• The building blocks of proteins, peptides have become an essential ingredient in anti-aging skin care. Peptides are a string of amino acids that are held together by bonds of nitrogen and carbon. Short chain peptides are able to penetrate the epidermis and send signals to cells, informing them how to function.

    There are many different types of peptides, which have various effects on the cellular function of the skin. Considered by many to be one of the most effective treatments in repairing damaged and aging skin, the most important thing to remember when using a peptide formula is diligence.

    Results from peptides will generally not be visible for anywhere from 4 to 12 weeks. It can be discouraging to not see changes before that time, but routine use will deliver results. Once you begin to notice changes in your skin, it is important to remain diligent in the use of peptide products. Once you discontinue using the products, the results will eventually fade.

    With so many options when it comes to peptides in skin care, here are some of the most effective ones to pay attention to.

    Collagen/Elastin Building Peptides Collagen and Elastin are essential in keeping the elasticity and firmness of skin in tact. As skin ages, the production of both these slows down, which leads to the formation of wrinkles and sagging skin. The inclusion of the following ingredients in anti-aging products is pivotal for rebuilding diminished elasticity and firmness for more youthful looking skin.

    Dermaxyl (Palmitoyl Oligopeptide) This ingredient stimulates the production of Hyaluronic Acid, in addition to elastin and collagen.

    Matrixyl (Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4) Consisting of five amino acids linked together, this peptide increases the synthesis of elastin, collagen, and glucosamnoglycans. It has been shown to decrease skin roughness by 13%, reduce wrinkle volume by 36%, and decrease wrinkle depth by 27% after four months of twice daily applications on the face and neck.

    Matrixyl 3000 (Palmitoyl Oligopeptide & Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7) Unlike the “classic” Matrixyl, this is a combination of two peptides, palmitoyl oligopeptide and palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7. These work synergistically to increase skin’s permeability and decrease inflammation. It also reduces wrinkle depth and roughness of the skin.

    Idealift (Lipodipeptide) This ingredient is a form of lipodipeptide which has been proven to increase the quantity of elastin in the cells by more than 94%.

    Botox Alternative/ Wrinkle Freezing Preventing the contraction ability of muscles has been found to be effective in reducing and prevent wrinkles. One popular way to do this is through Botox injections. Alternatives to Botox are available, and are very effective with their “wrinkle-freezing” abilities. Listed below are peptides to look for in products claiming to be Botox alternatives.

    Argireline (Acetyl Hexapeptide-8) Formed of six amino acids, this peptide relaxes facial muscles that cause wrinkles through neurotransmitters that keep the signal protein catecholamine from triggering muscle contraction. Unlike Botox, this peptide does not cause paralysis of the muscles, it allows them to relax, still allowing for normal facial movement.

    Snap-8 (Acetyl Glutamyl Octapeptide-3) An elongated version of Argireline, this is considered to be 30% more effective and is a neuropeptide that reduces the depth of wrinkles.

    Syn-ake (Dipeptide Diaminobutyroyl Benzylamide Diacetate) A synthetic tripeptide works as a neuromuscular-blocking compound to help reduce the dept of wrinkles and increase skin smoothness with the active ingredient Waglerin 1, which is similar to a compound found in the Asian Temple Snake’s venom that restricts muscle movement.

    Miscellaneous Peptides Peptides can be used to effectively treat other skin care concerns such as dark under eye circles, hyperpigmentation, and inflammation.

    Regu-Age (Hydrolyzed Rice Bran Protein, Oxido Reductases, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Protein) This is a soy and rice based peptide that reduces the puffiness and dark circles under the eyes by improving microcirculation and increasing fibroblasts proliferation.

    Eyeliss (Hesperidin methyl Chalcone – Steareth-20 – Dipeptide-2 – Palmiotyl Tetrapeptide-3) Improves circulation under the eyes by decreasing capillary permeability. It also improves firmness and elasticity of the skin.

    Rigin (Peptide Pal-GQPR) Four synthesized amino acids reduce inflammation by suppressing the chemical messengers which trigger it.

    Melanostatin (Aqua-Dextran-Nonapeptide-1) This is a skin lightening peptide which works by stopping the signals that relay the need for melanin to be produced.