Peptides are the latest star ingredient to join the anti-aging arsenal. Find out what all the fuss is about.
For years, women have used retinol, vitamin C and collagen-based creams to ward off the signs of aging. However, peptide-based products are the latest beauty breakthrough to promise to slow down the clock.
Amino acids are the basic elements of protein. Added up, they form a peptide. Several peptides together form a protein. "Peptides act as messengers to stimulate collagen production," says Dr. Daniel Maes, global vice-president of research and development with Estée Lauder. When the natural collagen production is stimulated, the wrinkle is lifted and appears less visible. Lauder's Perfectionist CP with Poly-Collagen Peptides Correcting Serum couples collagen fragments and hexapeptides with Cell Vector Technology to speed delivery of peptides to the cells. "It's a safe technology because it duplicates the skin's natural repair mechanism," says Maes.
As we age, collagen production slows and we develop lines and wrinkles because the skin's support structure is weakened. When collagen breakdown occurs in younger skin, cells work to repair that damage immediately. "Peptide ‘false alarm' technology signifies to the cells that it's time to produce collagen, even if there is no damage. It increases the repair activity of the fibroblasts, which are the cells that make collagen," Maes explains.
If you're experiencing signs of sun-induced aging, peptides can help. "Peptides are more repair than preventative," says Maes. "I typically recommend starting to use these products at around age 30, but if you've been negligent about applying daily sunscreen, start earlier to repair that damage." Peptides target both intrinsic and extrinsic signs of aging. Loss of collagen production is caused by two factors, according to Maes: UV light and environmental damage and the slowed production of collagen over time. "Peptides work on both of these at the same time," says Maes.