Although there is a countless number of different peptide possibilities with many different possible uses, only some of them are beneficial to the skin. These beneficial peptides can be placed into one of four groups, each working in its own way to improve the skin.
First up are the carrier peptides. These peptides are used to transport or “carry” essential elements like manganese and copper to our skin cells. The delivery of copper to these cells improves wound healing, increases the production of collagen, and has an antioxidant effect. These functions help to heal damaged skin, increase the firmness and tightness of the skin, and to remove free radicals that cause the skin to prematurely age, respectively. A triple threat to fend off the signs of aging!
Two clinical studies were done on facial creams that contained these peptides. In the first study, 71 people between the ages of 50 and 59 applied the cream to their faces for 12 weeks . In the second study, 41 people of about the same age used a similar serum around their eyes for 12 weeks . The results for both studies showed an overall improvement of the participants’ skin. Not only were the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines reduced, but the carrier peptides also improved the skin’s elasticity and firmness.
Unlike carrier peptides, signaling peptides directly influence the skin cells that are responsible for producing collagen and elastin. When the cells come into contact with these peptides, they are instructed or “signaled” to make more collagen and elastin. Since these are the two most important proteins for maintaining our skin’s health and structure, increasing their production is obviously helpful for giving the skin that firm look that everyone aspires for.
However, clinical studies have shown that the benefits of these, typically synthetic, peptides also do much more. They have also been shown to fade dark spots, reduce inflammation that damages our skin, increase the overall thickness of the skin, and reduce skin sagging.
Enzyme Inhibitor Peptides
Enzymes are proteins in our body that drive a ton of different chemical reactions. Things like digesting food, creating new cells, and generating energy wouldn’t be possible without them. The enzymes that we’re interested in here are the enzymes that break down collagen and other proteins that are important to our skin’s health.
Enzyme inhibitors prevent these enzymes from performing their function, which, in this case, is the breaking down of proteins that support healthy skin. These enzymes can be signaled to break down collagen and other proteins for a variety of reasons. It can be environmental issues like too much sun exposure or just a result of natural biological processes as we age. Regardless of the cause, preventing the breakdown from happening will help to maintain the collagen in our skin and, as a result, maintain its firm and youthful appearance!
Neurotransmitter Inhibitor Peptides
First off, what the hell is a neurotransmitter? Basically, neurotransmitters are the chemical signals that our body uses to communicate with itself. These chemical messages are transmitted around our body along with our nerve cells or, as they’re more formally known, neurons. Hence the name: neurotransmitter.
Despite the complex name, the way that these peptides work is actually pretty simple. Similarly to how the enzyme inhibitor peptides interfere with enzymes in our body, these peptides interfere with neurotransmitters, mostly a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. These peptides have been called “Botox-like” and “Botox in a bottle” because they work in basically the same way; They relax the muscles in the face. You’ve likely heard of the terms “smile-lines” and “crow’s feet” before. Those pesky fine lines are caused by repeated flexing of the muscles in our face. By relaxing these muscles, we can soften already existing wrinkles and fine lines, as well as, prevent new ones from forming.
Ebanel Products with Peptides
1. Leyden J., Stephens T., Finkey M., Appa Y., Barkovic S. Skin care benefits of copper peptide containing facial cream. Proceedings of the American Academy of Dermatology Meeting; February 2002; New York, NY, USA. [Google Scholar]
2. Leyden J., Stephens T., Finkey M., Barkovic S. Skin Care Benefits of Copper Peptide Containing Eye Creams. University of Pennsylvania; 2002. [Google Scholar]