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What's a peptide and why do I need it?

October 30, 2010

The foundation of firm, smooth skin is collagen. Young people have lots of collagen. Collagen gives the skin its support and thickness. With each passing year, collagen levels decrease and thus skin becomes looser, thinner, and wrinkled. One of the goals of all facial creams is to encourage natural collagen synthesis within the skin. Collagen is protein and is made of long chains of amino acids strung together. Shorter chains of amino acids are called peptides. When collagen breaks down in the skin, it forms specific peptides that signal collagen damage. The skin receives this alert and the metabolic machinery is initiated to make more collagen. Many think that you can increase skin collagen by applying it directly to the skin. Not so. Collagen is a very large molecule that cannot penetrate the skin’s protective barriers. Peptides to the rescue. Peptides are small molecules that reach the deeper layers of the skin. When we apply peptides directly to the surface of the skin, we are tricking it into thinking that its collagen was damaged and that it needs to make some more. Peptides with copper attached are now becoming more available and offer an additional benefit. Copper has long been a useful agent in treating chronic wounds. Copper peptides seem to encourage collagen production and serve as an anti-aging antioxidant in regeneration of skin. They are naturally healing and appear to remove damaged collagen. Argireline is a neuropeptide that is often called the Botox Alternative. It blocks signals from nerves to the facial muscles, blocking contraction of the muscles which leads to smoother skin. It is considered especially helpful in reducing the depth of expression lines around the eyes, on the forehead, and in the mouth area. While a few researchers aren’t fully convinced, the early evidence, along with a plethora of anecdotal evidence, makes this a supremely useful addition to the anti-aging arsenal. Peptides found in Abbey skin care* include palmitoyl oligopeptide and palmitoyl terapeptide-3 (Matrixyl 3000), acetyl hexapeptide-3 (Argireline), acetyl tetrapeptide-5, acetyl octapeptide-3, pentapeptide-18, and palmitoyl tripeptide-5. We have recently have found a source for a copper peptide (glycyl-L-histidyl-L-lysine-Cu2+) and will be adding it to several of our skin creams and eye cream. Finally, peptides do not work alone. They have to be delivered to the skin in a carrier that enhances penetration. They are very expensive ingredients. Effective formulations must contain optimum concentrations for results, usually between 3%-10%. An inexpensive potion may tout a peptide as a selling point, but often its concentration is insignificant. Heavy creams that deter penetration are also to be avoided. Caveat emptor.
*Abbey St. Clare peptide actives: *Palmitoyl oligopeptide and palmitoyl terapeptide-3 (Matrixyl 3000TM): Night Line Relief Serum; Face Firming Concentrate; Essential Eye Creme. It has been shown to reduce wrinkle depth by up to 45%. They stimulate new tissue growth of collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid to fill wrinkles naturally from within and provide visible anti-wrinkle efficacy. This ingredient is for long term wrinkle reduction. *Acetyl hexapeptide-3 (Argireline): Night Line Relief Serum; The Yellow Crème; Essential Eye Crème. Superior anti-wrinkle efficacy and is marketed at the “Botox Alternative.” It reduces the severity of wrinkles around the eyes, up to 17% after 15 days of treatment and up to 27% after 30 days of treatment. It prevents skin aging induced by repeated facial movements. *Acetyl tetrapeptide-5: Essential Eye Crème Anti-edema properties and a proven efficacy in reducing puffy eye bags. It also enhances skin elasticity, skin smoothness, and shows a decongesting effect. *Acetyl octapeptide-3: Night Line Relief Serum; The Yellow Crème; Face Firming Concentrate; Essential Eye Crème. An anti-wrinkle active which reduces the depth of wrinkles on the face caused by the contraction of muscles of facial expression. It is a safer, more economical, and milder alternative to Botulinum Toxin, topically targeting the same wrinkle-formation mechanism in a different way. *Pentapeptide 18: Night Line Relief Serum; The Yellow Crème; Face Firming Concentrate; Essential Eye Crème. Especially for wrinkles around the eyes, forehead, deep facial wrinkles. It has a synergistic effect to compliment the action of Argireline. *Palmitoyl tripeptide 5: Aniba Serum; Aniba Tonic; Face Firming Concentrate. Heals,calms irritated skin and intercepts cascade of events that results in damaged skin. Especially useful for red, itchy, or flaky skin.

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