What Does Peptide Serum Do?

What Does Peptide Serum Do?

It’s hard to separate fact from fiction when it comes to skincare ingredients. It seems like every week, there’s some new trendy ingredient that appears on the scene and promises to fix every single skincare concern you have. Unfortunately, as most of you have discovered by now, these ingredients aren’t always what they’re cracked up to be.

“Peptides are important hydrators that can support a healthy and glowing complexion.”

  • Shani Darden, esthetician

Peptides, however, are different. Adding peptide products to your skincare routine may actually make a huge difference to your skin. They can address everything from hydration to visible signs of aging to skin elasticity and more. 

So let’s talk about peptides, what they are, how they work, and what a peptide serum or similar peptide product can do for your skin.

What Are Peptides?

Peptides are tiny molecules that are built from amino acids, and amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. They’re also sometimes known as polypeptides, and they actually occur naturally in your skin. Your skin uses peptides to make some pretty vital skin components you may have heard of before, such as collagen.

Peptides can support collagen production, and as you probably know, collagen means firmer, younger-looking skin. This process occurs naturally in your skin, but as you get older, your body’s collagen production tends to decrease. This is one aspect of aging that can visibly show up before anything else.

A lack of collagen can make your skin appear less firm and full, which leads to the appearance of sagging. Decreased collagen also makes fine lines and wrinkles more visible, so it’s safe to say that collagen is a great choice for anyone looking to extend their youthful appearance.

What Are the Benefits of Peptides for Skin?

I’ve touched on what peptides can do for your skin in the previous section, but now let’s really dive in. Peptides and a good peptide serum can provide all kinds of wonderful benefits to your skin. Read on for some benefits that might just convince you to add peptides to your skincare routine.

Supports Collagen Production

As I touched on above, when they occur naturally in your skin, peptides play a crucial role in collagen production because a collagen peptide is what signals your skin to produce more collagen.

Surprisingly, peptides may be more beneficial for supporting collagen production than collagen itself. This is because most collagen molecules are too large to be absorbed by your skin, making many collagen products ineffective when applied topically. Peptides, on the other hand, can provide proteins that can help make your skin look more youthful.

Supports Your Skin Barrier

Your skin barrier is the outermost layer of your skin, and keeping it strong and functioning at its highest level is crucial for maintaining a healthy, even, and hydrated complexion. Your skin barrier is responsible for keeping impurities out and locking moisture in, so nourishing it as part of your skin care regimen is non-negotiable. 

Many factors, ranging from dehydration to using powerful active ingredients on sensitive skin, can damage your skin barrier. Luckily, peptides can help to support your skin barrier.

Minimizes Visible Signs of Aging

If you’re looking for smoothing ingredients, peptides are a great option. The positive impact peptides can have on collagen products provides a plumping effect for your skin and lips. Additionally, peptides can also support elastin fibers, which can make your skin appear more firm overall.

Minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in aging skin isn’t easy, but short of botox and ingredients like retinol, peptides can be a great addition to a skincare regimen for aging skin.

Soothes Red or Irritated Skin

If your skin feels red, rough, or irritated, peptides may help. They’re thought to ease irritation and can have a positive impact on damaged skin due to the way they can support an optimized skin barrier. 

Because of this, working peptides into your skin care regimen can help to even out your skin tone and brighten the appearance of dark spots.

Addresses Breakouts

A peptide serum can be a valuable addition to your anti-breakout skincare routine. There’s some evidence that peptides have cleansing qualities, which means they can help to kill bacteria and other impurities that may trigger your breakout-prone skin. 

Additionally, peptides can have a positive impact on redness and irritation, so using a peptide serum can help to soothe your skin and support the natural healing process after a breakout.

Similarly, the way that peptides work to support your skin barrier can be crucial for those prone to breakouts. This is because healthy skin barriers are better able to heal from stressors like pimples, leading to fewer instances of scarring. 

How Can You Choose the Right Peptide Product?

If you’re ready to add peptides to your lineup of skincare products, you should start by checking out the ingredient list. There are many different types of peptides, and it’s important to take note in order to determine the best peptide for your individual skin concerns.

There are a few types of peptides that are commonly used in skincare products. Among them are signal peptides, such as copper peptides and tripeptides, which are typically used to address fine lines and wrinkles. There are other types of peptides, such as enzyme inhibitor peptides, too. 

Sometimes peptides can be listed as palmitoyl on ingredient lists. You’ll also want to look for products that list peptides as close as possible to the beginning of the list so you can make sure there are enough of them to be effective.

