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Natural Living


Peptides are the latest discovery in the quest for younger-looking skin, and they’re popping up in more and more natural products.

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With age, expression lines form by repeated action of facial muscles when you laugh or frown. Since you tend to laugh or frown up to 15,000 times each day, these movements slowly create skin depressions around the eyes, on the forehead, between the eyebrows, and around the mouth.

A peptide is a chain of amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. Peptides serve as messengers from the brain to the body, telling nerves and muscles to perform different functions. Specific peptides may reduce wrinkles by disrupting the nerve signals sent to tense the muscles beneath the skin, relaxing the muscles and smoothing the skin. Some peptides are believed to rev up collagen, which firms the skin. Other peptides may help shrink bags under the eyes by improving lymphatic circulation.

Two peptides in particular, matrixyl and argireline, have been shown in clinical studies to visibly reduce the look of deep lines and wrinkles while also promoting healthy skin tone, texture, and resilience. Matrixyl does this by stimulating collagen, while argireline helps relax facial muscles and discourages formation of new lines. Both are oligopeptides (“oligo” means “few”), which consist of between two and 20 amino acids.

New ways to use peptides in skin care are continually being developed. A glycopeptide, for example, combines the skin-lifting and firming strength of both proteins and polysaccharide carbohydrates sourced from goji berries. This goji glycopeptide forms a rigid lifting mesh to support sagging and wrinkled skin, creating an immediate, subtle lifting.

Studies continue to single out peptides as one of the most effective skin regeneration discoveries available. Look for them in serums, lotions, and creams aimed at aging skin.

Sherrie Strausfogel is the author of Hawaii’s Spa Experience: Rejuvenating Secrets of the Islands. Writing about beauty, spas, health, cuisine, and travel, Strausfogel’s work has appeared in more than 100 magazines, newspapers, guidebooks, and websites. She is based in Honolulu.

Good Buys …

DERMA E DEEP WRINKLE REVERSE MOISTURIZER WITH PEPTIDES PLUS helps to firm skin and relax wrinkles with a winning combination of two powerful peptides—matrixyl and argireline.

REVIVA LABS PEPTIDES & MORE ANTI-WRINKLE CREAM features the key peptide in the Strivectin formula, palmitoyl peptide 3, along with marine oligopeptides that work to reduce even deep lines.

SKIN BY ANN WEBB COFFEE CHERRY ARGIRELINE PEPTIDE CREAM works wonders for dry, mature, sensitive skin. Argireline plus moisturizing shea butter and five plant oils plump lines and provide super hydration to improve the look of fine lines and wrinkles.