Among the skin care ingredients we highly recommend for those seeking anti-aging benefits are peptides. Whether you're familiar with the use of peptides for skin or are just learning about these potent active ingredients, understanding what to expect from them and how they should be used can be confusing. Allow us to walk you through the basics.
What are they?
Similar to proteins, peptides are chains of amino acids. The difference is subtle: proteins have more than 50 amino acids on the chain, while peptides have fewer. As a naturally occurring compound found in every cell in our bodies, peptides play many different roles, depending on their size and the amino acids involved. For example, they can have an antibiotic effect, regulate hormones and can aid in digestion.
Our interest in peptides for skin lies in three potential benefits (we'll explain the use of the word "potential" in a moment):
1. Stimulating the growth of key skin proteins
Collagen and elastin are the proteins responsible for skin's strength and elasticity. As we age and in the case of sun-damaged skin, the production of these proteins slows and existing collagen and elastin degrade. Signal peptides come to the aid of aging and photodamaged skin by encouraging the growth of new proteins while regulating the enzymes that break down existing proteins. With consistent use, products that contain these types of peptides help to diminish the appearance of fine lines while making the skin firmer.
2. Encouraging skin healing and remodeling
Skin that has sustained damage either from chronological aging or photoaging can benefit from carrier peptides, such as copper peptides, which are the most common type of carrier peptide used in skin care. Carrier peptides delivers trace elements, such as copper, deep within the skin tissue where it aids in wound healing and skin repair. Specifically, copper peptides help to rebuild collagen, act as antioxidants to fight free-radical damage, have anti-inflammatory properties (inflammation is one of the main culprits responsible for skin aging) and help to break up scar tissue.
3. Smoothing fine lines and wrinkles
Neurotransmitter peptides smooth wrinkles and prevent the formation of new ones by blocking neurotransmitters that signal muscle contraction. The intention of neurotransmitter peptides in skin care is to reduce the appearance of expression lines, including marionette lines around the mouth, the "11" lines between the eyes, forehead wrinkles, and more.
While peptides have a long track record of success, including countless clinical studies that demonstrate their effectiveness in skin care applications, it's vital that realistic expectations are set before using peptides for skin, as some benefits may be overblown. For example, neurotransmitter peptides are often compared to Botox in their effectiveness. The reality is that the effects of topical skin care products can never compare to injectable cosmetic treatments. Additionally, it takes time to see improvement from the use of peptide skin care products. In fact, most individuals don't notice a change in their skin until several months after beginning a consistent skin care routine that incorporates peptides.
Our advice is simple: regardless of your age, begin using a well-formulated facial peptide product. If you start before the signs of aging appear, you stand to maintain the healthy appearance of your skin. If your skin already exhibits signs of aging, use of peptides will help to repair and minimize these characteristics. Lexli offers a firming eye cream and a peptide serum that each incorporate advanced peptide blends proven to smooth the skin and improve texture.
Peptides work best when they are used in a skin care routine that includes other ingredients that are clinically proven to optimize the aesthetics of the skin, such as antioxidants, alpha-hydroxy acids and, of course, pharmaceutical-grade aloe vera.