It’s also worth considering how peptides might work with your other skincare ingredients. They generally play well with things such as vitamin C, niacinamide, and other antioxidants. And like pretty much any other ingredient out there, pairing peptides with hyaluronic acid can only help. 

Lastly, you’ll want to consider the type of product you’re buying. Using a cleanser with peptides in the formulation, for instance, may be less effective than using a peptide-enriched moisturizer, eye cream, or night cream. This is because the former won’t have time to fully penetrate your skin, which means you may not see the full benefits of your peptides.

How Can You Use Peptides in Your Skincare Routine?

If it’s not clear already, peptides are a great skincare ingredient that offers a wide range of benefits to your skin with relatively few drawbacks. As long as you’re careful about noting the type of peptide you’re using and how strong its presence in any given product is, you can be pretty liberal with implementing peptides into your routine.

To help get you started, let’s talk about some of the best peptide products to seek out and add to your regimen. While one peptide product can give you the benefits of peptides, you can also use more than one to really double down on all of the benefits for your complexion.

Peptide Serum

Serums are one of the best ways to add a new skincare product to your routine. Serums are super flexible and customizable because you can choose them based on your individual needs and skincare concerns. 

For instance, if a dull complexion is a problem for you, a brightening vitamin C serum can help restore your glow. But if dry skin, visible signs of aging, or irritation are your top priorities, you may want to consider a peptide serum.

You can also use multiple serums and layer them, as long as you’ve double-checked for any potentially negative ingredient interactions. It’s also important to confirm whether you should be using certain ingredients in the morning or in the evening. 

Retinol, for example, is best left to your nighttime routine, as it can make your skin photosensitive and more vulnerable to sun damage, even with sunscreen. On the flip side, vitamin C and vitamin E work perfectly as part of your morning routine because their antioxidant effects can help bolster your protection from the sun.

Peptide Moisturizers

Peptide moisturizers are a great way to work peptides into your skincare routine because they can give the peptides enough time to fully absorb into your skin. Plus, since peptides can help with hydration and encourage a functional skin barrier, they’re a no-brainer when it comes to heavy-hitting hydrators. 

My Hydration Peptide Cream is a cruelty-free, vegan, paraben-free, and non-comedogenic face cream made with a powerful peptide complex to give you your best glow yet. This rich moisturizer is powered by moisture-drenching Hydrosella™ and ultra-hydrating squalane to help replenish skin and protect your skin barrier.

Brightening niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3, helps to minimize the appearance of pores, smooth your skin’s texture, and even out your overall skin tone, whether you’re dealing with dark spots or dullness due to a buildup of dead skin cells. 

And that’s to say nothing of the peptide power in this moisturizer, which may help to support collagen production and elasticity while visibly firming and plumping. Follow up your moisturizer with an eye cream or a high-SPF sunscreen to protect your skin.

Peptide Eye Creams

Whether you’re experiencing mature skin or are just starting to think more seriously about anti-aging products, it’s time to add an eye cream to your skincare regimen. Because the skin around your eyes is so much thinner than it is in other areas, aging can become apparent more quickly in that area.

A peptide-enriched eye cream like my Intensive Eye Renewal Cream can help to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, plump and firm the skin around your eye area, and brighten dark circles. 

Formulated with a combination of potent pea peptides, silk tree extract, squalane, and niacinamide, you can kiss your crow’s feet goodbye. If you’re not sure how best to use an eye cream as part of your routine, check out these five tips for using eye cream the right way.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, peptide serums can offer a wide range of benefits for your skin. They can support collagen production, encourage skin elasticity, support your skin barrier, minimize visible signs of aging, and soothe redness and irritation. Because of all of these amazing effects, peptides can also be effective at addressing breakouts.

When choosing a peptide product, it’s important to consider the type of peptides used and their placement in the ingredients list to ensure that you’re getting the exact ingredient you’re looking for at a concentration that will make a difference to your skin. 

While I love peptides, there are plenty of other skincare ingredients that I recommend. To learn more about my favorite skincare products, check out my blog.


Antibacterial Peptides in Dermatology — Strategies for Evaluation of Allergic Potential | MDPI

Decreased Collagen Production in Chronologically Aged Skin | The American Journal of Pathology

Collagen Hydrolysates for Skin Protection: Oral Administration and Topical Formulation | MDPI

Understanding the Epidermal Barrier in Healthy and Compromised Skin: Clinically Relevant Information for the Dermatology Practitioner | The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology


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