But what are peptides and how do they help?
Peptides are protein chains of amino acids and are named according to how many amino acids are present in the chain. Amino acids are the basic units that make up proteins, the substances that make up skin tissue.
Peptides can be considered small chains of proteins as long as they are made of less than 50 amino acids. Peptides made up of more than 50 amino acids are usually referred to as proteins.
The Role of Peptides in Healthy Skin
The reason peptides play a role in skin care lies in collagen production. Collagen is composed of long chains of amino acid bound by peptide bonds. When collagen breaks down as it will in aging (around mid 30’s) these chains send a signal to the body to start making more collagen.
Sadly, in aging the ability to receive that signal declines, too. So collagen production declines, wrinkles and creases form, skin begins sagging and more stimulation is needed to get the body to produce enough collagen to ‘plump’ the skin’s wrinkles.
Enter Peptides And How They Work
Contrary to popular belief, peptides are not used in skin care to replace lost protein. They are incorporated in most skin creams and lotions so that they can penetrate the skin barrier to act as stimulants for the body to increase production of collagen.
Collagen is a protein composed of long chain amino acids that are bound together by peptides. Peptide molecules are very potent which means that only small amounts are needed to get the desired result.
Peptides also have moisture-binding characteristics which mean that they are effective in keeping the skin hydrated. They also help the skin appear more plump and healthy by maintaining the integrity of skin cells that need adequate hydration to function normally.
Different peptides also have different functions and there are some cases when combining one peptide with another may increase its ability to help the skin regenerate and create new collagen.
Products like Aria Triple Peptide Firming Serum contain three types of peptides that perform different functions from stimulating collagen production. Matrixyl® stimulates new collagen; Palmitoyl Tripeptide increases oxygen to tissues and Hexapeptide-11 is the firming peptide that improves collagen synthesis and elasticity. The companion product to the serum, Aria Peptide Complex Ultra Advanced Regenerating Cream, contains two peptides that promote collagen production.
Preparation of peptides in skin care products requires special procedures since peptides are prone to breaking down. They need to be combined only with ingredients that do not affect their efficacy.
Combining peptides with the wrong ingredients may prevent their ability to penetrate the skin barrier and limit the results. Diet may also play an important part in the efficacy of peptide use. Protein from foods helps the body produce collagen as well.
Peptides play a great part in maintaining healthy and youthful skin. When combined with a good skin care regimen, vitamins and a healthy diet, you can maintain youthful skin. Given time for peptides to work their magic, you can reverse skin damage.