Peptides and their relevant benefits are often debated in the skincare world – mainly due to over-the-counter brands making lofty promises about their magic peptide technology being the answer to all of your anti-aging woes. Heads up: it probably isn’t.
The problem is that there are hundreds of peptides out there, which makes them a tricky bunch to sum up when it comes to what they can and can’t do for your skin. But never ones to shy away from a challenge, we’re going to try…
So, What Are Peptides?
Peptides are small chemical compounds composed of amino acids. When combined in specific formulations, these amino acids create different kinds of peptides, which, in turn, are the building blocks of protein.
As you probably know, without proteins like collagen, the skin loses its firmness, smoothness and suppleness, so the objective for using peptides in skincare is to stimulate collagen production for healthier, more youthful-looking skin. In addition, certain peptides are also thought to strengthen other proteins such as keratin and elastin.
Do They Live Up To Their Claims?
Sadly, many peptides are pretty unstable and/or too large to be able to penetrate the skin. Also, because there are so many and not all are created equally, the word ‘peptide’ is often touted about in the skincare industry to describe any small chain of amino acids, whether it’s a known active ingredient or not.
But it’s not all doom and gloom because synthetic peptides are constantly being formulated and improved upon to penetrate the skin and address specific needs such as discoloration, firmness and hydration. They are becoming more and more sophisticated in how they work and many medical-grade brands have developed their formulations and packaging so that their patented peptides a) don’t break down en route to the skin and b) are able to penetrate the skin’s barrier and enter the living membranes of cells when they get there.
The fact is, certain peptides deserve your attention, so here are three of our favorite medical-grade must-haves that contain some of the best.
This delicious, lightweight serum contains, wait for it, dipeptide diaminobutyroyl benzylamide diacetate, a synthetic neuro peptide believed to inhibit nerve signals to help soften expression lines caused by muscle movement. An absolute bestseller within the ZO range, it offers impressive results in clinical studies: 93 percent of patients experienced improvements in fine lines, wrinkles, firmness, elasticity, texture and smoothness after 12 weeks of use.
If you’re looking for a hard-working night cream whose PSP (Processed Skin Cell Proteins) technology is often referred to as the ‘cadillac’ of peptides, you’ve come to the right place. PSP is a patented Neocutis ingredient that was discovered through years of research in wound healing and developed by Swiss scientists to nourish and revitalize the skin. Gentle enough for all skin types, this moisturizing cream has been clinically proven to help reverse the aging process and promote collagen production to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and improve firmness and tone.
TriHex Technology is a blend of ingredients incorporated into many products across both the Daily and Procedure lines within Alastin’s medical-grade skincare range. The patent-pending formula is a proprietary blend of potent peptides and other skin-loving ingredients, combined to help clear damaged proteins and support the production of new ones within the skin’s extracellular matrix (ECM). We particularly love the Restorative Eye Treatment which delivers all this – and more – for the much-needed delicate eye area.