Imagine if you could send your skin messages?

Hey there: Tighten up! Relax those wrinkles! Boost some collagen production please!

That is exactly what peptides are able to do.

Peptides are chains of amino acids which are the building blocks of proteins including collagen and elastin. In the same way that switching up the chain in your favourite necklace can change it from chic to hippy, if you add, subtract or replace one of the amino acids in the peptide change, you’ll get a new peptide with a different message.

Here are some of skincare’s most glorified peptides and the messages they can deliver:

The “Uuuhhh, my collagen is breaking down” peptide. When collagen breaks down, it leaves smaller strings made of peptides. By applying peptides on the skin, you trick the body into thinking that more collagen needs to be made and kickstart some fab new collagen production. These signal peptides can also send messages to skin cells that enough collagen has been broken down, preventing your body from breaking down any more.

Find it in: root4’s Complete Serum

The research: Using 2% Palmitoyl hexapeptide-28 for two months daily, women reported a decrease in wrinkles on the forehead and crows feet by 31% up to 100%.

The “Let’s chill out” peptide.  These are the famous ‘botox in a bottle” neurotransmitter peptides. Botox destroys the communication between the nerve and the facial muscles effectively stopping it from contracting and making wrinkles. Neurotransmitter peptides, on the other hand, work by reducing that communication by blocking the release of acetylcholine. Less muscle contraction = less wrinkles. Similar principle, just applied differently.

Find it in: 10% Argireline is used in root 4’s Eye Crème Solution, Face Crème Originale and in the Complete Serum. 5% Argireline is used in our Mask Antidote.

The research: A study showed that using 10% Argireline solution around the eyes for 15 days decreased wrinkles depth by 17%.

The “I’ll grab the naughty collagen-destroying enzymes and you rebuild” peptide. These peptides interfere with the enzymes which break down our collagen and other skin proteins. They work hard to maintain the collagen we naturally have.

Find it in: root 4’s Eye Crème Solution

The research: A small study showed that soybean peptides protect human skin from UVB-induced sun damage. Rice peptides also show benefit in preventing pigmentation.

The ‘Help, I’ve grazed my skin” peptide. Carrier peptides hook up with another ingredient (for example, copper) to facilitate its delivery to skin cells. The most famous carrier peptides are the copper tripeptides, discovered by Dr Pickhart in 1973 and lauded for their role in treating wounds.  Wound healing might not sound very sexy but essentially this means boosting new collagen and elastin – now that’s terminology we’re on board with. Hello smoother, plumper, more supple skin.

The research: Copper tripeptide was found in a 1998 study to increase collage production in 70% of people after just one month. This was directly compared to our gold standard in collagen-boosters, retinoids, which increased collagen production in only 40% of people.

When it comes to peptides, it’s not all about amping up your collagen production and relaxing wrinkles (although you may be forgiven for stopping right there and frantically googling ‘best peptide containing creams’). Peptides can also strengthen your skin barrier, boost hydration and calm and soothe the skin.

The most exciting part is how targeted peptides are. In the era of personalized nutrition, personalized shopping and personalized skincare, the newest pioneering peptides are tightening their messages to address your skin’s own niche needs. So whether you’re the singing telegram type or more of a hand-delivered monogrammed letter type, pick a cream which packs a peptide punch. Think of them as love notes for your skin.

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