01
Nov

Do topical peptides (AKA skincare) work?

Many skincare products use peptides to treat wrinkles. But what are peptides? And do they actually make you look younger?

Skin is made up mostly of collagen; it is the foundation that gives your skin its support and thickness. Young people have lots of collagen and taut, smooth skin. In contrast, older people have much less collagen and thin, wrinkled skin. Collagen is protein and is made up long chains of amino acids strung together, like chains of linked building blocks. When it is broken down, short segments of 3-5 amino acids form, called peptides. Peptides are not just junk collagen; these “mini proteins” are active molecules — and you pay a whole lot for them in your wrinkle cream.

Here are two ways that peptides claim to improve wrinkles and make you look younger:

1) Peptides Signal Your Skin to Make More Collagen

When we age collagen is destroyed but not replaced. As a result young, smooth becomes thin and wrinkled over time.

One strategy to improve wrinkles and to make you look younger is to replace the lost collagen. When collagen breaks down, it forms specific peptides. These peptides act as a signal to tell your skin it was damaged and to make new collagen.

Applying peptides directly to your skin is a way to trick your skin into thinking that it has lost collagen recently and needs to make more. The most popular signal peptide for cosmetic use is palmitoyl pentapeptide (Matrixyl). It can be found in many peptide skin products and might be effective in improving the appearance of fine lines.

2) Peptides Deliver Copper into Your Skin

Because peptides are small, they can penetrate the skin’s protective barriers to get to the deeper layers. When copper is attached to a peptide, the peptide can deliver copper to the living layers of the skin. There is research showing that copper is an effective agent in skin healing which is why it has been used for years to treat chronic wounds. Copper peptides seem to promote collagen production and act as antioxidants. They are needed for natural healing and regeneration of your skin and to help remove damaged collagen.

Peptides Might Not Do Anything

There are many things that have to go right in order for peptides to actually have a benefit. Because they are break-down products of proteins, they have to be stabilized or they might continue to break down further in a topical cream, becoming useless. Also, they have to be in a cream that allows them to penetrate the skin. If a great peptide is in a thick cream that only sits on the surface, then it will never penetrate and will eventually be washed off, without any benefit. That being said, signal peptides and copper peptides seem to have the most evidence for their efficacy and can be found in products that are affordable.

Better ways to counter the effects of anti-aging

Relyingon peptides in your skincare require patience and effort on your part. A proper skincare regime needs to be followed to see results and the results are not immediate. If cost is not an issue for you, injectables like dermal fillers and botox will be able to offer instant but better, more visible results that are long lasting. We highly encourage you to talk to Dr Darryl Chew to discover the best treatment for you. Click here to contact us.