There’s been a lot of buzz about what peptides can do for your skin and muscles, and maybe even help you lose weight. Peptides are strings of amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, and they’re made naturally in the body. Lab-made peptides can mimic some of those found in the body, and they’re used in a wide range of medicines for things like treating diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and more. Some peptides are also being used in cosmetics and as dietary supplements you can buy over the counter.
For skin, peptides can boost collagen and elastin, help smooth out fine lines and wrinkles, reduce redness, and minimize pores. Different types of peptides perform different functions, and it’s important to choose the right ones for your specific needs.
Some peptides can be used as a non-invasive alternative to Botox by temporarily blocking chemicals that cause muscle contraction. Neurotransmitter peptides, for example, can soften the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by inhibiting nerve signals to the skin.
Incorporating peptides into your skincare routine is easy, but it’s best to use them in products that stay on the face for longer periods of time, such as serums and moisturizers. Avoid using them in cleansers that will be rinsed off, as they won’t have enough time to work their magic. Peptides also work well in tandem with other ingredients, including vitamin C, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, and antioxidants. However, it’s a good idea to avoid using acids like alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) before or after applying them, as they can degrade the effectiveness of the peptides.