If you use a lot of skin care products, then you must have heard about the term “peptide” on many occasions. Peptides are not only used in the manufacture of the cosmetics, but also feature heavily in the marketing materials of the various products, where it is used to promise busloads of benefits to the users. The term, however, is a generic name given to certain types of amino acids. From your biology classes, you will remember that amino acids are the basic monomers in the creation of proteins.
The differences between peptides and proteins
Peptides differ from proteins in the sense that they are shorter and they don’t exhibit the same secondary folding structure as the proteins. As a rule of thumb, fifty or less amino acids are joined together with polypeptide chains to form a peptide. Should the amino acids exceed fifty in one structure, it ceases to be a peptide but now turns into a protein. Some peptides occur naturally within the body whereas there are others which are synthetically manufactured to copy the real functions of the natural ones.
Why are peptides used in cosmetics?
There are different reasons why peptides are used in the cosmetic industry, depending on the type of peptide as well as the intended functions or effects desired from it. For instance, peptides are known to cause a myriad of effects which are utterly beneficial to the skin. Peptides can slower the aging process by reducing the occurrence of wrinkles, encourage the production of collagen to make the skin look fresh, supple and young and there are also certain peptides that have antioxidant properties needed for the healing process of the skin. Finally, peptides are also used in cosmetics industry because it allows the manufacturers to tell great stories to the audiences, and market their products in the process.