What Are Peptides?

Peptides are amino acids (protein) that are linked together in a chain to form a specific grouping. Palmitoyl pentapeptides, for example, are peptides that have a chain of 5 amino acids and hexapeptides form a chain of 6 amino acids. Marine oligo peptides are a chain of a “few” natural-water amino acids. All fixed-sequence peptides commercially available are patented. Manufacturers combine synthetic peptides with a fatty acid, which is essential to get the product into the deeper layers of skin. Initially, the research on peptides was done in relation to wound healing. Published studies showed peptides to be instrumental in causing cells in the skin to produce more collagen as part of the body’s natural response to help skin heal.

How Do Peptides Work?

Studies have proven that some peptides act as a natural regulatory mechanism in which the peptide acts as a signal; if the skin is damaged for any reason, structural proteins are destroyed and peptides (chains of amino acids resulting from the breakdown of the larger protein) are released. The skin interprets these peptides as a signal that it has to make some more proteins. Peptides that send the signal that more proteins (collagen) are needed are in a category of peptides considered to be “wrinkle minimizers.” Hexapeptides block neurotransmitters that cause muscles to contract and form wrinkles. This peptide is referred to as a “wrinkle relaxer”.

How Do Peptides Benefit The Skin?

Peptides are active at very small doses and are highly specific, having a very good safety profile when used physiologically – that is, to assist or change an organism’s physical processes. By stimulating fibroblast, the building-block of collagen, and signaling the skin to produce more protein, peptides increase firmness, tone, and diminish fine lines overall, promoting a healthier skin.