When it comes to anti-aging skincare ingredients, many people swear by retinoids. But, experts point out that using this compound can lead to dryness and allergies, suggesting peptides to be a better alternative. A type of protein, peptides or polypeptides are the building blocks of collagen and elastin fibers that are found naturally in our skin, they offer numerous benefits — from making the skin firmer, brightening it, to even reducing wrinkles.
“Peptides work great if you have sensitive skin, or are new to skincare, as peptides are much gentler than retinoids and do the same job, within the same time,” said Dr Manasi Shirolikar, a dermatologist.
The expert further added that this ingredient can also be used by “pregnant or breastfeeding women”. “Unlike retinoids, it is quite safe to use peptides during pregnancy because it does not get absorbed in the bloodstream or cause any harm to the foetus, making it safe for both the mother and child,” Dr Manasi told indianexpress.com.
As such, the dermatologist listed its various advantages. These include:
*Peptides have anti-ageing properties and help in the production of collagen and elastin, which make the skin firm.
*Peptides inhibit tyrosinase which slows down the synthesis of melanin or the brown pigment. “Studies have shown that the melanin contents in the epidermal layer were significantly decreased by peptide usage. This means peptides help even out the skin as well as fade hyperpigmentation,” she added.
*Our skin’s barrier could be damaged due to over-exfoliation, excessive use and incorrect layering of skin actives, or environmental causes. Peptides help heal the barrier, while also building a protective layer around the skin, thus preventing further damage.
*Peptides also have anti-inflammatory properties, so they help soothe the skin. “Also, AMPs or antimicrobial peptides can help the skin fight bacteria, promote wound healing, as well as reduce breakouts,” she said.
But, whether it is a serum, toner, or a peptide-based cream, Dr Manasi suggested some tips to pick the right product based on your requirements.
“If you want to brighten your skin, choose a product that contains hexapeptides. But if you want to tighten, make your skin look, and boost collagen and elastin production, then tetrapeptide-based products are what you need,” she advised.
“Buy a product that will stay on your skin, like a toner, serum, or a moisturiser, as peptides act as messengers to the other cells and get them to produce collagen and elastin. A wash-off product with peptides will not be able to do that,” she advised.
“If you are looking to get an anti-ageing product or something to brighten your skin, consider adding peptides-based products to your routine!” she suggested, adding that one must always consult an expert and do a patch test before trying a new product on the face.