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What Are Peptides and How Can They Help Skin?

Short Answer:

A Guide to Help You Understand the Role Peptides Play in AntiAging Skin Care Products

Cosmeceutical Peptides
Cosmeceutical Peptides are perhaps the hottest “new” topical antiaging ingredients around. They have attracted attention since Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4 (Matrixyl) was found in a U.S. Institute of Health-backed study to stimulate collagen production.  (Note TBI's Professional MCR with DermaLastyl and the office procedure Iontophoresis Elastin Infusion Therapy, as well as all DermaLastyl Consumer products  also contain Matrixyl, Peptides and Hylauronic Acid but not necessarily in the same form and amounts. )

Since the body naturally uses peptides for communication within the cells, it was theorized that topical peptides might be engineered to regulate skin functions that had deteriorated with age. Restoring youthful cellular communication is an enticing approach to reverse the cell withering that results from messages that are either not received or are improperly received.

The theory has been borne out, both by clinical trials with human subjects and by in vitro laboratory tests.

Longer Answer

Peptides (from the Greek rrurrrIãia, "small digestibles") are short polymers formed from the linking, in a defined order, of a-amino acids. The link between one amino acid residue and the next is known as an amide bond or a peptide bond.  Peptides are molecules consisting of 2 or more amino acids. Peptides are smaller than proteins, which are also chains of amino acids. Molecules small enough to be synthesized from the constituent amino acids are, by convention, called peptides rather than proteins. The dividing line is at about 50 amino acids.

Proteins are polypeptide molecules (or consist of multiple polypeptide subunits). The distinction is that peptides are short (also called ―small proteins) and polypeptides/proteins are long. There are several different conventions to determine these, all of which have caveats and nuances.

Amino acids: Amino acids are the basic structural building units of proteins. They form short polymer chains called peptides or longer chains called either polypeptides or proteins. The process of such formation from an mRNA template is known as translation, which is part of protein biosynthesis. Twenty amino acids are encoded by the standard genetic code and are called proteinogenic or standard amino acids. Other amino acids contained in proteins are usually formed by post-translational modification, which is modification after translation in protein synthesis. These modifications are often essential for the function or regulation of a protein (collagen and other proteins).

Hyaluronic Acid (also called Hyaluronan or Hyaluronate) is derived from hyalos (Greek for vitreous) and uronic acid because it was first isolated from the vitreous humor and possesses a high uronic acid content.

Hyaluronic Acid is a non-sulphated glycosaminoglycan distributed widely throughout connective, epithelial, and neural tissues. It is one of the chief components of the extra cellular matrix, contributes significantly to cell proliferation and migration. The average 70-kg man has roughly 15 grams of Hyaluronic acid in his body, one-third of which is turned over (degraded and synthesized) every day.

• Hyaluronic Acid is an important component of articular cartilage, where it is present as a coat around each cell (chondrocyte).
• Hyaluronic Acid is a major component of skin, where it is involved in tissue repair.
• Hyaluronic Acid also contributes to tissues hydrodynamics, movement and proliferation of cells.

• Hyaluronic Acid is naturally found in many tissues of the body, such as skin, cartilage, and the vitreous humor. It is therefore well suited to biomedical applications targeting these tissues.

• Hyaluronic Acid is a common ingredient in skin care products.

In 2003 the FDA approved Hyaluronic Acid injections for filling soft tissue defects such as facial wrinkles in brand name products like Juviderm
® and Restalyn®.



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