Friday, 17 July 2015

Should I be using Peptides on my skin?

Being bombarded with new discoveries and beauty hype every day, it is difficult to know what is really good for your skin. Understanding the structure of the skin and how it is affected by aging and the environment helps us determine what we can do to preserve its youthfulness.


Why do you get wrinkles and lax skin? 

Collagen and Elastin make up 80% of your skin. These proteins are what keep your skin plump and flexible. Environmental factors such as the sun, pollution, smoking and eating sugar break down collagen fibres causing wrinkles and sagging skin. To make things worse, your body's ability to produce collagen fibres diminishes with age.

What helps rebuild collagen?

 Antioxidants are important, specially vitamin C and A. Vitamin A is probably the most important ingredient in a good skin care product. Vitamin A not only helps produce collagen, but also repairs the DNA of damaged cells allowing them to produce healthy collagen. Vitamin A also disperses melanin granules (the colour in our skin) so they don't group and form brown spots and pigmentation.

Other functions of vitamin A are the control of oil production; the reduction of acne; the exfoliation of dead skin cells; and because of its correction of the DNA, the prevention and reduction of skin cancers.

Hyaluronic acid is also very important for your skin. It is the filler between collagen fibres. It helps retain water in the skin, improving skin hydration, stimulating the production of collagen, and maintaining the skin's elasticity.

Some beauty treatments such as Skin Needling stimulate the production of collagen by causing micro injuries that prompt the body's natural healing responses. 

What are Peptides?

Peptides are short chains of amino acids.  The proteins in our bodies are made out of long chains of peptides. Peptides send messages to the cells and tell them what to do. 

By applying the right peptides to your skin you can tell the cells to produce more collagen, to protect the collagen, and even to relax the muscles, decreasing wrinkles such as the brow frown (a similar effect to Botox).

Beauty treatments such as IPL/Laser photorejuvenation and Radio Frequency treatments heat up the damaged collagen fibres breaking them down into peptides which signal the skin cells to produce more collagen.

Other things you should do to protect your skin's collagen

The sun is the major culprit when in comes to collagen damage. Always use a broad spectrum sunscreen, zinc or titanium dioxide are best. Remember to reapply every 2 hours, more often if you are swimming because it may rub off with the towel. Also wear a hat, try to keep out of the sun, and wear long sleeves.

The second culprit is eating sugar. Sugar in the bloodstream attaches to proteins creating AGEs (Advanced Glycation End-products). AGEs are harmful molecules that damage collagen and elastin in a domino-like effect. The more sugar you eat the more AGEs your body creates.

Smoking is also very harmful to the skin. The toxins in cigarette smoke damage your collagen causing deep lines around the mouth.

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