Skip to main content

What's Up Magazine

Shiny Happy Peptides…Creating Better Skin!

May 31, 2017 02:00PM ● By Cate Reynolds
By Lisa J. Gotto

Peptide. The very sound of the word denotes happiness. No doubt you have heard this term a lot if you are savvy about your skin care or spend any time in a beauty product boutique.

Indeed, one could say there is a “happiness” factor associated with peptides because it is the peptides that help stimulate the production of collagen in our skin.

So do lots of happy peptides mean better, younger looking skin?

Perhaps we need to first define what a peptide is. But can we? ThermoFischer Scientific, a world leader in service science, remarks that while, “…the definition of a peptide is not definitive, it usually refers to flexible chains of up to 30 to 50 amino acids.” Peptides synthesize when a bond is formed between two amino acids.

Peptides play a large role in our physiology and processes that go on within a human’s complex chemical makeup, but for our purposes we are just looking at the role they can play in better looking skin.

So we can think of peptides as basic building blocks to better health overall, and better skin if all that synthesizing is going on, and you can rest assured that you’ve got some pretty formidable peptides doing their thing, naturally.

But like any great naturally occurring beneficial substance, it is always big news when science is able to re-produce its own versions of the substance to enhance the positive effects it can have for us. Tie this aspect in then with the potential for anti-aging properties associated with enhanced collagen, and you have the recipe for a rather popular product if it contains peptides. So the race is on to put what we know about peptides to work for better skin.


Ongoing research has shown that all peptides have some amount of skin-restorative ability.


Lab work

Peptides have been in the news since the National Institutes of Health (NIH) was researching the ingredient Matrixyl (palmitoyl pentapeptide-3) years ago and discovered its ability to stimulate collagen production.

More recent studies of peptides in the news have found that formulations such as (acetyl hexapeptide-3) can actually produce a mild, muscle-inhibiting effect similar to Botox through its release of neurotransmitters that deter muscles from forming wrinkles.

There is also evidence, according to the JAMA, Journal of the American Medical Association, that newer peptide formulations can stimulate cells to turnover faster by getting them to behave like growth factors.

Indeed, the science of making us look younger through the development of peptide formulations is humming right along. WebMD reports that researchers are even getting better at stabilizing peptides and inhibiting collagen breakdown so the products developed are producing more tailored and targeted results.

Two products that employ peptide technology are: Osmotics Blue Copper 5 Face Lifting Serum and Olay’s Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream with Amino Peptide Complex.


Making them work for you

Delivering peptide formulations that provide the best results has proven more complicated than even the research. If peptides have a downside it is their susceptibility to light exposure and they are also vulnerable to attack by the abundance of enzymes already present in our skin. (This is also one of the key reasons for the development of synthetic versions in the first place.)

When looking for peptide-enhanced products in stores, steer clear of any that is packaged in a jar—where light can infiltrate. Also, keep in mind that one size does not fit all here. So there’s no magic bullet peptide or peptide blend.

The good news is more and more are being discovered all the time, and with that comes some rather remarkable anti-aging benefits that may indeed, make us pretty happy.

What Peptides Can Do:

  • Provide remarkable skin-soothing effects
  • Improve the appearance of wrinkles
  • Address loss of firmness
  • Soften the look of expression lines

What Peptides Cannot Do:

  • Peptides cannot noticeably plump lips
  • They cannot keep skin from sagging
  • Work like cosmetic corrective procedures
  • Eliminate dark circles or puffy eyes

Stay up to date on the latest health, fashion & beauty, and fitness related trends by signing up for our weekly newsletters.