Peptides and Ceramides – Oh my!
Peptides and Ceramides are ESSENTIAL to maintaining healthy, beautiful skin. These ingredients are responsible for keeping our barrier function intact, as well as helping our cells to be active, influencing healthy-young acting skin.
Understanding how these ingredients work within the skin and why they are so important will help us to be more knowledgeable when choosing and recommending products.
Get to Know Peptides
Peptides are created when two or more amino acids come together to form a chain. Each peptide chain has a purpose and job in the skin. When a chain becomes longer it forms into protein which will then form skin, nails, hair and other parts of the body.
There are three different forms of Peptides:
- Carrier Peptides
- Signal Peptides
- Neuro Peptides
Carrier Peptides: Deliver trace elements, like copper, to help stimulate wound repair and healing in the skin. These peptides are crucial for healing after an intense treatment or if trauma has taken place. Copper peptides have been proven to also firm and tighten skin that has lost elasticity.
Signal Peptides: Stimulates collagen production by alerting the fibroblast that the skin is breaking down and needs to be repaired. These peptides almost “trick” the skin into acting younger. As we age, we naturally produce an enzyme that breaks down the skin, which in turns tells our bodies that we need to boost collagen and elastin levels to repair it. We can simulate this same process WITHOUT breaking down the skin by using these peptides to signal our fibroblasts. These peptides are formed from various sources but the most common is wheat amino acids. Signal peptides are perfect for preventative and aging clients who want to improve the strength of their skin.
Neuro Peptides (Neurotransmitters): Inhibit the communication channels for muscle contractions. These peptides are known for their “Botox-like” influence on the skin by helping to decrease and relax the muscles for facial expressions. Neuro peptides are wonderful for those who are very expressive and are looking to firm their crow’s feet, jaw line, and/or wrinkles on their forehead.
Get to know Ceramides
Ceramides make up almost half of the lipids found in the Stratum Corneum (outer most layer of skin). They play an important role in keeping our barrier function intact and healthy to avoid damage. Our skin is our body’s first line of defense against bacteria, disease and the elements, so it’s important that we are caring for and maintaining that barrier function as best as possible.
Ceramides are chains of lipids or oils that capture and bind water to keep our skin moisturized and protected. These ingredients are essential during compromising periods such as: after an aggressive treatment or chemical peel, winter months or misusing active ingredients that can strip the skin. It’s important to introduce ceramides back into the skin after any one of these conditions has taken place.