Skin Health Magazine Issue #10 / Winter 2019 - Page 25

PEPTIDES Ingredient Spotlight I t’s hard to get away from peptides. In the skin care world, they are everywhere and come in so many guises that it can be hard to keep track of all the different variations currently in use. It’s thought that there could be hundreds out there, so why is this group of ingredients so popular with product formulators? Let’s start with the basics. Your skin is made up of proteins and the key protein for maintaining a smooth, youthful complexion is collagen. These proteins are made up of chains of amino acids, frequently dubbed the building blocks of the skin. Peptides are also made up of chains of amino acids making them excel- lent anti-aging ingredients. In their simplest form, peptides work by support- ing, strengthening and stimulating the existing proteins in the skin, meaning they can speak to similar cells around them to encourage the production of collagen when turnover is low. In fact, they can even trick the skin into producing more collagen when levels are sufficient because the more collagen your skin produces, the firmer, smoother and plumper your complexion will be. Each time a chain of peptides is combined with another chain or ingredient it creates a new type of peptide. When two chains of peptides are joined together, it creates what is known as a dipeptide. When three chains of peptides are joined together it’s called a tripeptide, four is a tetrapeptide, five is a pentapeptide and so on. As a quick guide to help you decipher the ingredients list on the back of a product, any peptide ingredients will either end in the word ‘peptide’ or will start with the word ‘palmitoyl’ such as palmitoyl pentapeptide, which is more commonly known as Matrixyl. Peptides can do much more than just reverse the signs of ageing. Their diversity means they are able to address a wide range of skin concerns from dryness and uneven tone to blemishes and inflamma- tion, and it’s not uncommon to have multiple peptides in the same formula. For example, the Hydropeptide Soothing Serum contains a mix of hydrating pep- tides, anti-inflammatory peptides and soothing peptides to help balance sensi- tive skin. You can also find peptides in an equally diverse number of products, including lip gloss, face serums, lash boosters, sunscreens and toners. If you look hard enough, it’s likely that peptides are already a big part of your existing routine and if they’re not, don’t worry, there is a peptide for out there for you. ISSUE #10 | 2019 | 25