There was once a time when dermatologists claimed that the only topical anti-aging ingredient worth its salt was retinol. Although many still stick with that story, the experience of many real women (including me) has demonstrated that peptides have been a huge breakthrough in anti-aging. Peptides are types of proteins made up of amino acids and are active molecules that send signals to your cells (the chemical structure resembles a heap of holiday ribbon). I’ve highlighted stellar products with peptides in the past, but I thought it was high time to focus on ones that really put their peptides front and center. For all you peptide-philes out there, these are the 2013 Five Best with Peptides.
BRAD Biophotonic Essential Elixir Multi-peptide
BRAD Biophotonic Essential Elixir Multi-peptide ($95 in the shop). What is a peptide, but a chain of amino acids. There are more than a dozen here in BRAD Multi-peptide, which is a serum that I just keep going back to. My skin finds it extremely soothing and it leaves my complexion looking smoother, dewy and calm – as if it’s been on vacation. It is one of those products that got off to a slow start, but now its effects are cumulative and I know I’ll be buying a second bottle. One of the finds of the year.
Arcona Peptide Firming Complex
Arcona Peptide Firming Complex ($72 in the shop). Arcona’s serum features Syn-tacks, which is, I have speculated, a possible contender for Matrixyl 3000’s anti-aging crown. Like M3000, Syn-tacks combines two peptides and they stimulate a broad spectrum of things responsible for youthful skin: laminin V, collagen types IV, VII and XVII and integrin – all at once. Arcona Peptide Firming Complex is a veritable cocktail of “out there” peptides, including Syn-coll, a small peptide with a unique sequence to mimic the human body’s own mechanism to produce collagen via TGF-ß. Plus there’s an unusual peptide, marketed under the name of Thymulen that is meant to stimulate and differentiate the keratinocytes that are the major cells of the epidermis.
Osmotics Blue Copper 5 Age Repair Body Lift
Osmotics Blue Copper 5 Age Repair Body Lift ($95 in the shop). I was spurred to try this body cream by our reviewer, Nina’s, before and after pictures. It is not a body lotion, but is meant to target stretch marks and sagging, flabby parts. It promises to reduce stretch marks by up to 72%, and judging by Nina’s results, it does. I have found that it really tightens those dimply bits, and I am impressed. Age Repair Body lift uses copper peptides and there is that power peptide duo, Matrixyl 3000. Really good body treatments are hard to come by – this exception proves the rule by excelling.
Hair Vitality Complex by Truth In Aging
Hair Vitality Complex by Truth In Aging ($49 in the shop). Copper peptides exist naturally in our tissues but there can be a 60% drop between the ages of 20 and 60. Copper peptides work on the follicle in two ways: increasing follicle cell proliferation and follicle size; and decreasing programmed follicle cell death. So copper can assist with healthy hair growth and reduced shedding. I use this three to four times a week and my hairline is completely filled in.
Your Best Face Control
Your Best Face Control ($160 in the TIA shop). One of my favorite serums for nighttime, Control has a tripeptide called Syn-Hycan. Specifically, it is aimed at lifting sagging skin. It stimulates hyaluronan (HA) synthesis and expression of the proteoglycans, decorin and lumican. There is a second tripeptide that inhibits elastase activity and boosts collagen 1 synthesis. It has also been designed to treat sagginess and restore firmness to the skin. Peptide power sees no limits with Matrixyl 3000 and Syn-Tacks.