Peptides are among the most prized skin care ingredients for their ability to act on multiple physiological processes, including inflammation, pigmentation, cell proliferation and migration and extracellular matrix synthesis. But not all peptides in skin care are engineered to unlock the full potential of these powerhouse cell signalers. The ability to get past the skin barrier and work at the cellular level is what makes oligopeptides literally a breakthrough ingredient. To put the magic of oligopeptides in context, let’s first take a look at the broader category of peptides.
Peptides are the bonds that link amino acids together into chains to form proteins, making them building blocks of skin structure. The majority of chemical reactions, biological responses and regulatory processes in the body are modulated in some part by these amino acid sequences.
Peptides act as cell-signaling agents. They protect telomeres, the caps at the ends of chromosomes that keep cells from aging. They also tell the skin to produce more collagen, elastin and essential components of connective tissue (proteoglycan, glycosaminoglycan and fibronectin). For this reason, peptides are best known as anti-aging ingredients used to combat fine lines, wrinkles and thinning skin.