Norwood Clinic:

What are Peptides ?

You see the word peptides pop up in all kinds of skincare products, but what exactly are they? And what are the benefits of peptides for the skin?

Find out everything you need to know below.

Peptides Explained

Peptides are the building blocks of protein.  They are short chains of amino acids, which when combined into certain formations, create specific proteins. The most well-known proteins in the skin are collagen, elastin and keratin, which are responsible for ensuring your skin remains firm and youthful

As you age, protein production in the skin deteriorates due to both age and external environmental factors. This is what results in the skin becoming thinner and taking on a crepey, more wrinkled appearance. The basic role of peptides are to help reinforce the naturally occurring proteins (collagen, keratin and elastin) already in the skin. So by applying peptides topically to the skin, it promotes collagen production to help make skin look younger. Consequently, they are an excellent anti-ageing ingredient to help rejuvenate and maintain skin health.

However, different types of peptides can benefit the skin differently. Some can help to smooth out and diminish wrinkles, whilst others can repair barrier function and increase firmness and hydration in the skin. Having these various types combined in one product can allow you to target several different signs of ageing at once. What’s truly exciting about having this ingredient in your skincare products is that it works to help skin revitalise itself and makes it more resilient to future damage. Research shows that the right peptide skincare product can play an important role in helping to heal wounds and improve skin conditions like eczema and dermatitis.

In your skincare products, if you can’t find ‘peptide’ in the list of ingredients then look for the term Matrixyl (palmitoyl- or oligopeptide pentapeptide).