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What Are Peptides And What Do They Do?

Posted by Dan Narsete on

As an exclusive for our blog readers, we’re doing a review of the top skincare products to slow down the aging process. This is the first of a half dozen or so articles designed with you in mind.

We get bombarded with skin care companies telling us about all kinds of “magical fixes” to help us with everything from wrinkles to acne treatments. But what really works and what is fiction? As the saying goes, “knowing is half the battle.” Today, we’re going look at peptides and explain why they are beneficial to your skin.

What is a peptide?

If you can bear with me and think back to chemistry for a minute, I’ll explain. While reading this paragraph if you start to doze off remember that we are learning about making our skin look younger. We cut it down to only include the most important information, so take a sip of your latte and continue.

Proteins are found everywhere in our bodies and are a large component of skin. In our skin these proteins are made up of shorter chained molecules called peptides. These peptides are made up of amino acids. An amino acid is a compound that has an amine and a carboxyl group. Still with me? Hang in there, almost done. A study published in the Multi Disciplinarian Publishing Institute showed that “peptides are used for collagen stimulation, wound healing, ‘Botox-like’ wrinkle smoothing, as well as antioxidative, antimicrobial, and whitening effects.” All amazing things for your anti-aging quest! There are three main forms of peptides involved in anti-aging serums: carrier, neurotransmitter, and signaling. 

Carrier peptides

Your skin is structured to stop outside forces such as bacteria, dirt, and viruses from getting in. Because of this, certain types of peptides help “carry” micronutrients, antioxidants, etc into the skin. The first type is called carrier peptides.  These peptides help stabilize other smaller elements that otherwise would become inactive to get down to your skin cells. They have a wide range of benefits ranging from slowing down inflammation to wound repair.

“Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength.” –Betty Friedan

Neurotransmitter peptides

Muscles moving over the course of your life build up memory. This is one of the causes of wrinkles. Neuromodulators (neu-ro-mo-du-la-tors) like Botox are injected to stop your muscles from moving. If we can stop or slow down the muscles from moving, we are that much closer to getting rid of wrinkles. With these types of peptides, they are like a kid play with Legos; how blocks connect is basically the same process. The neuromodulator connects to the receptor and tells it not to fire. Neurotransmitter peptides basically work the same way. They can work like Botox, but getting them to the muscle is anything but easy.

Signaling peptides

Signaling peptides are the “bees-knees” of peptides. They signal to cells when and what to do kind of like the Queen Bee or CEO of your company. These signaling peptides have been modified to tell cells to produce new collagen. And we like that! There are several different types of signaling peptides that do work and have clinical backing to them. 

What this means to me

Now that we’ve endured a high school flashback into chemistry class, let’s talk about how we can use this knowledge. Any daily morning routine should consist of a cleanser to clean off dirt and oil and a serum (followed by a moisturizer and sunscreen). For morning regimens, it is always a good idea to use a signaling peptide-based serum. As we have just read these signaling peptides help start a communication cascade that will result in new collagen. Now, keep in mind it normally takes 90+ days of repeated use before you should start to see softer, tighter skin. But rest assured that peptides have been researched, tested, and do work if you are using medical grade skincare.

And Lastly…

Keep in mind that using skincare is a daily event. If you only use peptides once or twice it’s not going to do much. With daily use these signaling peptides will crack the whip to get your body to produce new collagen. New collagen is what we are all after, right? Right.

To getting rid of wrinkles,

The Reflect Team 


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