Can Peptides Really Smooth Wrinkles? by Deb Chase

peptide beauty productsPeptides are one of the most highly promoted  anti-aging ingredients– but do they actually work?  The short answer is — wait for it– maybe. The value  of peptides to the skin goes back to the 1930’s when doctors discovered that yeast extracts  promoted wound healing.  Further studies showed it was the peptide proteins in the yeast  that were responsible  for the beneficial effects including  increased collagen production.   Researchers now believe that peptides  can boost circulation AND  trigger new collagen synthesis.  Excellent!

Three Types of Anti-Aging Peptides

There are actually three types of peptides  that are  popular  cosmetic ingredients:

1. Signal proteins are able to increase collagen production AND  slow collagen destruction.  ( FYI collagen fibers are what gives the skin its strength and flexability.  Old, weak collagen leads to  unwanted lines and wrinkles).  A study that was  published  in the journal Cutis   followed women   using a peptide marketed as Matrixyl 3000. At the end of the 3 month study there was significant improvement in fine lines.  That’s good news, but there is even better news–  Matrixyl can be found in both affordable and luxury products such as the Oil of Olay Regenerist line and Boots#7  Protect and Perfect line.

2. Neurotransmitter peptides are promoted  as Botox without needles.  They have the potential to inhibit muscle contrctions so they can potentially  diminish fine lines, especially above the lip and around the eyes.   The most popular form of these peptides is marketed as Argireline.  There are some studies that support its  benefits but consumer advocates point out that many of the studies were done  by the companies which marketed these peptides.Two popular Argireline products are Wrinkle Relax ( DDF) and Avon Anew Deep Crease Concentrate.

3. Carrier peptides deliver essential trace elements ( eg copper)  which is needed for wound healing.  Not  to be a broken record, its helpful to know that copper is vital for healthier collagen and elastin.

All three types of peptides are backed with  solid research,  but the actual benefits are still not proven.  One problem is the lack of info on the concentration of peptides used  in a  commercial  product.   Most of the studies are done with very specific  peptide levels  and we  just don’t have  this data when buying an anti-aging  peptide product.

Even when peptide formulations are fully charged, the difference they make is  smaller than the benefits you can get from a Retin A /daily sunscreen combination.  For this reason most dermatologist recommend using peptides in addition to the retinoid/ sunscreen  routinue.  For example use   a peptide moisturizer at night over  the nightly Retin A application.   Peptide rich products like Protein Booster Eye Rescue ( Jack Black) can also be  helpful around the eyes  where Retin A  cannot be used safely.


2 thoughts on “Can Peptides Really Smooth Wrinkles? by Deb Chase

  1. Deb,

    I seem to recall you were given a Palovia home skin lasering unit to try. Did you do a blog about an update? I’m considering purchasing one but the reviews I’ve read online have been questionable. Then again it doesn’t sound like people necessarily followed the directions. What’s your opinion on the product?


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