What are Peptides, and Why Do You Need Them In Your Skincare Routine?

The Advanced Response Complex

Peptides are pervasive in the beauty world right now, and for good reason. Peptides are one of the most critical ingredients in anti-aging skincare today. Having said that, they are also one of the most misunderstood. That is why we wanted to take a minute to explain what peptides are, how they work, and why we use them at here at Maya Chia.

What are peptides?

Peptides are molecular chains of amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, and they come in various shapes and sizes. Peptides are naturally occurring in our bodies, but as we age, they diminish in quantity. This is why skin loses its youthful appearance over time.

The peptide chain is an important component in many physiological processes: it can be used to send signals between cells, it can be used as an energy source and it can be used as a structural component in cell membranes.

How do peptides work?

Peptides work by stimulating the body's own natural processes. For example, when you use a serum or cream with peptides on your face, it can stimulate your skin cells to help them grow and repair themselves more quickly than usual.

As we age, our skin loses its ability to repair itself. As a result, the body produces fewer collagen and elastin fibers as well as less hyaluronic acid – all of which is essential for moisture retention. Peptides help to restore these natural processes by stimulating the body's own mechanisms to produce more collagen and elastin fibers.

Peptides also work well when combined with other ingredients such as retinol or vitamin C because they increase their efficacy by penetrating deeper into the skin than they would on their own. That’s why we love the combination of the Straight A - Advanced Gentle Retinol Serum with our Advanced Response Complex - Rapid Regenerating Face & Neck Moisture Cream. Our Super Lift Concentrated Vitamin C-More Treatment has peptides as well that work even harder to increase the efficacy of our shelf-stable Vitamin C.

There are many different peptides, but all have one thing in common: they have an amino acid sequence that mimics a specific protein found in our body (such as collagen). 

Here are some of the most commonly used peptides:

Amino Acids

These are the basic building blocks of all proteins found in the body. Amino acids can be used as a source of nourishment for cells and to regenerate new ones.

Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs)

These long chains of sugars make up part of the scaffolding within cells that helps determine their shape and structure. When this scaffolding becomes damaged or worn down over time, it can result in wrinkles and sagging skin that no amount of moisturizer may fix. However, GAGs can help restore this scaffolding by stimulating collagen production so that it regains its youthful appearance once again.

What are the benefits?

When applied to the skin, peptides have been shown to have several benefits, including helping to:

+ Reduce wrinkles by increasing collagen production
+ Increasing elastin production, which improves elasticity and firmness
+ Reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation and scarring
+ Reduce inflammation in the skin 
+ Decrease redness associated with acne-prone skin.

If you're looking for a more youthful and glowy appearance, we recommend peptides should be part of your daily skincare routine.