There’s been a lot of buzz about peptides lately and they’ve become popular in both skin care products and supplements. But what exactly are they? And do they live up to the hype? In short, peptides are fragments of protein made up of amino acids. They’re basically the building blocks of proteins, and can be ingested to boost muscle strength and improve tissue repair. In fact, they’re also commonly used as a cosmetic ingredient in beauty products like skincare creams and gels, to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and boost collagen production.
What’s unique about peptides is that they can perform different functions depending on their sequence of amino acids. Some of the more common peptides include collagen peptides, which are thought to help hydrate and firm skin, as well as creatine peptides, which can increase muscle mass and strength. There are also some peptides that have been researched for their potential to promote weight loss, boost libido, and assist with recovery after workouts.
In addition to their cosmetic uses, peptides can be ingested as a medical treatment for certain diseases and conditions. For example, some types of peptides are designed to suppress the growth of cancer cells and prevent tumors from spreading. Others can be used to treat chronic inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis and autoimmune disorders, by blocking the immune system’s response to these diseases.
Many of these peptides are produced naturally in the body, but others can be found in food or purchased as a supplement. Some peptides are synthetic, created in a lab to mimic the natural ones in our bodies. However, the majority of peptides that are sold are organic.
Peptides are often mixed into a cream or serum and applied to the face, neck, hands, arms, and legs. The peptides absorb into the skin and act as a natural moisturizer, helping to firm and plump the skin while minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. They’re also thought to reduce redness, boost elasticity, and help the skin retain moisture.
Unlike most topical creams and supplements, peptides are able to penetrate the skin much deeper. This allows them to reach the deeper layers where they can work to stimulate collagen and elastin production, which helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles. They can also strengthen the skin barrier, which is important to keep out bacteria and other toxins. Additionally, some peptides have been shown to decrease inflammation in the body, which can help with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, tendinitis, and inflammatory bowel disease.