Incorporating peptides into your skincare routine will help reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and crow’s feet. These small, chemical compounds are known to boost collagen and elastin production while also helping build up the skin’s barrier against toxins and bacteria.
How it Works
There are three types of peptides that you can use in your skincare routine: signal peptides, carrier peptides, and enzyme inhibitors. Each has different ways of boosting collagen and elastin levels in the skin.
Signal peptides—also known as palmitoyl pentapeptides—act like messengers to tell the cells in your skin to make more collagen and elastin. They’re usually found in creams or serums and can help smooth out fine lines and wrinkles by plumping up the skin.
Carrier peptides hook up with other ingredients to facilitate their delivery to your skin. They often contain copper, which can improve the healing process in wounds and has also been shown to promote healthy, even-toned skin, says Dr. Gonzalez.
Enzyme inhibitors block the breakdown of the proteins that keep your skin firm and taut. They’re commonly made from soybean peptides, silk fibroin peptides, and rice peptides, which have been found to help retain more collagen.
What to Look For in a Peptide Serum
The best peptide serums have the ability to penetrate deeply into your skin and work for long periods of time. That’s why they are a better option for your skincare regimen than cleansers or masks that get rinsed off, suggests dermatologist David Doft.