Peptides: they're one of the best-known ingredients in the skincare world, and for good reason. A tried and trusted staple – especially when dealing with the signs of ageing – they can benefit all skin types, and are a tool that's well worth including in your beauty kit.
But before you start slathering them on, we've got your ultimate guide to what makes them so popular. From what peptides do to how to use them in your skincare routine, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about peptides in skincare and their many benefits.
What are Peptides?
Peptides are amino acids that create proteins needed by the skin. They naturally occur in your skin, but you can apply peptides topically to help build the proteins we need, like collagen – known for its plumping, hydrating and overall strengthening properties – and elastin, which helps with skin elasticity and firmness.
How do Peptides work?
These clever amino acids work by signalling to collagen and elastin already present in our derma (the middle, thick layer of our skin) that they need to produce more. Think of them as messengers that give your skin a pep talk – they give it the green light to start producing more collagen and elastin. And in turn, that means plump, bouncy and more youthful-looking skin.
What are the benefits of Peptides for the skin?
Peptides have a good reputation for a reason – because they've been proven to be effective in supporting the skin in multiple ways. In short, yes, you should add them to your skincare routine. Here's what they can do for you...
Applying peptides topically essentially sends a message to the skin that it’s time to rejuvenate its cells, and in particular, stimulate collagen production. A direct result of increased collagen is skin that’s smoother – like a well-plumped cushion.
Increases skin’s elasticity
Another protein that’s stimulated when you work peptides into the skin is elastin. This protein, as you can guess from the name, maintains the skin’s elasticity. The older we get, the less elastin we produce – so peptides are an essential to help get it going again. A little pick-me-up, if you will, for more supple skin.
Firms the skin
Yes, that improvement in collagen and elastin also means firmer, less saggy skin – another win if you're noticing the signs of ageing. Peptides help to bring your bounce back, giving skin a little more oomph.
Maintains the skin’s barrier
Collagen is a really important part of the skin’s basic structure to uphold and strengthen it – including the uppermost barrier, which is your skin's own natural shield. By boosting your own production of collagen with the power of peptides, you can keep your skin strong and healthy, protecting it from external forces like pollution and over exfoliation.
Minimises fine lines
To be clear, peptides don't erase fine lines (and very few ingredients can) – but they do indirectly help to ease wrinkles by kickstarting the production of collagen. This skin-plumper helps smooth the skin from the inside out, helping to iron out those creases and helping fine lines to appear less prominent over time.
Helps to calm breakouts
There are many types of peptides to pick from, and some are known to have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties – which make them useful in the battle against blemishes.
How do you use Peptides in your skincare routine?
So you know you want them – now it’s time to put it into practice. Here's how to add this effective ingredient into your skincare routine, stat.
Think leave-on products
Those peptides have plenty of work to do – so there's no use washing them down the plughole. You want them in formulas that can penetrate the skin. Look for serums, moisturisers and other 'treatment' products rather than cleansers or anything that doesn't stay on the skin, for better results.
It’s not possible to overload on peptides, meaning they're suitable to use – in whichever form – in both your AM and PM routine. Though we know our skin does all of its best rejuvenation work at night, so if you’d prefer to use it just in the evening, that works just as well.
Mix it up
There's no need to overhaul your entire skincare regime if you like what you're using – and it's all thanks to boosters like ours. A single, concentrated active, our Peptides 5% Smoothing Booster is made for slotting into your routine, however you choose. The consistency of a lightweight serum, apply 1-2 drops directly onto the skin, or blend it into other skincare products – such as your serum or moisturiser.
Not sure where to start with the rest of your routine? Our Age Confidence range cares for mature skin, with a focus on products that boast impressive restorative qualities, including our Salvation Jane Moisturiser, Feather Canyon Eye Cream and Viper's Gloss Face Oil.