The word “peptide” may sound intimidating, but these amino acid fragments are actually the building blocks of proteins and have numerous health benefits. When ingested, they can boost muscle strength and improve tissue repair. And when applied topically to skin, they can help strengthen the barrier, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, increase collagen and elastin, suppress free radicals, and encourage cell renewal.
These healing properties make peptides a powerhouse ingredient. They’re also known to decrease inflammation, support the immune system, boost sexual function, potentially treat osteoarthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions, and so much more.
You’ll find peptides naturally in the body, but you can also get them synthetically in the lab. Synthetic peptides are designed to mimic the structure and functions of natural peptides and are often used in research, cosmetics, and medicine.
In terms of skincare, peptides can be found in serums and creams that are applied to the skin, typically once or twice daily. They work best with ingredients like niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, antioxidants, and retinol. They can also be used before or after other treatments such as exfoliation, peels, laser, and injections.
While peptides can be applied to the skin, it’s important to talk to a licensed and trained professional before beginning any treatment. Some peptides are not safe for certain people, and there is a risk of side effects when using them incorrectly. Additionally, oral peptide supplements don’t provide the same results as those applied to the skin because they are broken down into amino acids in the gut before they can be absorbed.