.
The peptide matrixyl 3000 is like the salt and pepper of peptides. Composed of two different peptides (palmitoyl oligopeptide and palmitoyl-tetrapeptide-7), it works to provide skin a fresh and revitalized appearance.
Signaling peptides – Signaling peptides work by sending little messages to proteins and acids in your skin to tell them they should start working. Without them, those natural ingredients in your skin might get a little lazy!
Carrier peptides – Carrier peptides help bring necessary ingredients to skin to help beautify it, almost like little freight elevators for the skin!
Copper peptides – Copper peptides are thought to act as antioxidants that protect the skin against environmental stressors. This is super important given what our skin gets hit with every day of our lives.
How To Use Peptides In Your Skin Care
Peptides known as topical peptides (as opposed to peptides you might ingest either via food or vitamins) are often found in skin care products due to their ability to help the skin essentially take care of itself.
Incorporating peptides into your routine is just a matter of choosing the right products. Here are a few suggestions of peptide-rich products!
Here’s how to incorporate peptides into your regular skin care routine!
1. Cleanse the skin.
No matter what season it is, what kind of skin type you have, what age you are, a good skin care routine starts with a clean face! Clean your skin twice a day with a gentle cleanser that will remove dirt and oil without drying out your skin.
All you have to do to cleanse the skin is rub a few pumps worth into the skin and rinse off with lukewarm water.
2. Apply toner.
Toning the skin is a crucial step that helps keep oils balanced and skin hydrated. A few spritzes of a simple toner made for all skin types does the job in seconds!
3. Apply serum.
Not applying serum as part of a daily skin care routine is like not putting a bow on a well-wrapped package. As we mentioned, peptides do certain jobs based on what you want them to do and the peptides found in many serums are fantastic for brightening skin tone in particular! Of course, serums also soften the appearance of fine lines, and reduce the appearance of dark spots.
A few little drops of your favorite serum on each cheek should be enough to do the job!
4. Moisturize the skin.
Nothing goes to work on fine lines and wrinkles like moisturizer but if it’s chock full of peptides, it can also help tame redness in skin and help even out skin tone. That’s why we’ve included Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 (found in Matrixyl 3000) in our Crème de la Cream moisturizer!
Since our moisturizer is made for all skin types, you can apply it everywhere except for the skin around your eyes.
5. Use eye cream.
Unfortunately, the skin around the eye area produces very, very little oil, making it prone to fine lines and wrinkles, dark circles, and general puffiness. That’s why we use Matrixyl 3000 which contains the peptide, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1, in our Eyes, Eyes Baby Eye Cream. It brings a fresh and revitalized appearance to the delicate skin in that area!
Just dab a bit around the eye area, using your ring finger to make sure you’re not tugging on that fragile skin.
6. Detox with a mask.
In addition to your daily routine, one of the best ways to look after your skin is to make sure you’re really getting in deep to take out dirt and oil and really nourish the skin. We’ve included peptides like Acetyl Hexapeptide-1 in our Prince Charcoal Natural Detox Mask to help calm the skin down as well as Diaminobutyroyl Benzylamide Diacetate, which is a very snazzy term for a peptide that helps fight the signs of aging. Not only that, but it will help clean out your pores and nourish your skin!
We recommend using Prince Charcoal one-to-three times a week, but if you’ve got skin that’s on the oilier side, feel free to use more often. Apply evenly to skin right after you’ve completed your normal skin care routine. Try not to move your face too much for about ten minutes, and then rinse off with lukewarm water.
Other Sources of Peptides for Skin
Eating foods rich in peptides can greatly benefit your skin as well! Natural peptides can be found in your skin but they can also be found in plant or animal sources that are high in protein like fish, milk, eggs, soy, beans, and nachos. Yes, sadly we’re totally kidding about the nachos but we’re completely serious when we say that these other foods are great sources of peptides—not surprising when you consider that peptides are composed of protein! So the next time you’re at the supermarket, pick up some fish!
Frequently Asked Questions About Peptides
Are peptides safe?
Generally speaking, peptides are completely safe but that said, everyone’s skin is different when it comes to sensitivity. If you’re concerned about peptides for skin, check with your dermatologist before starting a skin care regimen with peptides.
Which peptides should I look for in my skin care routine?
Since peptides do a multitude of things, it really just depends what you’re trying to accomplish. For example, the peptide, matrixyl 3000 will help give skin a fresh and revitalized appearance.
Other peptides, like copper peptides, act as protectors, making sure skin isn’t affected by environmental stressors.
Which is better: natural peptides or synthetic peptides?
While the jury is still out definitively on whether or not synthetic peptides are better than natural peptides, some evidence suggests that synthetic peptides are thought to hold up better in water and are more efficient at penetrating the skin. They’re also thought to be more economical than natural peptides. Some studies also suggest they perform just as well on skin as natural peptides.
What do peptides do?
Peptides are essentially small pieces of protein composed of amino acids that perform different functions, depending on what you want them to do. As such, they can do everything from help hydrate the skin to protect it from environmental stressors.
Peptide vs Protein
Think of peptides as the “Mini-Me” version of proteins. Both are made up of amino acids, usually referred to as “building blocks,” but peptides are smaller chains (proper proteins are usually 50 or more amino acids while peptides are anywhere from two to 50 amino acids).
Peptides vs Retinol
Although both peptides and retinol can renew the look of beautiful skin, protect the skin from environmental stressors, and are anti-aging, peptides are thought to be more gentle on the skin, especially for those people with sensitive skin. If you don’t have sensitive skin, there’s actually no reason you couldn’t use both peptides and retinol together!
Peptides Side Effects
If you have very sensitive skin, it’s possible you might experience irritation from topical peptides. As peptides are relatively new to the skin care scene, there’s also not a ton of research out there just yet. If you’re concerned about side effects, it’s not a bad idea to see your dermatologist before you start using peptides.
Matrixyl 3000 Side Effects
There isn’t much in the way of evidence that Matrixyl 3000 has any side effects other than possible irritation to sensitive skin (most skin care ingredients carry some degree of risk for very sensitive skin) but if you’re concerned, it’s always best to check with a dermatologist first.
So the next time you’re perusing the skin care aisle, make sure you look for peptides in the ingredients list. Chances are, no matter what function you’re looking for your skin care to perform, there’s a peptide out there that can do it!