There’s been a lot of buzz around peptides and what they can do for your skin, muscles, and health. But what are they and do they live up to the hype?
Peptides are short strings of amino acids, which (under the right conditions) create proteins. They’re the building blocks of life, and they play a vital role in fundamental biological processes. You can find them in your body, but they can also be lab-created. Some of them are used as medicines for conditions like diabetes and multiple sclerosis.
The benefits of peptides are far-reaching. They can reduce inflammation, boost collagen, brighten age spots and hydrate the skin, among many other things. In addition, peptides can boost metabolism and promote weight loss, improve wound healing and help fight bacteria.
You’ll likely find peptides in serums, moisturizers, boosters and other leave-on skin care products. Since they need to have long-term contact with the skin in order to benefit it, they are most effective when incorporated into these types of products.
Some of the most popular peptides include sh-polypeptide-121, which has antioxidant and anti-aging properties; palmitoyl tripeptide-38, which helps boost the barrier and skin’s structure; and tetrapeptide-7, which supports the matrix of skin cells.
There are even peptides that have been specifically developed for skin problems like acne, aging and wrinkles. Some peptides stimulate the production of collagen, while others inhibit the enzymes that break down proteins and cause skin to deteriorate. There are also peptides that encourage skin’s natural production of amino acids that help maintain the integrity of the skin’s structure.