The peptides you need for youthful, glowing skin – by Lisa Armstrong
‘Peptide’ has become a major buzz-word in beauty circles. They’re in everything all of a sudden: eye creams, day creams, night creams, haircare… So what the heck are they?
The simple answer – that’s what we do on this page, in reaction to the beauty industry, which likes to make things very, very complicated – is that they’re compounds made up of amino acids.
Amino acids are protein builders, and when it comes to our skin, the loveliest protein is collagen – the stuff that keeps everything plump and dewy. The good news is that the body makes its own collagen. The bad is that, as we get older/more grown-up – guess what? – collagen production slows down.
Enter the peptide, which is a protein builder par excellence. ‘Certain peptides,’ says Shabir Daya, the pharmacologist and co-founder of victoriahealth.com, ‘may help slow down the degeneration of collagen. Others may actually boost it.’
Note the use of ‘may’. It’s Daya’s resistance to beauty hype that makes him a trusted source of knowledge. Don’t imagine this makes him a peptide sceptic, though – he uses a peptide serum morning and night before moisturiser. I’ve seen him and he doesn’t look his age, so I’ve started using it too.
Not just any serum, but one he formulated himself Garden of Wisdom for Victoria Health Anti-Aging MultiPeptide Serum, £20. He’s adamant that we need multi-peptides, ‘because there’s no one single peptide that is the silver bullet when it comes to keeping skin youthful’.
Any effective treatment will also contain antioxidants, because these help keep proteins in the peptides intact (he included superoxide dismutase in the GOW serum because it’s a potent weapon in reducing the effects of internal and external stress on the skin).
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