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Peptides Explained: What They Are and Why You Need Them

Posted by Dan Narsete on



“I think that ultimately your age is determined by your attitude. It’s not the number; it’s not how many wrinkles you have on your face. It’s the energy that you project.” – Christie Brinkley

Many of you have written to us asking for guidance on specific ingredients in our top skincare products that can help reduce the signs of aging. Since we can’t stop time, we’re creating a dedicated series of posts that explain single ingredients and how they work. For the past several years, the use of peptides in medical grade skincare has increased enormously. But just what exactly are peptides? They sound happy, and they can make your skin happier as well, so let’s get to it.

Simplifying the Terminology

You already know that your body needs protein to maintain muscle mass and to get you through the day. Your skin itself contains a form of protein that’s composed of amino acids. When you’re young, your body produces more collagen, thanks to those peptides, which keeps your skin firm. As we age, though, our collagen doesn’t replenish itself completely, so our skin can lose its firmness and actually become thinner. So … how do we tell our body to produce more collagen? By using a medical grade serum containing, you guessed it, peptides!

What You Should Look For

When it comes to selecting products that contain peptides, consumers have it easy. Just take a look at the following list:

  • Acetyl Hexapeptide-3 (relaxes muscles kinda like really weak Botox®)
  • Azelaoyl Bis-Dipeptide-10(reduces hyperpigmentation)
  • Hexanoyl Dipeptide-3 Norleucine Acetate(increases skin turnover)
  • Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-3, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, and Palmitoyl Tripeptide (softens wrinkles while firming skin)

Notice anything familiar in those ingredient names? They all include the word peptide. Some peptides help with skin firmness, while others can reduce hyperpigmentation (like sun spots or healed acne marks), and a few work great for reducing redness. You don’t need to memorize the list in order to reap the benefits, though. Brands are more than forthcoming when it comes to listing peptides in their formulas and mentioning what they do.

Putting Peptides to Work

Now that you know what they are, consider incorporating them into your daily skincare routine. Since it can take as long as three months to see results, you’ll need to use them daily. Look for a medical grade serum to ensure you’re getting the highest quality ingredients in the right concentration. Simply add this step between your toner and moisturizer in the evening, and let it do its thing. And if you have any questions, you can always ask us. We’ll be happy to help.

Happy anti-aging,

Team Reflect 

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