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Some rather unscrupulous athletes have been giving peptides quite the bad reputation as of late. They have been injecting them to boost their performance, which is a pretty frowned upon practice. Peptides are now used in skin care. Don’t worry. You don’t need to inject these peptides and they won’t have you looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger circa 1985. They are safe and are clinically proven to smooth the skin, enhance collagen stimulation and promote wound healing.

What are peptides?

The peptides that athletes inject are not the same as those that are applied topically as part of an anti-ageing skin care regime.

At a geeky, biological level, peptides are small chains of amino acids that aren’t quite long enough to be considered full proteins. They are building blocks that help to construct proteins, like collagen. Peptides are also used to help switch on different receptors to bring about a change in the skin.

In terms of skin care, peptides are being heralded as the new gold standard in collagen stimulation. Up until recently, retinol (vitamin A) serums have been the “bee’s knees” in this area. Peptides produce the same results in terms of collagen stimulation and wrinkle reduction as retinol serums. The benefit is that peptides do not produce any of the nasty side effects associated with high levels of vitamin A. Although Vitamin A serums produce fantastic results, some patients have been known to experience slight skin irritation and redness in the initial stages of use.

Not all peptides are created equal

Different peptides are used in skin care to produce different results. This may seem a bit confusing at first, but it is not as difficult as you might think. There are four main types of peptides that are currently employed in anti-ageing skin care regimes today.

If you are looking for a peptide for collagen stimulation, ensure that Matryxl® is on the label. Matryxl® has been scientifically studied more extensively than the other peptides. Its results are tested and proven.

Copper tri-peptide (GHK-Cu) is an ideal peptide to promote healing. Peptides such as Matryxl® are ideal for collagen stimulation while copper tri-peptide is ideal for preserving the collagen that is already there. Copper peptides also attract “repair” cells and stem cells to areas of damaged skin, this is why copper is a common ingredient in ‘post-laser’ balms.

If you are looking for a peptide to increase circulation ensure that Eyeliss is on the label. This peptide could help reduce dark circles under your eyes by increasing blood and lymph circulation.

Agireline is an ideal peptide for people looking to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. This peptide helps by inhibiting the neurotransmitter that causes our facial muscles to contract thus preventing the formation of more wrinkles. It is important to note that this peptide is not as potent as BOTOX® injections. We believe in honesty, and these products have been shown to softly relax wrinkle causing muscles but not to wipe the wrinkles out.

Which one do I choose?

All of the different peptide choices can be slightly overwhelming. The best thing to do would be to choose a skin care serum that contains a few different types to make sure you cover all of your bases. Regenerate’s Renew Anti- Aging Peptide contains Matryxl®, Argiriline® and Rigin® in a 20% formulation. With a product like Renew, you are taking care of a lot of issues all at once.

By Mike Clague