Feb 15, 2010

Open Forum: Fave New Products

What are some favorite new products? Is it a new fragrance, facial moisturizer, or a hair care product?

Feb 1, 2010

Ingredient Spotlight: Peptides

Peptides are sort of like chains of amino acids, they are fragments of a protein. A string of peptides make up a "whole" protein, so, instead of, for example, collagen, which is a whole protein, a peptide is a portion of a protein. Peptides communicate with cells and tell them to perform certain functions in the skin.

When Strivectin first came on the market it was all about it's cutting age ingredient, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide (also known by the trade name Matrixyl). Palmitoyl Oligopeptide is thought to stimulate the synthesis of collagen and therefore minimize wrinkles similar to Retinol without as much irritation. Interestingly enough, there are sources online that claim Squalane, which is derived from olives or sharks, works similarly as Retinol or Vitamin A. There are numerous other peptides, some are used for firming the skin and others such as Argireline (Acetyl Hexapeptide-3) which is marketed as being similar to Botox. Most of these ingredients have been tested invitro by their respective manufacturers so the research is somewhat limited.

Research aside, many manufacturers have not jumped on the peptide bandwagon. Lancome uses peptides in very few, if any, of their products. L'Oreal and Garnier also don't seem to use peptides in their current products. Estee Lauder uses peptides in some of their products but mostly in their products aimed at wrinkle reduction or firming. Estee Lauder owned companies such as Clinique, Good Skin, Lab Series, and a few others use peptides as well. Mastey de Paris, uses amino acids and proteins (pseudocollagen, cysteine amino acid and rice protein) in their skin and hair products but not peptides.

So, are peptides and the products that contain them worth it? It depends. If peptides work as well as they are thought to based on their limited research, yes. Some manufacturers charge more for products that contain peptides but, for the most part, they seem to be on par with products without them.

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair recently reformulated their iconic serum, adding a peptide and renaming it Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex and are only charging on dollar more for it, which proves a product doesn't have to cost a fortune just because it contains a peptide.

Some products with peptides seem to be a bit drying. I have noticed that the newest Advanced Night Repair formula is not as hydrating which may or may not be due to the peptide. However, most products that contain peptides also have ingredients to hydrate so for most people it wouldn't seem to be a big issue. And with a serum, a moisturizer is generally applied over top so it lessens any drying effects.

Peptides are still an emerging science and show a lot of promise in skin care. The best way of knowing if a product works is to use it. It can take several months before a product makes a noticeable difference so it can also take patience. And, after using a product and seeing results it is necessary to continue using it to maintain the results.