For people searching for the best ingredients skin-care manufacturers have to offer, peptides are at the top of the list, and for very good reason. The skin contains natural peptides, which contribute to the structural strength of the skin and keep it plump and firm.
What Are Peptides?
Small proteins that stimulate the production of collagen, peptides have been on the cusp of antiaging skincare for a while. The excitement began several years ago with NIH-backed research on the ingredient Matrixyl (palmitoyl pentapeptide-3), showing its ability to stimulate collagen production in skin. Today, further studies on additional peptides continue to generate research news. Cell-communicating abilities – Peptides are proteins composed of long or short chains of amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. Peptides may be natural or synthetic. Most peptides used in cosmetics are synthetic because lab engineering these ingredients gives chemists greater control on their stability and effectiveness in skin-care products. One more example of the natural route not always being what’s best for skin!
Studies on formulations show they can produce a mild, Botox-like effect, inhibiting the release of neurotransmitters that keep facial muscles from forming wrinkles. Even newer peptide formulations act like growth factors, stimulating skin cells to make a quicker turnover, much like young skin.These strands of amino acids penetrate the skin to address common skin-care concerns, including wrinkles, from the inside out. Because of their effectiveness, peptides and the products containing them can tend to be expensive.
True, peptides are at the top of the anti-aging ingredient list, but there is no single solution for all the signs of aging. – aah, wouldn’t that be beautiful. But at last, just as there isn’t one healthy food to eat or supplement to take, there isn’t one best, does-it-all ingredient or group of ingredients. Skin is the most complex organ of the human body, so as you can imagine, its needs cannot possibly come down to what a single peptide or blend of peptides can do. That being said, a good anti-aging skincare regimen should include a variety of peptides. But which ones? Here are some of the best!
Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 (previously known as Palmitoyl pentapeptide-3); A key ingredient in trademark Matrixyl. One of the powerful peptide molecules found in the latest generation of high- end anti wrinkle skincare products. This breakthrough ingredient stimulates collagen production in the skin and claims can even give BOTOX® injections a run for their money in the anti wrinkle department. This amazing peptide becomes even more effective when combined with other peptides.
In clinical studies, Matrixyl was shown to:
- increase overall collagen synthesis by up to 117%
- increase collagen IV synthesis by up to 327%
- increase hyaluronic synthesis by up to 267%
Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5; Trademark Syn-coll is made up of chains of amino acids, and has the ability to penetrate the epidermis and enter deep into the dermis, where it stimulates collagen production and healthy tissue growth (Syn-Coll, Peptide Complex, at 2.5%, Outperforms 10% Matrixyl in Clinical Trials). It not only speeds up collagen synthesis in the skin, but early studies suggest that this peptide also has the ability to communicate with skin cells and prevent toxins that penetrate them from doing harm. The ingredient does this by mimicking the body’s natural communication mechanisms that tell cells what to do. This kind of communication helps skin cells to either flush out the toxins or renders it inert.
Because of the way that the Syn-Coll works, it is a safe alternative to Collagen injections. The serum is designed for cosmetic use and can be found in many forms. In addition to the face, neck and décolleté areas, this amazing product has been used effectively in reducing or removing stretch marks that occur during pregnancy or after other forms of weight loss.
Some favorite Syn-coll benefits, shown in clinical studies:
- Stimulates the synthesis of collagen – as we all know, collagen synthesis is absolutely necessary in order to have youthful and beautiful looking skin. If you want your skin to look baby smooth and soft, completely wrinkle free without any sagging or fine lines, then collagen synthesis is going to be your best friend.
- Known to completely eradicate wrinkles – yes, you read that correctly. If you are starting to see the appearance of wrinkles on your face or any other area of your body that might be a concern, then you’re in luck. After using products that contain this formula for an extended period of time, wrinkles will greatly diminish.
- Moisturizes and firms the skin – this is another wonderful aspect of collagen stimulation. Syn-Coll is the perfect ingredient and powerful one-two punch that can help to get rid of both of these conditions.
