Peptides in Skincare: What You Need to Know

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Peptides occur naturally in the skin. Like all amino acids, peptides are building blocks for proteins1. Peptides are also a common ingredient in skincare products for firmer and younger-looking skin.

Peptides: What Are Peptides?

Peptides are chains of amino acids. They form the building blocks of essential proteins, such as collagen and elastin, that keep skin soft, bouncy and healthy-looking.1

Unfortunately, the body's production of these proteins slows down with age and collagen and elastin begin to break down more quickly. The result? Signs of aging. Introducing peptides into your skincare routine supports younger, healthy-looking skin.

While peptides are a natural component of our skin, they can be challenging to stabilize and deliver in cosmetic topical applications. Fortunately, scientists have been able to create peptides that can be absorbed within the skin's surface, remain intact, and provide targeted benefits for a multitude of skincare concerns.

Some commonly found peptides in skincare products include6:

  • Acetyl Dipeptide-31 Amide
  • Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1
  • Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7

You’ll find peptides in skin cleansers, serums, and anti-aging creams.

Anti-Aging Benefits of Peptides

Our skin consists primarily of a network of elastin and collagen fibers, which work together to provide skin with elasticity and firmness. However, as a person ages, the network of fibers loosens, creating fine lines and wrinkles in the skin.8 Peptides in skincare products can be absorbed within the skin's surface and provide targeted benefits for a multitude of skincare concerns.

Using products with peptides for skin1:

  • Targets the visible effects of collagen and elastin depleted skin, such as loss of firmness and wrinkles.
  • Increases skin firmness.
  • Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Improves skin texture.

How to Use Peptides in Your Skincare Routine

The key to getting the most benefit out of peptides is incorporating them into your daily skincare routine. Apply peptide products to your skin twice a day – once in the morning and once at night. To prep the skin, double cleanse your face. Follow the instructions on each product carefully for the best results.

Neutrogena® offers powerful peptide products to give you healthier, younger-looking skin that can be used both day and night:

  • Neutrogena® Rapid Firming Peptide Multi-Action Eye Cream – Contains vitamins and peptides to target dark circles, clearly smooth the look of fine wrinkles, and firm the appearance of the eye region.
  • Neutrogena® Rapid Firming Peptide Contour Lift Cream – This facial contouring cream contains a dermatologist-developed micro peptide that addresses the visible effects of collagen and elastin depleted skin, resulting in significantly lifted, firmer-looking skin. Over 90% of testers saw visible improvement in skin firmness and elasticity in just two weeks with twice daily use.

These Neutrogena® products are scientifically proven to help firm and contour skin and target visible effects of collagen and elastin depleted skin.

When to Use Peptides

When and how often you use peptides depends on many factors. Typically, you will start using them if you notice sagging skin and fine wrinkles forming.9 The frequency of application depends on the product or treatment most suited to you and your skin type.

Benefits of Peptides with Other Ingredients

Peptides work well in tandem with other common ingredients used in skincare, such as:

  • Vitamin C – Vitamin C is the most prevalent antioxidant in our skin and works in tandem with it to protect it from free radicals. Vitamin C products have reparative effects and can help address a variety of skincare issues such as dark spots and anti-aging.10 Vitamin C and peptides complement one another by helping to strengthen the skin. Learn more about the benefits of Vitamin C in skincare.
  • Hyaluronic acids – The body makes hyaluronic acid naturally.11 It acts as a sponge, helping your skin lock in moisture to give your face a plumper, smoother, more radiant look. Learn more about hyaluronic acid’s anti-aging benefits!
  • Collagen – Similar to peptides, products that contain collagen can help reduce the visible effects of decreased collagen production with age. Therefore, having them both together is double the protection.
  • If you are unsure whether two ingredients are compatible, ask your dermatologist.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When should you start using skincare products with peptides and collagen?

Our environment and lifestyle decisions might trigger premature aging of our skin.13 When you are in your 20s or 30s, eating right and exercising are good places to focus on keeping your skin looking healthy. By the time you are in your 40s, you will want to consider products to help improve skin structure and health, like those with peptides and collagen.14

Q: Are there side effects?

Topical peptides are generally well-tolerated, but they may not work for everyone. Also, some people experience a rare allergic reaction to the peptides.15

Q: When can you expect results?

This will depend on many factors, including the product and your skin condition. Users of certain Neutrogena® peptide products see improvement in their skin firmness & elasticity in just 2 weeks.17

Peptides are not just a passing trend in skincare. These amino acids can target signs of aging on your skin, firming it up and smoothening out fine lines and wrinkles. As with any skincare concern, you should talk to your dermatologist or primary care provider to find out more about using it on your skin.



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