ASCP Skin Deep

NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2016

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30 november/december 2016 HOW DO PEPTIDES WORK IN THE SKIN? Peptides are chemical messengers. Different combinations of peptides can be created to treat the skin in a variety of ways. Impact on the skin cells happens when the peptide mimics a larger protein, such as a hormone or growth factor. This can trigger a biochemical pathway within the cell when the synthetic peptide binds to cell receptors. 1 The challenge is getting a peptide to the cell receptors, since the molecular weight of peptides is large, and the weight increases as more amino acids link to the peptide chain. Penetration of a peptide is enhanced by adding a lipophilic chain, as well as a specific carrier peptide. PEPTIDE CLASSIFICATION Topical peptides are classified into four different categories: Signal peptides. These peptides are designed to stimulate collagen synthesis through the stimulation of skin cells such as fibroblasts. 2 They also can increase elastin, glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), proteoglycans, and fibronectin. These peptides help the skin look firmer and younger. Examples of this are: • Aquaporin • Biotinyl-GHK • Pal-KTTKS (palmitoyl pentapeptide-4) • Palmitoyl tripeptide-3/5 (Syn-Coll) • Peptamide-6 (FVAPFP) • Tripeptide-10 Citrulline (Decorinyl) expertadvice INGREDIENTS Pepped Up Skin Your guide to topical peptides by Susanne Schmaling Peptides are some of the most widely used active ingredients in professional skin care. When we refer to peptides in skin care, we are talking about synthetic formulations that are developed in a lab to perform specific functions within the skin. WHAT ARE PEPTIDES? Peptides are defined as two or more amino acids joined in a chain and linked by a carboxyl bond. Peptide chains are named after the number of amino acids linked together; for example, an oligopeptide (oligo, meaning "few") is less than 20 amino acids in a chain. A polypeptide (poly, meaning "many") is more than 20 and up to 100 amino acids linked together. When more than 1,000 amino acids link together, a protein is formed. An example of this would be collagen. Peptides also are some of the most confusing ingredients to understand. Topical peptides are designed by ingredient manufacturers, but rarely mimic their natural form. This is why you will often see trade names like Argireline instead of their International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI) description. In order to read labels, you will need to know that a peptide such as Argireline is known as acetyl hexapeptide-3 on the ingredient deck.

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