Skincare Active Ingredients

Peptides in skincare – Complete Guide

Peptides are short chains of amino acids. They help to maintain skin structure such as collagen, elastin, affect inflammation, pigmentation, etc.

Some examples of amino acids are arginine, histidine, methionine, lysine, proline, leucine, glycine, alanine, glutamine, etc.

There are different types of peptides in the markets and they are made by different companies. They are not the same peptides.

Matricins peptides or signaling peptides:

These peptides trigger signaling that modulates dermal extracellular melanogenesis. This means that these peptides can stimulate the production of collagen and can reduce fine lines and wrinkles. It can also reduce pigmentation, increase skin elasticity, and makes the skin smooth and firm.

Examples: casomine, palmitoyl pentapeptide, palmitory tripeptide-1, palmitoyl tripeptide-3/5, palmitoyl pentapeptide-4, palmitoyl hexapeptide-12, Tripeptide-10, copper tripeptide, trifluoroacetyl tripeptide-2, hexapeptide, tetrapeptide-21, acetyl tetrapeptide-5, acetyl tetrapeptide- 9/11, Tripeptide-10 citrulline etc.

Carrier peptides:

These peptides deliver trace elements like copper and manganese that are necessary for the cell to function properly. These elements help with wounds and inflammation by promoting collagen and elastin. They also provide anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Examples: copper tripeptide, manganese tripeptide-1.

Neurotransmitter-inhibitor peptides or peptide mimics:

These peptides inhibit the release of neurotransmitters that help to reduce fine lines and wrinkles

Examples: acetyl hexapeptide-3, pentapeptide-18, pentapeptide-3, tripeptide-3.

Enzyme inhibitor peptides:

These peptides can boost collagen production.

Examples: soybean peptides, rice peptides, black rice oligopeptides, silk protiens.

Structural peptides:

These proteins are naturally present in our skin.

Examples: Keratin.

Keratin-based peptides applied topically have shown skin improvement in skin elasticity, water-holding capacity, and hydration.

Different lengths of peptides:

There are some peptides which are longer and some which are longer.

  • Tripeptide – 3AA long
  • Tetrapeptide- 4AA long
  • Pentapeptide – 5 AA long
  • Hexapeptide – 6 AA long

What skincare ingredients can I combine peptides with?

  • Retinol and retinoids
  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Vitamin C
  • Niacinamide
  • Tranexamic acid
  • Vitamin E
  • Ferulic acid
  • Azelaic acid
  • Ceramides
  • And any other actives you can think of.

Who all can use it?

Peptides are suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin and skin of colour. It is also a great alternative to retinol-based products.

What type of peptides should I choose?

There are many peptides that are not studied well and do not show any results, whereas there are some peptides that have scientific evidence and they have shown results.

When it comes to matricins peptides or signaling peptides:

1. Palmitoyl pentapeptide – 4:

This peptide has increase in the production of collagen, elastin , and wound healing. It also reduces fine lines and wrinkles.

2. Tetrapeptide – 21:

This peptide also boosts collagen, hyaluronic acid. It also helps with fine lines, wrinkles, and skin roughness.

When it comes to carrier peptides:

1. Copper Tripeptide:

This peptide has shown improvement in collagen, elastin, wound healing, and inflammation.

2. Manganese Tripeptide-1

One study showed that this peptide has helped with facial photodamage. During a 12 – week period, subjects were told to apply a facial serum containing manganese tripeptide-1 twice a day. This showed improvement in hyperpigmentation.

When it comes to neurotransmitter-inhibitor peptides:

1. Acetyl hexapeptide – 3:

This peptide inhibits the release of neurotransmitters, which provides anti-wrinkle and moisturizing effects. It also improves the tone of the skin.

When it comes to enzyme-inhibitor peptides:

1. Silk proteins:

Silk proteins can help in boosting collagen production. It can act as an occlusive and prevent water loss from skin. It can also help in wound healing.

Peptides for Hair:

Peptides are chains of amino acids and these amino acids are the building blocks of the body.

What is hair made of?

Hair is made up of proteins and keratin. Chemicals and heat styling can damage the keratin and the hair can lose elasticity, smoothness, and shine (mechanical strength of the hair). The hair and keratin cannot be repaired.

What can peptides do for hair?

Peptides can restore the mechanical strength of the hair by binding to the damaged keratin in your hair. In order to bind to the keratin in the cortex (where keratin is present), it has to penetrate deep into the cortex but the permeability of the hair is not high.

Peptides have a small molecular size (it depends on the type of peptide used) and are easier to penetrate into damaged hair. There are studies showing that peptides can improve the mechanical strength of the hair, especially damaged hair.

Frequently asked Questions:

Is peptides safe for pregnancy?

Yes, peptides is safe to use for pregnancy.

Can peptides cause purging?

It is very unlikely that peptides can cause purging because it actually boosts collagen production and not cell turnover. Purging occurs when you introduce a new product that increases cellular turnover, and peptides actually boost the collagen production making your skin smooth, firm, and moisturized.