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Peptides are fantastic for a whole host of reasons; they're hydrating, they could boost collagen production in the skin and they can have skin-healing benefits. I always bang on about the first two benefits, but today we're spotlighting their reparative qualities...
Peptides are short-chain amino acids that make up proteins our skin needs (such as collagen, which gives the skin its fullness and 'bounce'). Certain peptides are important for your skin barrier and others promote healing through their anti-inflammatory benefits. Some peptides can even mimic antioxidant benefits, protecting the skin from free radical damage. Peptides prefer a higher pH, so I don't recommend mixing them with exfoliating acids or pure-form Vitamin C (ascorbic acid). However, they're pretty much entirely non-irritating and can be used alongside ingredients such as niacinamide and retinoids.
Unlike larger proteins, peptides are small enough to be easily absorbed into the skin and they send out signals that boost production of collagen, keratin and elastin. Some can also activate wound healing, such as copper peptides. Either way, peptides are a great addition to a barrier repair formula.
There are so many amazing peptides out there! But for our purposes today, I recommend looking out for a few...
This barrier support moisturiser is formulated with a nutripeptide blend alongside the components of your skin's lipid barrier: ceramides, cholesterol and fatty acids. This cream has a light texture but is softening, hydrating and nourishing with supporting ingredients such as jojoba, squalane, glycerin and shea butter. It's a barrier support cream with a little bit more.
Copper peptides are immediately identifiable by their rich blue tone and this is kind of the original formula to market. It's a water-light serum with a copper peptide and two other peptides that support well-ageing. For me, this is a great all-rounder, soothing my skin and leaving it looking plump and healthy. It's pretty much a good skin day bottled for me!
This nourishing but not-too-heavy moisturiser is formulated with topical collagen (as I mentioned, this conditions the top layer of your skin but can't penetrate) alongside a peptide that can boost your skin's Q10 (antioxidant) production. It also features niacinamide, which can help with discolouration but also boosts up your skin's own ceramide production (plus it does contain topical ceramides). Squalane and shea butter will keep things nice and nourished, allantoin will soothe and glycerin helps with hydration. This is a really great all-rounder for keeping your skin barrier happy whilst giving you some well-ageing benefits.
This water-based serum contains powerful antioxidants, peptides, glucosides (which help to soothe the skin and reduce redness), ceramides, cholesterol, humectants to pull water into the skin, panthenol to soothe and hydrate and arnica as an anti-inflammatory. This is a fantastic lightweight option if you like the sound of the moisturisers in this post but think they sound a little rich for you; this gives you the peptides and the lipid barrier components that will keep your skin barrier happy in a lightweight gel.
Honestly, this is one of my all-time favourite skincare product, so it was obviously going to make an appearance! It's a deliciously buttery cream that I love to use before bed. It's shea butter based with ceramides and cholesterol, ginger for its anti-inflammatory benefits, moisturising plant oils and occlusives to trap the nourishment and hydration in. And of course we have healing peptides in the mix. This is rich but not greasy and I personally love it for supporting my skin barrier during the colder months.
Have you tried healing peptides or any of the products I've discussed here?