‘Which’ Skin Nutrients Guide? Today we discuss Peptides.

Our skin is one if the most complex organs in the body and we often forget that we need to feed our skin with the right nutrients in order to keep it healthy.

Every week I will discuss a different ‘skin nutrient’, to make it easier for you to work out how to nourish your skin and keep it looking hydrated and youthful.
Our skin is made up mostly of collagen and elastin. These are protein chains that sit in the middle layer (the dermis). They act like the skin’s scaffolding in a way, providing strength, support and elasticity. They are essential for strong and healthy skin.
Young people have lots of collagen and taut, smooth skin. In contrast, older people have much less collagen and thin, wrinkled skin.

Collagen proteins are made up of long chains of amino acids strung together, like chains of linked building blocks. When it is broken down, short segments of 3-5 amino acids form, called peptides. I often call Peptides your ‘mini collagen fibres’. When stimulated these peptides can join together inside the dermal layers, strengthening your collagen scaffolding and in turn strengthening your skin.
They are expensive ingredients because of the way that they are formulated but they can work wonders for your skin.

Skin Scientists say that peptides can improve wrinkles and make you look younger in the following three ways:

Step 1. Peptides send a message to your skin to make more collagen.

As we age collagen is destroyed but sadly is not replaced. As a result young, smooth skin eventually becomes thin and full of wrinkles.

One strategy to fight this is to replace the lost collagen. When collagen breaks down, it forms specific peptides. These peptides act as a signal to tell your skin it was damaged and this triggers the skin to make new collagen.

Applying peptides directly to your skin is a way to trick your skin into thinking that it has lost collagen recently and needs to make more. The most popular signal peptide for cosmetic use is palmitoyl pentapeptide (Matrixyl). It can be found in many peptide skin products and is thought to be effective in improving the appearance of fine lines. The more expensive products have a higher price tag because they combine the peptide ingredients with a skin ‘delivery system’ allowing the peptides to reach the deeper layers, where the collagen sits. Some products only deliver peptides to the top layer of the skin, where they are likely to be of little benefit.

Step 2. Peptides deliver skin essential copper into your skin.

Because peptides are small, they can penetrate the skin’s protective barriers to get to the deeper layers. When copper is attached to a peptide, the peptide can deliver copper to the living layers of the skin. There is research showing that copper is an effective agent in skin healing which is why it has been used for years to treat chronic wounds.

Copper peptides seem to promote collagen production and act as antioxidants. They are needed for natural healing and regeneration of your skin and to help remove damaged collagen. Copper peptides can be found in many pricey product lines.

3. Neuropeptides might act like Botox.

Some peptides might block transmission of signals from nerves to your facial muscles. In particular, a neuropeptide called argireline has been shown in laboratory studies to block the release of neurotransmitters from nerves. If argireline was absorbed all the way through the skin to the level of the muscle, then it might block contraction of the muscle, leading to smoother skin, similar to Botox.

Neuropeptides are sold in products often called wrinkle-relaxer creams and are a big part of many cosmeceutical lines. There are plenty of anecdotal stories of their efficacy.


Remember that peptides alone are not the solution to good skin. That would be like suggesting just eating vitamin C rich foods will keep you healthy and strong. You need to combine these skin boosting peptides with other skin loving active ingredients.

Tune into my weekly skin ingredient blogs to find out more.

For more information about skin care visit our clinic website www.nuriss.co.uk