How Peptides and Skin Care Make You Look Great | When in ABQ

Last updated: April 20, 2021

Albuquerque, NM — Peptides work for skin protection, wrinkles, and more. Take a peek at skincare tips here. Then, call the Injection and Infusion Clinic for consultation.

The beauty industry thrives on people who are at the fourth level of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. People need to feel beautiful and young-looking. They need to nourish their self-esteem before they step up to the final level of self-actualization. You may agree or disagree with Maslow, but one thing is for sure – Good skin is “in.”

Are you up for a healthier and younger-looking you? Check the latest trends at The Injection and Infusion Clinic of ABQ

The beauty industry is predicted to exceed $716 billion by 2025 dominated by North America and Asia-Pacific (Grand View Research, n.d.). This gives you the big picture of how serious people are when it comes to looking good. The research revealed skincare products lead the cosmetic market as the fastest-growing segment. Let’s magnify common skin problems to see why skincare products dominate the cosmetic industry.

What are 5 common skin problems?

  1. Discolorations: These are melasma or age or liver spots and acne spots. Melasma is dark or discolored patches on the skin. Age or liver spots are small and flat dark areas, which are more common in older adults. Acne spots are what they are, dark spots caused by zits or pimples.
  2. Photoaging: It’s synonymous with photodamage and sun or solar damage. This happens when your skin is over/exposed to UV light, which causes changes to your skin cells.
  3. Wrinkles and lines: Your skin becomes creased, ridged, or folded which appear as wrinkles and lines. This happens naturally when you age or when your skin loses its elasticity and thickness. It can also be speeded up by sun exposure, dehydration, genetics, smoking, and air pollution.
  4. Dry and dull skin: This happens when your skin lacks luster. It appears darker and less glowing than normal. Causes may be due to poor diet and hydration, smoking, alcohol intake, and lack of sleep. Other cases included dead skin cells, lack of exfoliation, or poor to no skincare.
  5. Sagging skin: Skin naturally sags with age, but this can be aggravated by other factors. These include long hours of UV exposure, weight loss, environmental pollutants, smoking, alcohol intake, poor nutrition, and certain medical conditions.

No one beauty product that can address all your skin problems. But, there’s one that’s promising more than the others. Let’s hone-in on peptides and its derivative, collagen.

What are Peptides?

Peptides are mini versions of proteins. They are a short chain of amino acids that occur naturally.  Your body absorbs it and enters your bloodstream easily. They are found in beans, eggs, flaxseed, fish, lentils, oats, milk, shellfish, soy, and wheat. 

5 mechanisms of peptides for the skin

  1. Signaling peptides: It sends messages to your skin to build collagen and elastin. This is the most commonly used cosmetic peptide. 
  2. Carrier peptides: It transports manganese and copper needed for wound healing and skin repairing. GHK-Cu is an example of a carrier peptide. It boosts your collagen formation. 
  3. Neurotransmitter-inhibiting peptides: It blocks the release of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. This aids in contracting muscles. In effect, it relaxes your muscles.
  4. Enzyme-inhibiting peptides: It holds off collagen loss by interfering with chemicals in a skin-aging process.
  5. Antimicrobial peptides: It’s known as host defense peptides or nature’s antibiotics. It serves to protect your body from infection.

What are 5 practical applications of peptides for skin care?

Remember the 5 common skin problems I laid out earlier? Here’s where peptides come in:

  1. Strengthen skin barrier: The skin serves as a line of defense. It keeps out bacteria, pollutants, UV rays, and toxins in the environment. And it keeps in the moisture. Lack of skin care may cause the skin to weaken and crack. You may develop acne, eczema, and other skin diseases. Peptides aid in strengthening your skin barrier by keeping it intact.
  2. Reduce wrinkles: Topical use of peptides reduces your wrinkles and improves your skin texture. It prevents the progression of your skin aging as it relaxes the muscles under the skin. 
  3. Promote skin elasticity: Peptides boost collagen production, which leaves your skin firmer, moisturized, and healthy-looking.  
  4. Ease inflammation: Peptides contain antioxidants that protect you from environmental free radicals. Examples are pollution and UV rays. Peptides abate oxidative stress which eases inflammation and repairs your skin. 
  5. Help maintain skin texture and tone and ward off bacteria: Your skin tone becomes even and texture becomes smoother. Some peptides are also known to have antimicrobial effects, which prevents acne breakouts.  

What are the Benefits of peptides and collagen?

