The skincare world is constantly buzzing with new ingredients, technologies and beauty must-haves. While most of them excite us too much to let them pass without trying it at least once, not all of them truly live up to the claims that they make. But if there is one ingredient that not only lived up to the buzz, but also got us completely hooked onto it, is polypeptides.
According to most dermatologists and skincare experts, peptides in skincare help in preventing signs of premature ageing, and keep your skin looking soft, supple and youthful. But we understand that there is still a lot of confusion in your mind regarding this particular ingredient. This is exactly why we have discussed everything related to peptides for skin in this article below. Scroll down for a complete commentary on what exactly peptides are, what are their benefits as well as how they actually work; this article has it all. Read on…
- What are peptides?
- Benefits of peptides in skincare
- How do peptides in skincare work?
- How to choose the right peptide-based skincare product
- FAQs about peptides for skin
What are peptides?
Before we move ahead and look at the benefits, it is really important to first understand what exactly polypeptides are. Peptides are nothing but short-chain amino acids that actually form the building blocks of protein. They provide skin with the instructions to produce more proteins such as collagen, elastin and keratin. These factors are responsible for keeping your skin looking firm, tight and youthful for a longer period of time. When added to skincare products, peptides help in increasing collagen production, thereby making it appear a lot more bouncy and supple.
Benefits of peptides in skincare
1. Improves skin barrier
Due to the constant exposure to environmental aggressors such as pollution, sun damage, bacteria and other impurities, your skin’s barrier gets damaged over time. Other factors that damage the skin barrier are over exfoliation and smoking. Over time, this damage makes your skin lose its lustre and develop signs of ageing. But peptides help in improving cell turnover, which strengthens the skin barrier. This not only makes your skin more resilient against free radicals, but also repairs damage to make your skin look plump and youthful.
2. Improves collagen production
The main benefit of including peptides in skincare is that it actually helps in increasing the collagen levels in your skin. As we age, our skin tends to produce a lesser amount of collagen, which causes problems such as dryness, wrinkles, fine lines and brittle hair and nails. But each time there is a breakdown of collagen in your skin, these peptides send a signal to your skin’s cells to replace the lost collagen. This delays the appearance of signs of ageing to a great extent.
3. Prevents signs of ageing
As seen in the previous point, peptides help in increasing collagen production, which is essential in preventing and reducing various signs of ageing. But that’s not all. Peptides also stimulate elastin, which helps in locking hydration into your skin, while preventing moisture loss. Both these factors contribute in preventing signs of ageing such as fine lines, wrinkles and various other signs of ageing.
4. Soothes inflammation
Apart from premature ageing, a common sign of skin damage caused by free radicals in the environment is skin inflammation. This causes your skin to feel red, raw and even itchy in some cases. But using skincare products with peptides helps deliver a burst of antioxidants to your skin, which protects against inflammation, and keeps your skin feeling super clear, even-toned and glowing.
5. Makes skin firmer and clearer
As we age, our skin tends to become drier, due to the loss of collagen and elastin. This also leads to fine lines, wrinkles and crow’s feet. But peptides help in stimulating collagen production, which automatically improves your skin ability to retain moisture, thereby making your skin appear firmer and more youthful. Plus, since your skin is well-moisturised, it automatically is less prone to damage, excess sebum production and inflammation. This dramatically reduces the chances of acne, and in turn, delivers clear and glowing skin.
How do peptides in skincare work?
After the age of 30, we generally tend to lose about 1% of the naturally occurring collagen in our body each year. Our body also tends to slow down it’s communication with the skin, which leads to the appearance of signs of ageing. When it comes to peptides in skincare, they work a little differently than other ingredients because applying peptide-enriched skincare products doesn’t exactly mean your skin is receiving it.
Confused? Let us explain. Think of peptides as little messengers for your skin. Everytime you apply a product with peptides in it, it carries a signal to your skin cells to repair damage by stimulating more collagen, elastin and keratin. Therefore, peptides in skincare help in fighting signs of premature ageing, by actually asking your skin to produce more collagen and even hyaluronic acid in some cases, to improve the look of your skin by making it plumper and more youthful. Basically, peptide moisturisers actually make your skin believe that there is an injury on your skin that needs healing. This stimulates your cells to produce more collagen for a speedy recovery.
Additionally, peptides are extremely lightweight as compared to other collagen-boosting ingredients, which allows them to sink deeper into your skin to show better results over time.
How to choose the right peptide-based skincare product
We understand if you are completely bogged by the sheer number of products available in the market that claim to contain peptides. But with the help of the tips mentioned below, choosing the right product should become slightly easier.
1. Form -
This is the first step you need to consider when choosing a peptide-based skincare product. Although peptides are present in a lot of skincare products, we recommend you pick either serum or moisturiser. This is because the emollient properties of these products stay longer on the skin, which improves the chances of better absorption and faster results.
2. Be mindful of other ingredients -
Although peptides work well with most other common skincare ingredients, you may want to pair this with just a few for far better results. You could either use it with vitamin C or niacinamide serum for brighter skin. Or pair with a hyaluronic acid serum for improved skin hydration. Avoid using peptides with exfoliating skin acids such as AHAs and BHAs as that could really reduce its efficacy.
3. The percentage matters -
When buying a skincare product, it is ideal to read the label once. For peptides to actually show results, it needs to be the first few ingredients mentioned on the list. If it is mentioned towards the end, it contains a very low percentage of peptides, and will deliver marginal results.
FAQs about peptides for skin
Q. Are peptides better than retinol?
A. Both peptides and retinol are incredible anti-ageing ingredients that do your skin in a world of good. However, peptides are generally found to be a lot more gentle and nourishing, making it a good anti-ageing alternative for those of you with sensitive skin.
Q. Do peptides actually work?
A. Yes, peptides are highly nourishing, moisturising and anti-ageing ingredients that help in stimulating collagen and hyaluronic production in your skin. This is what makes your skin look really soft, supple and hydrated.
Q. How often should I use a peptide serum?
A. Even though peptides are highly gentle and suit most skin types, the dosage should always come from a dermatologist. But generally speaking, peptide creams are completely safe to be used both morning and night and deliver stellar results in no time at all.