Peptides and the Skin

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People have been talking about peptides for years and almost every major skin care line touts that their products contain peptides.  But what are they and how do they work?

Peptides are an important ingredient in skin care products and coupled with other anti-aging ingredients plus sunscreen help improve the appearance of your skin. Peptides can be described in two ways. They are short or long chains of amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. They are also protein fragments: collagen (structural protein in connective tissues), elastin (protein that coils and recoils like a spring), integrin (cell surface receptors that assist with adhesive reactions between certain cells), and laminin (protein that helps body structures hold together) are all comprised of peptides. Amino acids make up peptides, which in turn make up the proteins of our skin.

Peptides are found naturally in our bodies, but many of the peptides used in skin care products are from rice, wheat, or yeast. To stabilize them they are broken down and then put back together in the correct order for the action they are intended to take.

A peptide can be thought of as a cell communicator. It signals certain cells to act in a certain way. In skin care, peptides tell skin cells to act in a healthier, younger way. As we age, our skin begins to decline. Peptides are able to make our skin act more like it did when we were younger.

Each peptide has a different job so there are many peptides. Some tell the skin to produce more collagen; others can help with cell turnover, hydration, brown spots, sensitive skin or relax the muscle that cause fine lines and wrinkles. Some peptides target acne.

With more than 3.2 million peptides possible from amino acid combinations, the potential future of these signaling ingredients is wide ranging.

 

Source ACSP November 2014 ” The Straightforward Guide to Peptides.”

 

 

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