What Are Peptides In Skincare? (+ The Best Moisturizers With Peptides)

Trust us—you’ll want to know about peptides
BY Sarah Lim
| Last updated May, 2022
peptide moisturizer

If proven, science-backed ingredients like vitamin C and retinol are dermatologists. Then peptides are like that super-cool, super-glowy esthetician who tells you all the secrets. While peptide moisturizer has also been researched extensively (and shown in clinical studies to improve skin effectively), they’re simply lesser-known. People are less familiar. But not YOU, right? 

Here’s everything you need to know about peptides.

Peptides are actually similar in structure to protein—they are essentially small chains of amino acids. They exist naturally in your skin, but they also exist in skincare products. Peptide moisturizer can boost skin’s natural collagen production, which can result in younger-looking skin.

YOU may know that applying collagen directly to your skin doesn’t necessarily help when it comes to your anti-aging routine. Because collagen itself is a molecule that’s too big to be absorbed by the skin. However, peptides are small enough to get into your skin and boost collagen production.

Let’s take a closer look at how exactly peptide moisturizer can benefit your skin and check out a few of the best moisturizers that contain peptides!

Understanding Peptides

Understanding Peptides

Different types of peptides can exist in peptide moisturizers, including antimicrobial peptides, signal peptides, and carrier peptides. And each of them can have different roles in skincare.

Peptides essentially tell your skin what to do, such as make more collagen or hyaluronic acid or even give instructions for skin to brighten. And what peptides communicate all depends on which amino acids make up their structure.

For example, peptide PKEK (proline-lysine-glycine-lysine) can brighten skin to reduce the effects of hyperpigmentation. And peptide KTTKS (lysine-threonine-threonine-lysine-serine) can boost collagen production.  

YOU can find peptides in natural ingredients such as oranges or flaxseed, as we’ll see in a few products. Or people create them from natural sources such as yeast. Other peptides may be synthetic.

Ideally, you should use peptides in the morning and night to support your skin. Oh, and if you were wondering, peptides are mostly safe for all skin types, but not every product will be!

Research Supporting Peptide Efficacy

Research Supporting Peptide Efficacy

What does the research say about the effectiveness of peptides for anti-aging?

#1 Improve The Appearance Of Wrinkles

Perhaps the most significant benefit of peptides is their impact on wrinkles. Some studies have shown “significant” improvement in skin wrinkles after just two weeks of using a product with peptides. Other research shows that peptides can help decrease the number, depth, and surface of wrinkles, which can help support a more youthful appearance.

#2 Peptides Can Help Heal the Skin Barrier

We’ve talked about how the skin barrier plays a significant role in your skin health and can help prevent premature aging. It turns out peptides can help heal the skin barrier. They can improve the barrier’s defense and can even help facilitate wound healing. Meaning they may be able to help restore your skin barrier if it’s been damaged.

#3 Increase Production of Collagen and Hyaluronic Acid

Peptides have been shown to increase the production of both collagen and hyaluronic acid in the skin. It is good news since collagen production slows down as we age, leading to more mature skin. And hyaluronic acid is a key player in keeping skin plump and moisturized, which can help smooth wrinkles and prevent premature aging for a significant rejuvenating effect on the skin.

#4 May Help Improve the Appearance of Hyperpigmentation

Another benefit of peptides is that they may help improve the appearance of hyperpigmentation in the skin. Peptides can help brighten hyperpigmentation areas, which appear as darker areas on the skin, to create a more even skin tone.

#5 Potential Acne Benefits

Antimicrobial peptides, sometimes referred to as AMPs, may help improve acne. There are more than 100 different antimicrobial peptides. Their antimicrobial properties can help kill pathogens, fight infections, and heal wounds, which is good news for those who suffer from persistent acne or occasional breakouts!

#6 Peptide Products Also Play Well With Others

Peptides also work well with other active ingredients in skincare. It means that YOU can mix peptide moisturizer with niacinamide and vitamins C and E. Or it can contain all of these components to help nourish skin and provide maximum anti-aging benefits.

Best Peptide Moisturizer Products

Now that we’ve seen how influential peptides can be for your skin, what’s the best peptide moisturizer to use? Below, we’ve gathered a few worthy considerations for your skincare routine!

1. Volition’s Celery Green Cream

Formulated with peptides, hyaluronic acid, cucumber, and lavender extract, this moisturizer also contains green tea and apple fruit extract. Designed to hydrate skin and correct uneven skin texture and large pores, you can use this cream twice a day on your face and neck for best results.

2. Tata Harper Water-Lock Moisturizer

This peptide moisturizer is best for dehydrated and dull skin with a rough texture with hyaluronic acid, orange peptides, arnica, and calendula extract. It has lactic acid and alpha-hydroxy acid, which help exfoliate the skin for a brighter appearance (AHA). You can use it at night and in the morning.

3. Earth Harbor Mermaid Milk Nutrient Glow Moisturizer

Formulated with seaweed, matcha, peptides, and omega fatty acids from superfoods, this intensely moisturizing yet lightweight cream also contains aloe and hyaluronic acid. It also uses antioxidants from eggplant and turmeric to help reduce irritation while improving skin tone and texture.

4. Naturally Serious After-Dark Natural Peptide Sleeping Cream

Formulated with flaxseed peptide, celery, apple extract, and vitamins A and C, this peptide product can help reduce sun damage and improve skin hydration. It also features shea butter, sunflower oil and colloidal oatmeal, and ceramides to help plump dry or aged skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles without irritation.

5. Drunk Elephant Protini™ Polypeptide Cream

Containing nine different peptides, hyaluronic acid and linoleic acid, this peptide cream is designed to help minimize the effects of wrinkles & fine lines and sun damage to keep skin moisturized, strong, and protected against damage. For best results, apply this cream two times a day, in the morning and evening.

Do You Have a Good Moisturizer in Your Skincare Routine?

Do YOU use a peptide moisturizer, or is this your first time hearing about peptides? If you have dull, dry, or damaged skin, peptides are undoubtedly worth considering adding to your skincare routine. If you have a good moisturizer product you can’t live without, let us know in the comments below!

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