Peptides, also called polypeptides, naturally occur in the skin, but they’re also included in many skin care products — and for good reason.
Incorporating peptides into your skin care routine has many benefits for the skin.
Peptides are amino acids that make up certain proteins needed by the skin. More specifically, collagen is made of three polypeptide chains, so adding peptides can stimulate your skin to make collagen. More collagen can lead to firmer, younger-looking skin.
Your body makes collagen naturally. But over time, collagen production decreases, which can cause skin to look more wrinkled and less even and bright.
The collagen molecule is actually too large to absorb through skin but peptides can absorb into the skin where they can be used by the body.
Peptides can penetrate the outer layer of the skin, so instead of sitting on top of the skin, they sink in more deeply. You can think of them as messengers for the other cells. They send signals telling the cells to produce collagen and elastin.
Using peptides regularly in your skin care routine can:
Improve the skin barrier
The skin barrier is the body’s line of defense against bacteria, ultraviolet rays, pollution, and other toxins. The skin barrier can be damaged from over-exfoliation, exposure to cigarette smoke and other pollution, or even poor sleep. Peptides help build up a stronger barrier.
Collagen can plump skin and lips. When skin is firmer and plumper, wrinkles and fine lines will be less visible.
Improve skin elasticity
In addition to collagen, peptides also make up elastin fibers, also a type of protein. These fibers make skin look firmer and tighter.
Peptides can help ease inflammation, repair damaged skin, and even out skin tone.
Help clear breakouts
Some peptides are antimicrobial, meaning they can kill bacteria that cause acne.