Peptides… even the word itself intimates the meaning and purpose of this ingredient as it works to ‘pep’ up the skin in various ways depending on the makeup of the peptide itself. But what is this mysterious ingredient? We want to break it down for you and explain what they are and how they can work for you.
Peptides are fragments of proteins made up of amino acids. They are short chains of amino acids that act as building blocks of proteins such as collagen, elastin and keratin. These proteins are the foundations of your skin and are responsible for its texture, strength and resilience. Without peptides, our skin is less intact which can lead to a loss of firmness, the appearance of wrinkles, a change in texture and less ‘bounce’.
There are hundreds of different peptides, all of which are made from different combinations of amino acids and when amino acids are combined in certain formulations, they make specific proteins with different affects to the skin.
Depending on the amount of amino acids within the peptide can really change the effect it has on the skin. For example- hexapeptides (which contains six amino acids) brightens the skin, while tetrapeptides (which contains four amino acids) boost elasticity and firmness in the skin. But what is great is that different peptides can be combined in a formula to give multiple benefits.
When applied topically to the skin, peptides act as little messengers, triggering skin cells to perform specific functions such as building collagen and elastin, encouraging skin to look and act younger… fabulous!
When looking for peptides in skincare, they work best alongside other products to really boost their benefits. On skincare product labels look for words that end in “peptide” – many also begin with “palmitoyl”.
Peptide molecules are small enough to penetrate the epidermis of the skin and get to work signalling to the skin to repair itself and encourage your skin’s natural production of collagen.
One of the most powerful topical peptides are copper peptides – it promotes collagen and elastic production, but also promotes the production of glycosaminoglycans, a family of carbohydrates that maintain and support collagen and elastin, helping you to not only generate collagen, but also to maintain the collagen you generate. There’s also evidence to show that copper peptides may also encourage your skin to remove damaged collagen and elastin as well, as they engage the systems that are responsible for doing so.
With consistent use of peptides, your skin will become firmer and more elastic as it encourages your body to product more collagen, which is something that your body slows down on with age.
Some products that feature Peptides include:
Elemis Peptide Eye Recovery Cream
This is a very light eye cream and doesn’t feel sticky at all on the skin.
It absorbs very quickly into the skin and gives your skin a little bit of a glow without leaving your under eyes looking wet or shiny. The peptides in this product help to reduce the look of tired eyes to make sure look more rested. Gives the skin a bit of a lift, which is great.
Buy the eye cream for £38 from Look Fantastic
Rapidlash Eyelash Enhancing Serum
With consistent daily use of this product, the results from this peptide enriched eye serum are undeniable… within a few weeks lashes start looking stronger and longer – amazing! Read our review here for before and after picture and more details.
Buy the eyelash enhancing serum for £29 from Look Fantastic
DHC Eye Zone Mask
This eye mask is packed with gentle but powerful multipeptides to support collagen, antioxidant-rich olive fruit oil and deeply hydrating hyaluronic acid. Once you’re finished, you can just massage the remaining serum into your under-eye area and you’re left feeling refreshed and gorgeous!
Buy the masks for £16.50 from Feel Unique
Niod copper amino isolate serum
The key is in the name – this serum utilises copper peptides to charge this fabulous serum, containing 2% of pure GHK Copper peptide. The brand goes a lot more into the science behind the formulation on their website but we’re going to say this: this serum helps to give the skin a boost, helping to repair the skin and improve the texture of the skin.
Image Skincare ORMEDIC balancing biopeptide crème
I love the feel of this cream. It feels very moisturising without being heavy and helps to boost the quality of the skin to be more radiant and even. A really lovely cream.
Buy the cream for £74 from Image Skincare
Mario Badescu Super Peptide Serum
This serum is formulated with peptides and a sodium hyaluronate complex to help boost and firm the skin. It’s a great addition to your regular skincare routine – something to go underneath your moisturiser to give your skin a boost.
Buy this serum for £35 from Beauty Bay
One Skin Wonder Cream
This lovely face cream utilises Copper peptides as one of their hero ingredients, which is balanced with Vitamin A, E, Niacinamide along with Hyaluronic acid and a host of nourishing oils. It’s light, with a clean scent and sinks into the skin beautifully – easy to apply and go!
Buy the cream for £31 from One Skin
Love Absolute’s Rose Glow Clay Mask & Balm
This gorgeous clay mask gives instant vibrancy with gentle exfoliation from the earths natural peptides, helping to maintain the skins health and restore balance. It cleanses, nourishes and polishes the skin so its left glowing and healthy… lovely!
You can buy this mask from the D.O.R. Beauty Edit… coming soon!
Saint Iris Adriatica Serenity Salve
This lotion brings you on a sensory journey with your bodycare with its lush fragrance and silky texture. It is easily absorbed and leaves your skin hydrated and deliciously scented. Pea peptide encourages collagen synthesis and protects cells from oxidative stress
You can buy this salve from the D.O.R. Beauty Edit… coming soon!
You can also find peptides in supplements too, often in things like protein powders.
Peptides may be easier for your body to absorb than proteins because they are smaller – meaning they can enter the bloodstream more quickly and also could lead to less digestive issues.
The peptides in supplements may come from plant or animal sources of protein, including:
- Fish and shellfish
- Beans and lentils
- Hemp seeds
If you’re looking for peptides for supplemental purposes, one of the main ones you will hear about is Collagen Peptides.
If you’re looking for Collagen Peptides, they may also be called hydrolyzed collagen or collagen hydrolysate.
If you’ve ever heard people say that Collagen is too large to be absorbed when supplementing it, then you need to know about Collagen peptides. These are much smaller molecules and are also cold water soluble as well as being highly bioavailable and bioactive, so they are easily broken down by the body. They act as building blocks, renewing bodily tissues, such as skin, bones and joints and are a better option for consumption and for food supplements in comparison to regular collagen.
You may also hear about Creatine peptides, which may build strength and muscle mass. This is popular in protein powder with fitness enthusiasts and are considered to be easier for the body to digest (leading to less digestive problems) than creatine proteins.
As peptides in supplements are similar to those already found in the body and in food, they are unlikely to cause side effects to health individuals, but of course we recommend you speak to a doctor before taking any supplements.
Why not try…
Rejuvenated Collagen Shot
This fabulous collagen drink has a high strength blend of skin firming active anti-ageing ingredients. It contains 10,000 mg hydrolysed marine collagen, hyaluronic acid, acai berry super antioxidant, combined with vitamin B3, B5, C with zinc and copper, helping to firm the skin through antioxidants and vitamins.
Buy the collagen shots for £43.95 from Rejuvenated
This is only scratching the surface on the different products that you can get that include collagen… but these are some of our favourites!