Peptides have a potential anti-aging property. Damaged skin is repaired and rebuilt. It has been used in health supplements and cosmetic products. One of the most common peptides is collagen. Collagen can be found in your hair, ligaments, muscles, nails, skin, and tendons. It has been used in cosmetic surgery, dental procedures, and healing burns.

It comes in hydrolyzed and various commercial forms. You can take it is as an oral supplement to reduce your skin dryness and wrinkles. A study reveals that collagen supplements were effective in improving skin (Asserin, 2015). Collagen as a nutritional supplement had positive effects on skin elasticity and hydration (Borumand and Sibilla, 2015). Taking collagen supplements were beneficial to the skin and had no side effects, too (Proksch, 2013). 


Collagen is also applied to the skin as a topical cream, ointment, and serum. But, this is not as effective as other peptides delivered through intravenous or IV infusion like GHK-Cu, Argireline ®, and Leuphasyl®. It’s because collagen molecules are not small enough to penetrate the topmost of your skin. 

If it does make your skin feel moisturized and soft, it may only be temporary. It’s an effect on the surface of your skin only. You can still use it though as a handy skin moisturizer. For better results, you have to regularly apply it on your skin. A study reveals that topical antiaging formulations significantly improved facial wrinkles on short and long-term bases (Trookman, 2009). The key here is the formulation or the mixture of antioxidants, collagen-building peptides, multiple growth factors, and hyaluronic acid.

Topical use of peptides in general may cause rashes and itching. Other potential side effects include skin irritation or redness. You can also feel a burning sensation or soreness. In extreme cases, headaches have been reported, especially for copper-based peptides. A reassuring study though was conducted on the efficacy and tolerance of oligopeptides for antiaging. The study reveals that oligopeptide-20 cream had no adverse effects and caused no skin irritation (Varvaresou et al., 2011).  Thus, it’s best to consult your healthcare provider on the use of skincare products containing peptide.

What is the 8-step routine for skin care?

Beauty and cosmetic products contain peptides as one of its ingredients. It’s usually labeled as “palmitoyl” and comes in different names. Look at the prefixes with -di, -hexa, -tri or -oligo. Examples are Acetyl tetrapeptide-9 or hexapeptide-8 and Palmitoyl oligopeptide. It can be used on your skin along with your other skincare products. This 8-step day and night routine from a skincare expert applies to all beauty products containing peptides.

  1. Cleanser: Is your skin dry or oily? If you have dry skin, you don’t have to wash your face in the morning. You have to wash your face though for your evening routine. If you have oily skin, you have to wash your face, regardless if it’s a morning or evening routine. Cleansers come in many forms. It may be a bar or liquid soap, gel, or cleansing water.
  2. Physical and chemical exfoliant: Physical exfoliants are gentle scrubs and brushes. You can use these to buff dead skin cells off your face a few times a week. What’s more effective is a chemical exfoliant, which is acid-based. This sloughs off deep-seated dirt in your pores. An example is alpha-hydroxy acids or better known as AHA.  
  3. Toner: Toners are used to wash and cleanse the skin. It shrinks your pores, too. In the morning, this comes first before chemical exfoliant.
  4. Eye creams: You may use specialized eye creams, serum, or moisturizer around your eyes. This gives instant hydration. 
  5. Hydrating serum and retinoids: This is when you can apply peptides. These products serve as antioxidants and boosts collagen. Other serums include alpha arbutin, vitamin C, and alpha-lipoic acid. You can add on hydrating serums, which further draws water into the skin. Retinoid or Vitamin A is applied only at night, since it reacts to UV light. This doesn’t also go well with SPF, vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, and AHA.
  6. Moisturizer: Moisturizer helps maintain the skin’s condition. It prevents your skin from becoming too dry or oily that causes common skin problems like acne. You may use this if your skin is dry. But, you can skip this if your skin is oily. 
  7. Face oil: Face oil locks the moisture in your skin. As a barrier, it protects your skin from environmental pollutants.
  8. Sunscreen: Sunscreens, for day routine only, are the best protection from the UV rays that damages your skin. Some peptides are incorporated in sunscreens, other than zinc oxide. In choosing your sunscreen, check the sunscreen protection factor or SPF. It’s a measure of how well it protects your skin from UVB rays, which causes photoaging, sunburn, and cancer.

Is Peptide therapy for your skin?

Peptides have to be applied regularly to the skin. For maximum effect, peptides can be given to the body through IV infusion. In another blog on this website, there’s a lengthy discussion on the various IV infusion peptides for antiaging. These are the GHK-Cu, Argireline ®, and Leuphasyl®. 

For more details on peptide and skin care, you may contact the Injection and Infusion Clinic or ABQ – 505 445 4300. 

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