Collagen is a fundamental building block in our skin. Collagen is a protein, and its long chain-like structure is made of amino acids. It provides the foundation and the thickness to our skin.
As we age, collagen breaks down slowly. At the age of 30 we have the greatest amount of collagen that we will ever have. Our skin is firm and smooth. But from there – gravity takes over and as collagen levels slowly reduce our skin loses its firmness, becomes thinner and more wrinkled.
As the collagen breaks down, the chains of amino acids become shorter and tiny proteins are produced in the process. These tiny proteins are called peptides. This is an important step in understanding how peptides provide significant anti-ageing benefits.
Studies from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have shown that these peptides send signals to the skin cells to produce more collagen, which triggers collagen synthesis. This is why peptides are often called ‘cell-communicating’ compounds - they instruct our skin cells to initiate cell-regeneration processes, including collagen production, elastin production and tissue repair.
Peptides are so tiny that they can penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin if applied as part of a skincare regimen. So by applying skincare enriched with peptides, we are actually increasing the signals to our deep skin cells to kick start more collagen production. It's pretty amazing! And the results are just as amazing! Improvement in skin elasticity, softening of fine lines and wrinkles, reduction in inflammation and and a more youthful appearance are just some of the benefits.
You may be asking – why can’t you just apply collagen onto the skin to reduce the signs of ageing?
This is a common myth that we are led to believe by fancy marketing claims, but unfortunately it just doesn’t work like that. Applying collagen directly to the skin can’t increase collagen in the deeper layers of the skin because it simply cannot be absorbed deep enough – the amino acid chains are too long to penetrate and supplement the skin's natural collagen levels.
Collagen in skincare isn’t futile though, its works as a humectant, similar to hyaluronic acid, to hydrate the skin by drawing in moisture from the environment. Collagen is able to carry much greater than its own weight in water, providing many nourishing benefits to dry and dehydrated skin.
There are so many peptides out there so make sure your do your research and look at your ingredient labels to make sure you are getting the most out of your skincare. Here are a few of the most common ones you may find:
This is the most commonly used peptide. It is very effective in reducing fine lines, improving eczema and dermatitis. Research has shown that after using Matrixyl 3000 twice per day for four months, patients have seen a decrease in wrinkle depth by 27%, roughness by 13%, and wrinkle size by 36%. That's pretty damn amazing!
This peptide is especially effective in relaxing facial muscles and therefore minimising wrinkles. It is commonly referred to as a less expensive and non-invasive alternative to Botox.
There is no doubt about it, if you are concerned about the signs of ageing then you need to start incorporating peptides into your skin regimen.
Remember: The greater the concentration in a product the greater the anti-ageing benefits; see a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles, relaxed muscles and a plumper tighter looking complexion.
At SEEH Skincare we are currently developing a peptide moisturiser so sign up to our mailing list for more updates. If you would like skincare recommendations in the meantime please feel free to comment and ask your questions below.