Acetyl Octapeptide; Trademark SNAP-8. The anti wrinkle octapeptide SNAP-8 is an elongation of the revolutionary hexapeptide Argireline®. SNAP-8 is a mimic of the N-terminal end of SNAP-25 which completes with SNAP-25 for a position in the SNARE Complex, thereby modulating its formation. If the SNARE complex is slightly destabilized, the vesicle can not release neurotransmitters efficiently and therefore muscle contraction is attenuated , preventing the formation of lines and wrinkles. As a result, it reduces neuronal excitability and, therefore, muscle contraction. Reduces the depth of wrinkles on the face caused by the contraction of muscles of facial expression, especially in the forehead and around the eyes. SNAP-8 is a safer, cheaper, and milder alternative to Botulinum Toxin, topically targeting the same wrinkle-formation mechanism in a very different way.
In clinical studies, SNAP-8 was shown to:
- By reducing muscle contractions, wrinkle depth is reduced up to 63% in one month of treatment.
- The severity of wrinkles around the eyes decreased up to 63.13%
- Both in vivo and in vitro efficacy testing suggests that SNAP-8 is approximately 30% more active than its parent peptide Argireline.
Copper peptides, small fragments of proteins combined with copper, can enhance skin regeneration and the healing of wounds. They are included in many anti-aging products for their ability to increase skin elasticity and firmness. Because copper is a toxic metal, avoid using it on the skin in any form except those that contain peptides that bind with the metal, warns the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Rundown…The benefits of bio-peptides in skincare products are important:
- Peptides are thought to stimulate cell activity by interacting with molecules that can signal cells to produce more collagen (a type of structural protein), thereby playing a role in building collagen, stimulating cell renewal and cell turnover, and diminishing wrinkles and rosacea.
- Peptides act as a messenger between the top-most layer of skin or epidermis, and the dermis, which is the layer of connective tissue just below the epidermis. This epidermal-dermal communication is important as it naturally breaks down as we age, and the breakdown in dialogue is one of the causes of aging.
- Peptides increase the synthesis of the dermal matrix molecules that are essential to preserving the skin’s youth. These increases are substantial: as much as 287% for Glycosaminoglycans, 117% for Collagen I, and 327% for Collagen IV.
Finally, amino acids in general help retain moisture in the skin and enhance the circulatory process.
And here’s some even better news for ya! When it comes to health concerns..Cancer – Developmental & reproductive toxicity – Allergies & immunotoxicity, these peptides all receive an overall rating as low as it gets -1, from ewg.org ((Love that))
when searching for products containing peptides, Do Not go by front labels alone. Be sure to check the ingredient list. If it happens to be a “peptide product” and peptides fall at the bottom of the list, don’t waste your money. In order for peptides to deliver benefits, as shown in clinical trials, they must be formulated using proper percentages. Once ingredient checking becomes a habit, your findings will often be very surprising. Many products on the market do not contain proper amounts, at times the same can even be said with the pricey leading brands. Additionally, if you come across a product stating for example, “60% Matrixyl 3000 & 40% Argireline” – again, move on. This is a marketing strategy, and a poor one at that. The percentages of peptides needed to deliver clinical results mostly range in the 2-10%. When a seller claims the above, here’s what they’re actually referring to…A percentage in a 10% solution! So in real terms a product which claims 40% Matrixyl 3000 will actually contain just 4% actual Matrixyl. And worst yet, this 4% is not pure, but diluted in a 10% solution. Yep, shame I know!
*Consistency is important. Keep in mind the delivery system. Most peptide molecules are too large to penetrate the skin. Instead, they rely on changing the chemical composition of the cells below the epidermis. It’s important that the cream, lotion or serum that is being used allows maximum penetration and is not too thick. A high quality product will come in a cream or serum that is lightweight and absorbs rapidly into the skin.
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again. The world of skincare is certainly one of those areas.. If the price seems way too good to be true, it probably is. (edit that, ALWAYS is) You will not find a high-end skincare product for 20 bucks, let alone $15. And if the price is CRAZY high? I also move on. After all, there are 1 oz. creams out there costing well over $1300. What?! hmm, not this gal.
So there you have it. These wonderful peptides are not a synthetic version of collagen being put on your skin, but actually going into your skin and stimulating your own natural production of collagen when your body decides to turn it off. – kind of miraculous when you think about it. Science has figured out a way to turn on collagen production to restore youthful and beautiful skin to its former glory. – Many thanks!
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