As skincare continues to innovate, something new is filling the shelves. But they’re not just in serums and moisturizers, they’re even in powders and coffee creams; we are talking about collagen peptides!
While collagen peptides are found in our own bodies, emerging research on their benefits is still fairly new. So how do collagen peptides promote healthy skin and how can we use them? More importantly, collagen peptides really give you plumped, youthful-looking skin? Let’s find out!
An introduction to peptides
Just when it seems beauty buzzwords aren’t dropping as fast as viral memes, another one is trending before it even hits your “gram” or “For You” page. This scroll, we have peptides, and wait until you find out what these anti-aging powerhouses can do for your skin!
You’ve probably heard of peptides or perhaps seen them on countless advertisements or product packaging, but you may have no idea what they really are and what those short chains of amino acids do – until now!
What are peptides?
Peptides, also known as collagen peptides, are tiny pieces of collagen protein. Specifically, peptides are a type of amino acid that builds collagen with three polypeptide chains. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, including keratin, elastin and, primarily, collagen.
What do peptides do?
Collagen is one of the most important materials in our skin. Think of it as the building blocks of our skin and body; hair, muscles, ligaments and tendons. In our skin especially, it keeps things plump and firm while preventing sagging.
Think of peptides as tiny messengers to our skin cells, sending messages that allow them to communicate more effectively. These messages instruct skin cells to hold their horses to the signs of aging and encourage skin layers to act younger for plumper, younger-looking skin. Let’s keep these messengers around us!
Where are peptides found?
Our body naturally produces collagen. However, the production slows down as we age over time. This leads to fine lines, wrinkles and reduced bounce. While aging is a perfectly natural process that is a privilege to experience, it is certainly valid to want to age gracefully. Collagen peptides can help with this.
These tiny but powerful ingredients also promote cell repair, hydrate the skin, and provide antioxidant protection. Plant peptides are widely used in skin care and are a popular option for vegan formulas. They are found in peas, oat grains, yeast, etc.
How do peptides work?
How do collagen peptides work and why should we use them in the first place? As mentioned above, collagen production in our skin slows down over time. But how do peptides help?
To put it simply, peptides are a bit tricky. They will not replenish collagen in the body like a moisturizer helps replenish dry skin. Instead, the peptides work more like “signals” that alert your skin to start the healing process. And when the skin heals, it will create more collagen to make repairs.
Typically, peptides are depleted by classic aging factors in our environment. These include damage from UV, stress, smoking, and free radicals. For those with prematurely aging skin, peptides can help alert it to create more collagen (and possibly hyaluronic acid). This can help restore the skin barrier and promote plumpness.
Here’s another twist: Not all peptides are created equal. In fact, there are hundreds of different peptides out there, and certain types of peptides work best for the skin.
For example, some peptides specialize in delivering minerals to the skin. These are known as “carrier” peptides. On the other hand, ‘enzyme inhibiting’ peptides slow down the process of collagen degradation in the skin.
Then there are the “signal” peptides. These work to promote the building of proteins like collagen and elastin. Finally, “neurotransmitter” peptides block the chemical reactions known to cause facial muscle contractions that lead to wrinkles.
Should you use peptides in skincare?
According to experts, peptides can actually be very effective in skincare, especially in promoting plumper, younger-looking skin. In a Korean clinical test in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 22 healthy women between the ages of 40 and 60 received treatment with the peptide complex. During this time, their face and neck wrinkles were assessed and skin proteins were monitored for two weeks.
From this trial, it was confirmed that the peptide complexes are effective as an anti-wrinkle cosmetic ingredient. The wrinkles faded noticeably in the subjects. However, choosing the right peptide skin care is important. This means considering a few factors.
First, be sure to choose a product that stays on the skin. Consider a serum or moisturizer rather than a cleanser, which simply rinses off. It is also important to consider any additional ingredients in the product alongside the peptides. Indeed, peptides tend to work well with ingredients such as vitamin C, niacinamide, antioxidants, and hyaluronic acid. However, AHAs can actually weaken their effects.
In addition, it may be worth opting for products that specifically contain copper peptides. In fact, they not only help stimulate collagen production, but can even help maintain collagen over time.
Should you eat collagen peptides?
Besides peptide skincare, chances are you’ve seen at least one supplement brand offering collagen peptides that you can ingest. It can be gummies, a powder or even a coffee creamer. But what are peptides in food and do they work if you ingest them?
When we ask these questions, there are several factors to consider. Some of them are almost in conflict with each other.
For example, collagen peptides are quite easily absorbed by the body, especially compared to collagen supplements. This is because while both are made up of the same amino acids, peptides are made up of shorter chains. This makes them more digestible. However, experts are still unsure how much of a collagen peptide product is actually absorbed into the bloodstream.
As far as research is concerned, there have been studies indicating that collagen supplements can promote skin elasticity. However, many of them have been funded by private companies that sell them. This calls the studies into question for bias.
Even still, a 2019 review of the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology found that collagen could increase elasticity and moisture, as shown by data from a few double-blind, placebo-controlled studies. In short, it remains to be debated whether collagen peptides work as a supplement.
Nevertheless, dermatologists consider collagen peptides to be a safe ingredient for skin care. Although it’s still uncertain if edible peptides work, the research behind topical peptides is promising.
The Best Skin Care Products with Peptides
Ultimately, the best products for your daily regimen will depend on your skin type. Still, there are a few skincare staples that everyone should try – and peptides are one of them!
Here are the three best daily products to boost your skincare routine. They all contain quinoa peptides, which improve skin resistance and firmness.
#1 100% PURE Mushroom Peptide Serum
We know about their medicinal properties and as culinary delights – but as a skincare ingredient with peptides!? Yes, mushrooms and energetic peptides are triggering a “mushroom boom” in our Mushroom Peptide Serum! Concentrated with 11 skin-beneficial medicinal mushrooms, this serum contains quinoa peptides that increase firmness and elasticity by inducing the skin to produce more collagen and elastin.
#2 Puristry floral water tonic
We all know that a rose is the flower of love, but it’s also an amazing skincare ingredient known for its moisturizing and skin-soothing benefits. This face toner uses undiluted floral ingredients like rose hydrosol, calendula hydrosol and witch hazel to calm and clarify skin for a healthy glow. Quinoa peptides quench thirsty skin cells, while hyaluronic acid replenishes supple moisture while delivering nutrients deep into the skin.
#3 Puristry Sea Berry Moisturizer
If you’ve ever wanted a silky smooth face moisturizer that doubles as a complexion booster, this is your answer! This anti-aging formula is non-greasy and easily absorbable and boasts a phytonutrient-rich anti-aging summary. Its star ingredients, sea berry, contain a high dose of numerous omegas and 12 times more vitamin C than an orange for a more radiant and youthful complexion, as well as quinoa peptides which help increase vitality, health and radiance of your complexion.
Hopefully we’ve painted a picture of the power of peptides! While we know that peptides are essential throughout the body for biological functions, they can actually be very effective in skincare, especially if you’re looking to improve your skin’s firmness.
However, it is important to choose where peptides will work best in your skincare regimen. Start with natural formulas (hint, hint). Then, gradually transition to more peptide-infused skincare to promote plumper, younger-looking skin.