You’ve probably heard skin care companies make claims about the benefits of peptides in their products. Those claims range from the ability to plump lips and lift sagging skin, to getting rid of dark circles and puffy eyes. Are peptides in skin care really anti-aging heroes?
What Are Peptides?
Peptides are proteins composed of amino acids. Peptides may be natural or synthetic. Most peptides used in cosmetics are synthetic due to greater control on their stability and effectiveness in skin-care products. This is a great example of how a natural product is not always being what’s best for skin.
Peptides in Skin Care
Although there are intriguing reasons to consider peptides, the hype is mostly about how one magic ingredient that is the anti-aging answer. It’s simply not true. There is no single solution for all the signs of aging.
Just like there isn’t one healthy food to eat or supplement to take, there isn’t one best, does-it-all ingredient. Skin is the most complex organ of the human body. Its needs cannot possibly come down to what a single peptide or blend of peptides can do.
Although peptides in skin care aren’t miracle-workers, they are good ingredients to see in products. Most peptides function as moisture-binding agents and the ability to help skin repair itself. Those are great benefits, so long as you don’t rely on peptides alone. It takes a great mix of anti-aging ingredients for skin to look its smoothest, firmest, and, yes, its youngest.
Copper Peptides: Fact or Fiction
Some wonder if a specific group of copper peptides – also known as copper gluconate – are finally the anti-aging answer everyone’s been looking for. The synthesis of skin’s chief support substances collagen and elastin is in part related to the presence of copper in the body. There is also research showing copper can be effective for wound healing. But so far, there’s not much research demonstrating copper bound with peptides has anti-wrinkle and skin-smoothing benefits.
There are also many questions about whether copper peptides shouldn’t be used with vitamin C, AHA, or BHA because of the interaction between copper (a metal) and ascorbic acid (vitamin C), but superoxide dismutase and zinc both work exceptionally well with vitamin C and have metal chemical properties, too. But specific to copper, there is no research showing this to be true, just as there is little independent research demonstrating copper peptides anti-aging benefits.
The Bottom Line
Peptides in skin care can be great anti-aging ingredients. But as with all other ingredients, they’re not the only ones you need to make your skin appear as young and healthy as you’d like. Take those seemingly fantastic claims on products with peptides with a grain of salt, and remember that using products with a cocktail of great ingredients (plus daily sun protection) is the best thing you can do for the health and appearance of your skin!