What are peptides and what are their benefits for the skin?

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When we talk about aging skin, collagen is a proven ingredient backed by science for its effectiveness. Skincare enthusiasts love collagen for good reason: This protein, found naturally in tissues and organs, is known to keep skin supple and firm.

While collagen is a staple when it comes to anti-aging beauty regimens, skin peptides are the missing piece of the equation. Here’s everything you need to know about the benefits of collagen , how peptides work, and all the other ways to renew the collagen in your skin.

1. What are peptides?

Peptides are the building blocks of protein production in your body. When amino acids bind together, they form chains called peptides. Once these peptides are formed, they come together to create proteins. These peptide assemblies can form different types of proteins used by your body to build bones, cartilage, muscle, skin, hair and more.

Collagen is a versatile source of protein and the main structural protein of the skin. Of course, other important elements come into play, but this protein represents between 75% and 80% of the dermis. The dermis (the second layer of the skin) is where collagen is housed—and also where it’s produced. Skin cells in the dermis, called fibroblasts, synthesize the collagen that holds the composition of the dermis together, giving the skin a supportive structure.

There is a lot of excitement surrounding the use of collagen in skin care or as a dietary supplement. What you need to know about collagen is that it is a large, relatively complex molecule, which means that it does not penetrate the skin when infused into skincare formulas. the skin. To get around the size issue, most collagen-based moisturizers , serums , and edible powders contain hydrolyzed collagen, also known as “collagen peptides.” Essentially, hydrolyzed collagen is collagen that has been broken down into smaller, more easily dissolvable chains of amino acids. These smaller molecules can cross the skin barrier and sneak into the dermis.

Are peptides safe?

Are peptides bad for you? The short answer is no. Our skin is constantly in a cycle of collagen production and degradation, but at some point in our lives, this cycle becomes out of balance. After the age of 30, we lose 1% of our collagen stores per year—this is caused by the accelerated breakdown of collagen and the slowdown in its production, both caused by aging. The body already produces peptides and collagen, so ingesting them or applying them topically to enrich their presence in your body is safe and also beneficial.

2. What are the benefits of collagen-boosting peptides on your skin?

When everything is working normally, our bodies have collagen-producing cellular machines called fibroblasts that synthesise new collagen. These fibroblasts act in the skin like the springs in a mattress; they support the surface of the skin. However, as we age, the collagen-producing cells in our bodies begin to falter. After the age of 20, collagen production begins to decline; at the age of 30, it falls, registering a loss of about 1% per year, causing the loss of elasticity, firmness and suppleness of the skin.

More bad news: Existing collagen begins to break down—a process called fragmentation. Aging is the main cause of this phenomenon, but other factors such as exposure [Linked to exposome article] to pollution, tobacco, stress and ultraviolet rays can wreak havoc by producing free radicals in our skin. . These free radicals attack healthy collagen fibers, accelerating the destruction of existing collagen in the skin.

Almost all of the desirable attributes of healthy skin are linked to collagen and its benefits. The more collagen present in the skin, the plumper, firmer and more radiant the skin appears. The peptides rebuild and repair damaged cells and stimulate the skin to produce collagen, slowing down the aging process of the skin. They also have antioxidant properties that neutralize the silent damage caused by our daily exposures. Peptides are safe and effective anti-aging ingredients for all skin types, including the most sensitive, dry and acne-prone.

What about dietary collagen supplements? A collagen-rich diet or collagen supplements can also help support skin, hair, and nails. Since collagen is a protein, many dermatologists believe that the digestive system breaks down edible collagen into amino acids before it even makes it to the skin. Currently, more research is needed to test the anti-aging properties of collagen supplements and a collagen-rich diet. Until then, amino acids from the collagen diet or collagen supplements can be used to support the health of your hair and nails.

3. How to inorporate peptides into your skincare routine?

Think of Vichy’s LiftActiv Collagen Specialist as your daily collagen boost that amplifies your body’s collagen production. Inspired by the next generation of aesthetic procedures, this collagen-based face cream combines two key ingredients for younger-looking skin: hyaluronic acid and rice peptides. It’s also formulated with vitamin C , a powerful antioxidant that helps brighten skin. Rice peptides help intensify collagen production, resulting in smoother, firmer, and softer skin

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