Peptides in cosmetics – just another fad or real science?

Clear skin, beautiful nails, face cuts, lustrous hair, and plenty of other beauty epitomes are suffused through treated images daubed all over beauty advertisements and fashion magazines. And do they make an impact? Yes, they do and that too substantially! Well, what gives the cosmetic brands the confidence to present their products that will change the consumer’s life? It is all in the ingredients. Most of you may know that the beauty industry is throbbing with the so-called ‘miracle elements’ that claim to do wonders for your skin. One such element is peptide and people are calling it a significant discovery in skincare.

So, what’s this ‘peptides’ fuss all about? Is it real science or just another beauty hoax? Should you buy peptides? What makes peptides worth your attention? We know that you have a whole lot of questions to ask. Peptides are the most discussed elements in the world of anti-aging skincare.

As you go through this article, you will get to know the basics of peptides and why the cosmetics industry is so obsessed with the idea of using it in their skincare products.

Let’s jump right into it.

Everything you need to know about peptides

As we age, our skin becomes saggy and thin, causing it to lose fat and develop wrinkles and fine lines. As mentioned aging causes the body to produce less collagen and elastin – elements that enable the skin to maintain its youthful, fleshy, and smooth appearance.

Since our body struggles to produce enough of these substances to keep our skin young looking, peptides act as the replacement for these elements and help stimulate new cell growth.

Peptides are small proteins – short chains of amino acids – that help with the stimulation of the production of collagen while helping the skin cells to heal quickly. When collagen breaks down, small chains of amino acids are formed, known as peptides. These short chains are capable of penetrating through the top layer of the skin, where they work to deliver their anti-aging benefits.

Our organs, skin, and tissues are made of protein. They are the basic building blocks of our body. Collagen is an important protein. In fact, 70-80% of your skin is composed of collagen. When you are young, collagen production in your body is optimal. And this is the reason why your skin looks beautiful and unblemished. Peptides are responsible for your skin’s resilience, strength, and texture. Without them, your skin will become less intact, leading to a loss of plumpness, texture, and elasticity.


Well, everything we mentioned in this segment is what cosmetic brands tell their potential customer base. How they work, why they are beneficial, everything is shown as advertised. But do they really work? Let’s find out.

Peptides in Cosmetic Products

According to skincare experts, peptides work as signaling mechanisms that tell the body to produce more collagen. In simple terms, peptides are cell-communicating elements that work through signaling. There are different types of peptides, all of which have different mechanisms. The most common types of peptides you will find in cosmetic products include:

•    Palmitoyl pentapeptide-3

•    Matrixyl-3000

•    Palmitoyl oligopeptide

•    Acetyl hexapeptide-3

Peptides like hexapeptides are known to have a relaxing effect on your skin that helps minimize the formation of wrinkles and movement. On the other hand, peptides like palmitoyl pentapeptide and palmitoyl oligopeptide stimulate skin repair and growth, protect against UV damage, and fight inflammation.

Why shouldn’t they work?

According to the 500 Dalton Rule, molecules larger than 500 Daltons cannot effectively pass through the skin and molecules under 500 Daltons can. While there are exceptions, they are only a few. There’s a reason why we have to get an injection or swallow a pill when we are ill.

Peptides are not the exception. They should not be able to pass through the skin at all since they are over 500 Daltons. As most skincare products with peptides are applied directly on to the skin, how they can possibly work?

Some skincare experts believe they don’t work at all and are another useless fad. But then, how can one explain the results of several studies?

Well, the thing is, most studies on peptides-based cosmetic products are done by the manufacturers. They aren’t the most reliable sources when it comes to this. However, some independent studies suggest that peptides are effective in skincare.

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For example, during a 12-week, placebo-controlled, double-blind, split-faced clinical study, it was found that a moisturizer with palmitoyl pentapeptide-3 formula significantly reduced wrinkles and fines lines by boosting the collagen production in the skin.

Another study states that a skincare product with palmitoyl oligopeptide formula stimulated collagen production in the skin when used two times a day for 180 days (6 months).

While the evidence is inadequate, it is just about enough not to withdraw peptides as another beauty hoax.

But the real question here is, how are peptides beneficial if they can’t penetrate the skin.

What does Science say?

There are different theories hovering around the effectiveness of peptides in beauty care products. One theory suggests that since peptides are cell-communicating elements, they communicate with your skin to produce more collagen.

When you apply the peptides-based product on your skin, the same thing happens. It communicates with your skin cells telling them that they have lost some collagen.

What are the side effects of using peptides-based skincare products?

You may start noticing some symptoms and side effects once you start using peptide products. Some of them include:

•    Rashes

•    Itching

•    Inflammation

•    Redness

According to experts, before you use any of the peptide product, you must do a patch test to ensure that the product is suitable for your skin. This will allow you to determine whether you are allergic to the product or not.

We recommend you to get a prescription from a dermatologist before using any cosmetic product. If you are already using an anti-aging skincare product, take your time to get accustomed to the peptide-based product.

Final Words

There are many good companies out there which have peptides for sale and research liquids. It is all about using the right product that is suitable for your skin. Do your research, talk to experts, and then make an informed decision. If you have any queries about peptides and the topic discussed, click here.