Here’s a pop quiz: What are peptides and how do they tie in with wrinkles? Sometimes buzz ingredients in skin care sound like mysterious by-products from a high school science experiment. Before you pull out your biology textbook, we have an easy guide on these naturally occurring ingredients. Here's your handy cheat sheet on the benefits of peptides, why they work and how they reduce the look of wrinkles.
Have you ever wondered what is happening to the skin when you see wrinkles? The skin is made of three layers consisting of the epidermis, dermis and hypodermis. In the dermis, you will find collagen, the main structural protein that provides support and elasticity to the skin. Collagen can be viewed as the “brick and mortar” of our skin, and also acts as a building block for bones, joints, teeth, muscles, joints and connective tissues. But as we age, we produce less and less of it, causing the skin to thin out and become more delicate and sensitive. Beyond the natural aging process, a loss of collagen can be caused by lifestyle factors such as smoking, sun damage or a poor diet. According to Medical News Today, women experience a dramatic reduction in collagen synthesis after menopause. It is normal by the age of 60 years to experience a considerable decline in collagen production.
So, where do peptides fit in? When collagen breaks down, it forms peptides that signal the skin to produce new collagen. By applying additional signalling peptides through skin care products, we actually "signal" the skin cells into making more collagen. As a crucial step in the collagen production process, peptides promote a more firm and supple look to the skin. Read on for an in-depth exploration into the definition of peptides and how peptides can help create collagen.
As ThoughtCo explains: “A peptide is a molecule consisting of two or more amino acids linked together by peptide bonds.” Since proteins are also made up of amino acids, you might be wondering: Then, what is the difference between peptides and proteins? Peptides contain between two and 50 amino acids, while proteins contain more than 50. Proteins are essentially large peptides (called polypeptides) made up of multiple peptide units; they are much longer and more structurally complex than their smaller counterparts. So, while all proteins contain peptides, no peptides contain proteins. As collagen, elastin and keratin are crucial for healthy skin, peptides, which play a part in the creation of these proteins, are also crucial for maintaining your skin’s health.
There are many varieties of peptides (think hundreds), but when it comes to skin care products there are a few key players to reach for. Eminence Organics Lead Skin Care Trainer Natalie Pergar says there are specifically two she considers to be the most effective — signalling peptides and neuropeptides. As we've already learned, signalling peptides trigger the body’s own natural processes to rebuild the longer chain proteins to form collagen for minimizing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Neuropeptides, on the other hand, work on the muscular level to block transmission of signals from the nerves to the facial muscles.
As Natalie describes: “One important difference between peptides and other beauty ingredients is that peptides work harmoniously with the body’s own natural processes. Other ingredients may work to benefit the skin but cannot trigger a response in the body — for example, Vitamin C will provide antioxidants, but the body is incapable of producing Vitamin C itself. ”
If you're looking to experience the benefits of peptides, our Marine Flower Peptide Collection uses plant-based peptides as well as marine flower technology. The peptides in this collection are naturally derived from sacha inchi and rice protein, designed to take advantage of our natural collagen building processes to increase the look of firmness and elasticity in our skin. The Marine Flower Peptide Serum and the Marine Flower Peptide Eye Cream also contain a Smart Collagen+ Complex, a skin care ingredient formulated with cruelty-free collagen, natural plant peptides, and sustainably sourced freshwater and saltwater algae. The Smart Collagen+ Complex and potent plant peptides give your skin the look of increased strength, elasticity and suppleness while advanced algae extracts boost the appearance of firmness and provide long-last hydration, both of which minimizes the natural formation of wrinkles.
With this crash course, we’re sure you’re primed to expand your collection of peptide skin care products. Do you already use them in your skin care routine? Or are there other skin-smoothing ingredients that you prefer? Let us know in the comments below or on social media.
This article was originally written in April 2015.