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Peptides have become a byword for anti-aging products. They are short chain proteins (which for some reason are pictured as ribbon-type things in chemistry books), mini proteins if you want to think of them that way, are active molecules that send signals to your cells. They are synthetics made in labs and often proprietary to the manufacturer - this means that there isn't much independent research to back up whether they work. Anecdotally, there does some to be evidence that they are effective anti-agers. Recently, I was asked to come up with a Five Best with peptides and, after giving it some thought, decided that the best way to respond would be to select my Five Best peptides and feature a standout product for each. Here they are:
Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7
The mother of peptides and perhaps the best known, it is popular with formulators and consumers. Two peptides that work synergistically to mimic the appearance of this broken down collagen, causing your skin to react by producing more collagen, as well as elastin. Products with Matrixyl 3000: Your Best Face Correct ($150 in the TIA shop), Cellbone Hyper Peptides, Calvin Klein’s antiaging foundation. Beautisol 99% Pure Peptide Rescue Advanced Serum ($120). This gets a lot of love from the TIA community. It has amped up its peptide power with seven other peptides including hexapeptide-11, tripeptide-1, and nonapeptide-1. A great deal of thought clearly went into developing this formula. Each peptide serves an important purpose in the battle against premature aging and wrinkling and their cumulative effect was described by Copley as remarkable. Beautisol is Nisha’s go to pm serum.
If you combine tripeptide-1, soy and wheat proteins and xanthan gum, you get Aldenine, which is supposed to boost production of it by 300% in seven days. It does this by going after a particular type of free radical called reactive carbonyl species (RCS). All the research has been conducted by the lab that makes and sells Aldenine, but products (see below) with it get good anecdotal reports and is supposed to be more effective than carnosine. Read more on Aldenine
Products with Aldenine: Osmotics Anti-Radical Age Defense ($111), Zelens Skin Science Serum, Dermaxime Rejuvenating Day Cream, Skin Doctors Antarctilyne Plump, Hydropeptide Power Lift ($54) has a total four peptides, a slew of antioxidants and, they boast, 21 hydrating elements. With the rich formula of a night cream, this is good for smoothing skin and evening out skin tone. With some silicone and preservatives, this is not formulated for the purists within us, but it is formulated to work.
A tetrapeptide is made up of four amino acids and, like all peptides, it signals our bodies to do things – like get busy and produce more collagem, for example. Unlike most peptides, caprooyl tetrapeptide-3 is derived from a growth factor. The caprooyl part is a lipid, which is supposed to increase stability and skin penetration. It is supposed to increase collagen lll by 34% as well as laminin production by 26% and laminin 5 by 49%.
Products with ChroNoLine: SenZen Infinity Never Ending Moisture ($95), Beautisol Need I Glow More Self Tanner ($23 in the TIA shop), La Vie Celeste’s moisturizer, rich cream and eye cream have all been reformulated to include ChroNoLine. The Extra Rich Face Cream also has apple stem cell and R-Lipoic acid and is moisturizing without being heavy or pore clogging.
This is a tripeptide that is specifically, it is aimed at lifting sagging skin. It stimulates hyaluronan (HA) synthesis and expression of the proteoglycans, decorin and lumican. The company that makes it had positive results on loose skin on face, arms and double chins. Also known as Essenskin. Read more on it here
Products with Syn-Hycan: Osmotics Necollete ($75). The newly formulated Your Best Face Control ($160 in the TIA shop) also has another tripeptide known as Relistase that inhibits elastase thereby boosting collagen 1 synthesis. It also has Matrixyl 3000.
An independent 2002 study on 20 women showed that it increased collagen in 70% of those treated with GHK, compared to 50% for vitamin C and 40% for retinoic acid. I was particularly interested to read that combining GHK with red LED lights (get out those Baby Quasars or Sirius Auroras) has been shown to increase collagen production by fibroblasts.. Copper peptides have also been shown to assist hair growth. More on copper peptides.
Products with copper peptides: Skin Biology Hair Signals ($27 in the TIA shop), Skin Biology Folligen ($22 in the TIA shop), Skin Biology Super Cop 2X, Osmotics Blue Copper 5 ($125), which has Matrixyl 3000, copper PCA and copper ferment. Not formulated for purists, but this is very good for treating rosacea and works well when used in conjunction with LED.