How do Peptides Work?

Peptides are clearly becoming more and more prominent in skin-care products. You have probably heard about them or seen them on products in the store and wondered if they worth the buzz. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about what they are and what they are used for. But the short answer is yes, they are worth the buzz!

What are Peptides?

Peptides are naturally occurring biological molecules and are found in all living organisms. They are in our skin naturally, and act as your body’s biological messengers. We need peptides for our body to function correctly. Peptides are short chains of amino acids (these are the smallest units of a protein) and they act as the building blocks of proteins. The amino acids in a peptide are connected in a sequence by bonds called peptide bonds. The peptides act as messengers, signaling to your skin that it’s time to start building up proteins (like collagen, elastin, and keratine). Since peptides are not proteins in and of themselves, they are able to penetrate the skin when they are applied topically, whereas proteins themselves (like collagen) couldn’t penetrate the skin, which is why you often see collagen supplements and not topical collagen products. Once they are applied topically, they are then used biologically within your skin to build up proteins!

As we age, the peptide bonds within our skin weaken, causing a loss in the firmness and elasticity of our skin, or a loss in the protein. This is why we add peptides even though they are already present in our skin. Peptides are powerful anti-aging skincare ingredients that reinforce essential proteins in the skin like collagen and elastin by passing messages to your skin to build those proteins. These are the key proteins responsible for the texture, resilience, and strength of your skin. Peptides are proven to support your skin in many ways including it’s firmness, hydration, and soothing.

Are there different kinds of peptides?

There are four main peptide categories- signal, carrier, enzyme inhibitor, and neurotransmitter. They each work in different ways when used. Signal peptides signal your skin to generate elastin and collagen. Carrier peptides help with wound healing. Enzyme inhibitor peptides help to lessen the breakdown of collagen. Neurotransmitter peptides help with the fine lines and wrinkles.

Signal and carrier peptides are often the most popular and are more widely researched than enzyme inhibitor and neurotransmitter peptides. Examples of signal peptides include palmitoyl tripeptides, tetrapeptides, carnosine and hexapeptides. A common carrier peptide is a copper peptide (GHK-Cu). You can look for these in the ingredients on your skin-care products to see what kinds of peptides are included in them.

What are the benefits to using peptides in my skin-care routine?

As we start aging, our collagen and protein production decreases significantly, which is where peptides come in. When used, peptides send the message to your skin to start producing those proteins and build back up. They are proven to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, boost your skin’s firmness and plumpness, create more elastic skin, ease inflammation in the skin, and can even help with breakouts.

How do I use peptides?

It is recommended that peptide products are in the form of serums or moisturizers so that they remain on your skin, rather than a cleanser that is washed off. They should be used after cleansing and before moisturizing. It is best to test your other products that you are using to see if there are any reactions to using those alongside the peptides, and if there are, to find a different formula that works for your skin.

Peptides are essential in the fight against aging skin!

These are some of our favorite peptide products that can easily be added into any skin-care routine:


LUMINATE is a collagen stimulating peptide serum made by BioTE Medical. It combines 3 fast-acting peptides (GHK-Cu, Argireline, and Leuphasyl) to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and promote firmer, healthier skin! It promotes cell turnover, enhances skin clarity, and reduces muscle tension and contraction. LUMINATE is a great addition to a skin-care routine lacking in peptides.

SkinMedica Lytera 2.0 Pigment Correcting Serum

Lytera 2.0 Pigment Correcting Serum addresses the appearance of stubborn discoloration, making even skin tones possible for all skin types. Powered by niacinamide and tetrapeptide-30, this skin brightening formula prevents the appearance of new spots while a marine extract blend supports a healthy skin barrier.

SkinMedica Neck Correct Cream

Neck Correct Cream is a powerful serum that is uniquely formulated to prevent and address the multiple visible signs of moderate to severe neck aging. It is a state-of-the-art, luxurious formula of peptides, antioxidants, and active botanical extracts uniquely designed to target the biological pathways specific to neck aging.

SkinMedica TNS Ceramide Treatment Cream

TNS Ceramide Treatment Cream hydrates and helps restore your skin’s barrier function through Palmitoyl oligopeptide and tetrapeptide-7 that regulate cell functionality and stimulate collagen production to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Peptides can also be used in other products besides skin-care- take a look at these two peptide products that work to reduce hair loss!

BioTE Hair Rescue: ACTIVATE is a peptide hair growth complex that works to stimulate normal hair growth and promote hair cell proliferation. It combines a hair-stimulating peptide, PTD-DBM, with Methyl Vannilate to provide a multi-approach solution to hair loss.

BioTE Hair Rescue: REPAIR is a hair follicle peptide serum that combines two potent peptide combinations, GHK-Cu and AN-Thymulin to strengthen existing hair and extend the anagen stage of hair follicles.



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