Peptides & Ceramides - What Do They Do?
Peptides are in so many skin care products these days – but what are the benefits to the skin?
Peptides are molecules made up of two or more amino acids linked together by the same peptide bonds found in proteins. Peptides are closely related to proteins. In fact, when the number of amino acids is less than 50, these molecules are called peptides while the longer chains are proteins. Both peptides and proteins are present in every living cell and are responsible for biochemical activities in the body.
Peptides perform important functions in the skin as well. As we age, we lose collagen which results in sagging and wrinkled skin. Collagen is a protein composed of long chains of amino acids linked together by peptide bonds – so adding peptides to the skin will help replace lost collagen. The peptide molecule is small which makes it easy to penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin.
As collagen breaks down, those protein chains break up into smaller peptide chains. The chains send signals for the skin to produce more collagen. Adding peptides to the skin through quality skin care products tricks the skin into thinking it has lost collagen and it begins to produce more.
Peptides break down easily and if combined with the wrong ingredients they may not be able to penetrate the skin layers properly.
Clinical studies have shown that dry and damaged skin is often linked to depleted ceramide levels. Ceramides are naturally found in skin’s vulnerable outer layer and help skin retain moisture. When skin’s ceramide levels are low, skin has difficulty retaining moisture.
Ceramides are natural lipids and are a major component in surface skin structure. They serve as part of the "glue" that holds surface skin cells together.
Dry, irritated, and sensitive skin often lacks ceramides. As a result, skin's protective barrier is compromised and becomes more susceptible to environmental factors, changes of season, and other irritants.