Sometimes buzz ingredients in skin care sound like mysterious by-products from a high school science experiment. Here’s a pop quiz: What are peptides? Before you pull out your chemistry textbook, we have an easy primer on these naturally occurring ingredients. Here's your handy cheat sheet on peptides, why they work and how they reduce the look of wrinkles.
What Are Peptides?
A peptide is a molecule consisting of two or more amino acids linked together by peptide bonds.
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 2 and 50 amino acids, while proteins contain up to 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 all proteins crucial for healthy skin, peptides, which play a part in their creation, are also crucial for healthy skin.
What Do They Do?
Signalling peptides trigger the body’s own natural processes to rebuild the longer chain proteins which provide various skin care benefits
There are many varieties of peptides (think hundreds), but when it comes to skin care there are a few key players to look out 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. Natalie goes on to explain that “signalling peptides trigger the body’s own natural processes to rebuild the longer chain proteins which provide various skin care benefits, while neuropeptides work on the muscular level to block transmission of signals from the nerves to the facial muscles.”
What Are The Benefits Of Peptides In Skin Care?
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. Also, the molecular structure of a chain of amino acids is unique to peptides when compared to other ingredients.”
When we age, we lose collagen - the protein that provides support and elasticity to our skin. When collagen breaks down, it forms peptides that signal the skin to make new collagen. By applying signalling peptides through skin care, we are actually tricking the skin into making more collagen. In stimulating collagen production, peptides promote a more firm and supple look to skin.
A type of signalling peptide, oligopeptides are small chains of amino acids, specifically those with two to ten amino acids, and are thought to be some of the most effective peptides for skin care due to their ability to signal collagen production. The benefits of oligopeptides in skin care have been published widely, including in the Journal of Cosmetics, Dermatological Sciences and Applications.
Skin Care Recommendations
Arctic Berry Peel & Peptide Illuminating System
Reduce the visible signs of aging, refine pores and unveil a complexion that looks luminous, smooth and calm with this innovative homecare system. The Arctic Berry Peel & Peptide Illuminating System includes three products, all containing our Peptide Illuminating Complex that uses botanical peptides derived from hibiscus seeds. Slough off dead skin cells with our Arctic Berry Enzyme Exfoliant and Arctic Berry Advanced Peel Activator MA10 and lock in moisture with our Arctic Berry Peptide Radiance Cream.
While the exfoliating treatment should be used one to two times per week, the cream can be used daily - both morning and night. Also available for purchase on its own in a two-ounce jar, the Arctic Berry Peptide Radiance Cream can be used by all skin types, including sensitive, to help battle the look of fine lines and wrinkles.
Natalie also recommends our professional Arctic Berry Treatment, a more potent version of the homecare system, that “features multiple acids to exfoliate the skin and reap maximum benefit from a unique botanical peptide complex.” Available at your closest Eminence Organics partner spa, this professional peptide treatment will leave your skin looking plump and radiant.
Marine Flower Peptide Eye Cream and Serum
Natalie notes that: “In addition to the Arctic Berry Peel & Peptide Illuminating System, adding the Eminence Organics Marine Flower Peptide Eye Cream and Marine Flower Peptide Serum - which also feature botanical peptides - refines pores and smooths the look of the complexion.” The botanical peptides found in our Marine Flower Peptide Collection are naturally derived from rice protein and help encourage healthy looking skin.
Eminence Organics Product Support Representative Josie Barton says: “These products also contain our Smart Collagen+ Complex and our Botanical Hyaluronic Acid to further smooth and plump the look of skin, and protect against transepidermal water loss, maintaining long-lasting hydration and minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.”
Our award-winning Marine Flower Peptide Eye Cream can be applied morning and night and will not only target the look of fine lines, but dark circles as well. Watch Natalie use this eye cream in the Mixology below.
Applying a thin layer of our Marine Flower Peptide Serum prior to our Arctic Berry Peptide Radiance Cream each night is a powerful combo for skin that feels smooth and healthy. Josie adds that this serum will “also help treat redness from dry skin and improve the look of skin tone and texture overall.”
Citrus Lip Balm
Last but not least, you can’t forget your lips. If vertical lip lines are among your top skin care concerns, a peptide lip treatment is a fantastic option. Our Citrus Lip Balm contains botanical peptides, again derived from hibiscus seeds, as well as shea butter and sunflower seed wax for deep hydration. With daily application for four weeks, lip lines will look minimized and lips are left smooth and plump feeling.
With this crash course in peptides, we’re sure you’re primed to expand your skin care routine. Do you already use peptides in your skin care products? Are there other skin smoothing ingredients that you prefer? Let us know in the comments below or on social media