Peptides; the buzz is undeniable, but there’s still some mystery as to what they are, what they do, and whether they’re worth the hype (spoiler alert: they are). To put it plainly, peptides are short chains of amino acids which then come together to form proteins that are the building blocks of our skin. They can be derived naturally from plant sources like seaweed and oat kernels, or, through cutting edge biotech, created in a lab through green chemistry. What they do is more complex and involves intelligent cell communication; they act like messengers, triggering skin cells to perform a specific function for a particular benefit, which really is as cool as it sounds.
New research on peptides has allowed brands to make significant advancements in the already impressive well-aging space and brings us compelling reasons to consider peptides when it comes to choosing our skincare products. It also gives us more choice; there are hundreds of different peptides, and each has a very specific function when it comes to skin, making them not only efficacious and valuable, but also very versatile.
A Peptide For Everything
There are hundreds of peptides that seem to address almost every skin concern out there, but what peptides have in common is the vital role they play in the health and rejuvenation of the skin. Some peptides function by signaling the need for increased collagen, elastin and other structure proteins, while others have the ability to deliver trace elements like copper and magnesium to the skin. There are peptides that can penetrate the skin and relax muscles, leading to benefits such as reduced and softened wrinkles and fine lines, and still others put the brakes on the body’s natural collagen loss. There are even peptides that work specifically to inhibit the production of melanin, brightening the appearance of hyperpigmentation. Our bodies naturally produce peptides and proteins, but as we age, these processes slow down, leaving us seeking external solutions like skincare products containing peptides in efficacious formulations.
Peptide Pro Tips
How do you know which products to look for to get the most benefit out of peptides? We’ll get into specific products later, but in general if you’re ready to jump on the peptide bandwagon, you’ll definitely want to stick to peptide-rich leave-on products. When it comes to peptides, the length of exposure to skin matters, so it’s best to opt for moisturizers, serums, boosters, eye creams, sunscreens and other skin treatments that allow time for the peptides to interact with your skin. To make the most of peptides’ ability to plump, firm, smooth, and brighten, you’ll also want to look for products that pair peptides with important supporting ingredients, like ceramides, antioxidants and hyaluronic acid.
Pick Your Peptides
Because there are so many different peptides with a wide range of functions, it can be challenging to identify which products address your specific skin concerns. To make things super easy, we’ve rounded up our Hero products that put the most hype-worthy peptides to their best use.
A decadent, silky crema using cell communicating pentapeptides to inhibit the TRVP1 pain receptor in cells associated with reactive skin, as well as 8 adaptogenic desert succulents, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid and concentrated actives to brighten, plump, nourish and soothe.
This cushiony, ultra-performance plumping cream powered by shitake and marshmallow root uses a 15% solution of cell-communicating peptides to effectively inhibit muscle contractions that cause static and dynamic lines to form, with a continued relaxing effect on the skin.
This multi-tasking mist contains plant peptides from Amazonian superfruit, sacha inchi, to reveal more contoured, youthful skin. Calendula, rose water, glycerin, and hyaluronic acid replenish the skin barrier while vitamin C-rich camu camu brightens and protects.
Earth Harbor Celestine Hydra-Plumping Peptide Serum
A lightweight, smooth serum that visibly revives and nourishes the skin with seaweed peptides that encourage firmness and increased elasticity, supported by multi-weight hyaluronic acids, niacinamide, aloe juice BHAs, and pomegranate antioxidants.
This unique, concentrated treatment cream features advanced amino acid and peptide complexes to firm the appearance of sagging skin, smooth fine lines and crepiness and even skin tone, along with super antioxidants found in chebula, astaxanthin, chia seed and green tea.
Infused with arctic peptides that flourish under the most extreme conditions, along with nutrient-rich botanicals, β-glucans, and plant lipids, this velvety rich cream delivers intense, sustained hydration for plumper looking skin.
A skin brightening cream crafted with peptides working synergistically with pueraria mirifica, an indigenous plant extract from Southeast Asia, to support the protein structure in-between skin layers, firming skin texture, softening fine lines and increasing elasticity.
A peptide-packed facial serum in the form of a weightless velvet concentrate containing a masterful blend of 5 peptides, supported by smoothing and brightening niacinamide to help promote the production of collagen and elastin for a visible plumping effect.
Peptides are rising stars in the skincare world, and the recognition seems to be well-deserved. They’re versatile, effective, well-tolerated, and have the ability to intelligently target very specific skin concerns. While it’s important to have realistic expectations when it comes to any skincare product, the peptide benefits appear promising when it comes to a healthier, happier complexion.