As one of the most important proteins in the body, peptides regulate hormones, optimize organ function and keep skin looking fresh and healthy. With so many uses and benefits, it’s no wonder peptides are becoming an ingredient of choice for health-conscious people everywhere.
Whether it’s an anti-aging cream or serum, wrinkle reducer, muscle builder, or even a dietary supplement, peptides are a great way to get a health boost without having to travel to a clinic or fill prescriptions. But if you’re interested in adding them to your skincare routine, it’s important to understand how they work and how best to use them.
Peptides are short amino acid chains that bind to specific receptors in the body and perform a variety of functions — everything from lowering blood pressure, boosting metabolism, and decreasing cancer tumor growth. They also play an integral role in repairing damaged cells and inhibiting cellular aging processes.
Because they are so versatile, peptides can be found in an array of skincare products including creams, serums, lotions, and masks. Depending on how they are configured, they can do everything from stimulate the production of collagen and elastin to diminish fine lines and wrinkles, boost hydration, minimize the appearance of pores, brighten the complexion, reduce blemishes, and provide a natural glow.
In addition to their many beauty benefits, peptides can offer health and wellness advantages when taken in capsule form. They have been studied for their ability to help improve athletic performance, enhance sexual function, reduce aging signs, promote weight loss, and increase nutrient absorption. Several peptides, including the well-known glucocorticoid peptide (BP 157) have been shown to decrease inflammation in the body and support the integrity of the digestive tract, making them an excellent option for people with sensitive stomachs or digestive issues.
For the face, peptides are known for their ability to strengthen the skin’s barrier and improve elasticity. They are also an effective pore cleanser and can reduce redness, irritation, and breakouts. In the long term, peptides encourage and strengthen the natural process of cell repair, helping to create healthier skin.
Peptides can be particularly effective when used with other active ingredients such as retinol, vitamin C, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, and antioxidants. However, it’s important to note that combining peptides with exfoliating acids like AHA and BHA can actually make them less effective.
We sat down with Grove’s personal care product development fellow, Celeste Lutrario, to learn more about peptides, how to use them, and why the best skin is always healthy.