Dylan Mustapich is a NYC-based lead esthetician who has been featured in New Beauty, Teen Vogue, Wired, and The Huffington Post. With a lifelong love of all things skin, he is incredibly knowledgeable about skincare ingredients, routine refinement, and personalized skincare, and follows emerging technology closely.
We’re here to discuss what peptides are, along with five anti-aging peptides benefits that can make your skin the best it can be.
Have you heard of peptides? Although a lot of us benefit from having them in our skin care products, not too many people know what they are or how they work.
Choosing the right combination of products and ingredients for your skin care routine can help you live your best skin, and having the right knowledge and guidance can get you there.
Before we dive in, we want to note that at Atolla, we believe that your skin care should support your skin health, not “youthful” or “young” looking skin. Aging is a gift, but maintaining skin health as you age can be difficult. Certain ingredients like Peptides can be great at supporting aging skin, but “Anti-Aging” is not what we believe the goal should be.
So, with that in mind, let’s discuss the many benefits of peptides that are out there!
What is a Peptide?
Before we talk about peptides benefits, let’s have a brief primer on what exactly peptides are.
Essentially, peptides are just molecules. But the simplicity of peptides has no impact on how amazing and beneficial they can be. They are made up of amino acids, the same building blocks as protein, but there are fewer of them strung together (proteins usually have at least 50 amino acids, where peptides can have as little as two).
Basically, that means that protein is made up of multiple peptide chains. Remember how important protein is to the functioning of the body? It forms our organs, tissues, muscle, and, for the purposes of skin care, the skin. Without protein, we literally would not exist — doesn’t get more essential than that!
When it comes to the skin, peptides work as messengers that trigger specific cells to perform jobs. These jobs are the keys to the many benefits that peptides can offer.
Although we’re going to focus on the specific pro-aging peptide benefits, we want to note that there isn’t anything wrong with aging — we all age, and age comes with wisdom, so we wouldn’t want to stop aging even if we could.
However, that doesn’t mean that we have to put up with living in skin that we’re uncomfortable with. If some of the visible signs of aging make you feel less confident in your skin, peptides can help.
#1) Peptides Can Fight Off Oxidative Stress
One of the biggest peptide benefits for aging skin is their ability to help the body fight off oxidative stress, which plays a large role in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. If you haven’t heard “oxidative stress” before, you’re not alone. People are often familiar with one of the components of oxidative stress, antioxidants, but that’s where it stops. However, that “anti” part actually refers to their ability to counteract a potentially dangerous molecule that can occur in the body: free radicals, also known as reactive oxygen species.
When left unchecked, free radicals bounce around the body trying to find an extra electron to stabilize them. They can find and take that electron from anywhere in the body, which leads to damage inside of the body that can show up in your physical appearance. In fact, free radicals are even able to impact the body all the way down to its DNA. That’s where oxidative stress comes in… if your body ends up with more free radicals than antioxidants, the result is a state of oxidative stress.
Basically, peptides function similarly to antioxidants, slowing down the free radical’s ability to do the type of damage that can speed up the appearance of aging.
Oxidative stress is different from skincare oxidation, although they sound the same. With skincare oxidation, certain ingredients that are commonly used in skincare products (like vitamin C) can start to break down when they are exposed to oxygen. This can depend on the size/type of the bottle and how your skincare product was made. Smaller bottles are generally better, especially if the ingredient in them is likely to oxidize, because you can use the formula up before the ingredients start to degrade.
#2) Peptides Can Stimulate Collagen Growth
Peptides help to form proteins, and you know what else is a protein? Collagen! If you’ve done any research into skin care products, you’ve likely heard of collagen as one of the major focuses of healthy aging.
Essentially, collagen (along with elastin) is found in the dermis of the skin, which is the skin’s middle layer. Collagen is one of the key components in giving the skin its structure, as well as its ability to bounce back and look youthful. It forms a matrix of support, which is why children have those telltale chubby cheeks while older cheeks appear to be more sunken in.
Anything that you can do to help boost collagen production is going to be good for age-related concerns. More collagen in the face can take years off of its appearance and just make you feel more confident and radiant. Unfortunately, as we age, collagen production naturally slows down. When coupled with the fact that there is also an increase in the breakdown of collagen in the skin, it’s essential to help support the skin as it helps to support itself.
#3) Peptides Can Fit Into Any Skincare Routine
One of our favorite parts about the many peptides benefits is that there are so many different ways that they can fit into your skincare routine. There are so many different options out there, and more are being invented as research into their benefits continues.
Serums are an excellent way to be able to add peptides into your routine. They can be customized to include specific peptides that help with age-related concerns.
A few that we include in our customized formulas include:
- Matrixyl Tripeptide - A matrikine (a type of signaling peptide) derived tripeptide (i.e., made of 3 peptides bonded together) complex that can help to stimulate the growth of new collagen, which may help reduce the appearance of fine lines. We use a complex that contains a strength of less than 1% sourced from France.
- Progeline Peptide - Our progeline peptide is biometric, meaning it is as close to being natural as a synthetic can be. This peptide is known for helping to restore structure and texture to the skin. It helps to build the skin back up, which reduces the appearance of fine lines by increasing the production of collagen, elastin, and other proteins. Progeline peptide is also helpful in slowing down the natural breakdown of collagen, by reducing the production of a protein that leads to aging skin (progerin). That may help counteract the sagging of the skin that can happen with age. It comes in strength formulations of between 0.5 and 2.0%, and is sourced from Canada.
#4) Peptides Play Well With Others
Unlike a lot of other skincare ingredients, adding peptides into your routine is fairly easy for a variety of different reasons.
First of all, most peptides can be incorporated for most people without concern of sensitivity or irritation.
They are also great compliments to many of the other common, beneficial skincare ingredients out there, like hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, oils, and antioxidants. Peptides' benefits for the skin can also be increased and amplified by pairing them with another, powerful ingredient: retinol.
Retinol (a form of vitamin A) is well known for being able to speed up how quickly our skin cells are able to turn over. Retinol and peptides work together so well because they tag team to help tackle some of the more common complaints people have with aging skin — retinol helps keep the skin looking glowy and youthful, and peptides help the skin appear more plump and reduces the appearance of fine lines.
#5) Peptides Can Help To Soothe Skin
Irritation is a natural response to a wide variety of stimuli that can happen to the body. That irritation can lead to a lot of different reactions, some of which can impact the way that the skin looks.
Redness is a common response, especially relating to sun exposure or sensitivity. Using certain types of topical peptides can help to soothe irritation and redness, and help the skin to be less reactive.
Irritation is also a common response to the bacteria that can lead to breakout-related concerns. While peptides don’t directly impact the occurrence of breakouts, their ability to help other parts of the skin makes it healthier overall. Healthy, happy skin is naturally less red and more youthful looking!
Irritation is also a common response to free radicals and oxidative stress, which is why peptides can be so helpful in that regard, too! It’s a well-rounded ingredient for so many skincare concerns.
There are plenty of peptides benefits that can help you live your best skin, no matter what age you may be. Confidence comes from the inside, but if there are age-related concerns that have been holding you back, Atolla is here to help.
With a customized skin care routine meant to specifically handle your uniquely beautiful skin, anyone can use peptides to help them love the skin that they’re in.