The Power Of Peptides

The Power Of Peptides

What a Peptide is and why we use them in our product formulations

Our founder Douglas Pereira discussed the power of peptides in our skincare formulations.

Some might say that we're living in the golden age of skin care. Not only do we have access to a bevy of skin care products that address common concerns and skin types, but we also have a better understanding of which ingredients work best and how they might come together in an effective skin care routine tailored specifically to our needs. 

Recently, more light has been shone on peptides, which are short chains of amino acids. Meant to be applied topically, peptides for skin are found in a variety of formulations, including serums, moisturisers and eye care. 

Married up in a formulation, peptides and more common actives like Vitamin A, B, C and hyaluronic acid make a powerful, sophisticated and elite product, that is sure to achieve results for the end user.

The low down on peptides:

Peptides are short chains of amino acids held together via peptide bonds. Amino acids are considered the building blocks of proteins, with some of the more famous skin-related proteins being collagen and elastin. Peptide chains aren't long enough to be considered a true protein, but that's not a bad thing! These fragmented portions of proteins are more easily absorbed by the skin. 

The five categories of peptides and the benefits to the skin -  

  • Signal peptides: Signal peptides get their name because they signal your skin cells to produce collagen, elastin and other forms of proteins that can help your skin look more youthful. 
  • Carrier peptides: Carrier peptides help stabilize and deliver copper to certain enzymes in your body. This helps improve functions such as collagen and elastin growth. It also promotes wound healing. 
  • Enzyme-inhibitor peptides: This type of peptide minimizes enzyme activity, which in turn slows down the degradation of the skin's structure, including the breakdown of collagen and elastin and reduce skin discolouration. In turn, it keeps skin looking more youthful and even toned.
  • Neurotransmitter inhibiting peptides: Are the newest peptides in cosmeceuticals. These peptides were developed to mimic the action of Botulinum toxin. Neurotransmitter inhibiting peptides block the release of a chemical called acetylcholine at the neuromuscular junction to inhibit muscle contraction and relaxation. 
  • Structural peptides: Are fragments of structural proteins such as keratin. An example would be keratin peptides. These peptides improve skin barrier function.

Why we use Peptides in our formulations. 

Peptides play a big role and do hero in most of the formulations we develop, alongside other more common key actives found in cosmeceutical products. When I first decided to embark on the adventure of creating my skincare range, I knew, I wanted to formulate a range of products that used the most effective and result driven ingredients, no matter the costs. I wanted to launch a skincare brand that did not compromise quality and results over profits.

Having this vision allowed me to be able to use the best of the best, list of ingredients with no boundaries, it allowed me to use more sophisticated and premium ingredients not normally used within a single formulation. So, with this limitless law I gave myself, I had the scope to be able to work with some of the best peptides available. 

One of the key reasons I chose to work with peptides in my formulations, is due to its fast-acting nature. I found through my research and own personal use of peptides that after just a few days of using a peptide formulated product, that the skin will very quickly experience the intended effects.

When it comes to cosmeceutical formulations my belief is, peptides are the driving force when it comes to the prevention, intervention, and rejuvenation of the skin and ageing process. Using various combinations of peptides alongside actives like Vitamin A,B,C and hyaluronic acid in the one formulation elevate the results of a product from great to amazing. 


The key benefits of peptides for skin

 So, what do peptides do for your skin? There are a handful of notable benefits to consider, many of which might just make you want to add a few choice peptide-based products into your own homecare regime before you've reached the bottom of this article. Here are some of the best benefits of peptides for skin: 

  • Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles Some peptides can stimulate collagen production. This, in turn, can help improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and overall skin texture. 

  • Helps create firmer feeling skin As mentioned above, signal and carrier peptides can trigger elastin and collagen production. Enzyme-inhibitor peptides can also slow down the breakdown of existing collagen and elastin. Both aspects help your skin look and feel firm. 

  • Improves the skin barrier Along with creating smoother-looking skin, peptides for skin can help repair and improve your skin barrier. When your skin barrier is strong, it retains moisture more effectively, is less susceptible to environmental stressors and looks smoother and more youthful. 

  • Reduces inflammation When your skin barrier is strong, skin becomes less prone to dryness, itchiness, redness and inflammation. Research also shows that peptides for skin can help reduce existing inflammation.

  • Minimise the appearance and triggers of skin discolouration and pigmentation Reduce the appearance of age spots and brightens skin complexion by targeting two different proteins associated with the production of melanin, tyrosinase and MITF, both of which play an important role in the production of the substance that gives skin its pigment.

  • Relaxes muscle contraction. Mimic the action of Botulinum toxin by reducing muscle contractions that cause expression lines, especially around the eyes and forehead, by safely inhibiting acetylcholine.


The Key peptides used in our formulations

Most of the products in the Douglas Pereira Skin Health range have been formulated to include peptides. The range has thirty-two products and twenty-four of them contain peptides, most of these are serums and moisturisers. I have also used peptides in my mineral makeup collection.


Here are six of many peptides I currently use in my formulations –

Tetrapeptide 30:

Tetrapeptide-30 is a synthetic peptide containing the amino acids proline, glutamic acid, and lysine. It acts on and within specific targets of skin to reduce factors and interrupt the pathways that lead to the appearance of pigmentation, discolorations and uneven skin tone. 

  • Visibly diminishes hyperchromatic spots
  • Brightens skin and improves the evenness of skin tone
  • Reduces acne lesions
  • Alleviates melasma on ethnic skin
  • Provides a significant anti-inflammatory effect
  • Safely inhibits the pigmentation process without toxicity or rebound effect


sh Oligopeptide-1:

Sh-Oligopeptide-1 or rh-Oligopeptide-1 — is also called Epidermal Growth Factor or EGF.  EGF is a special snowflake when it comes to skincare as the molecule directly stimulates the proliferation of epidermal cells. It was the first Growth Factor that made its way into cosmetic products. And has powerful wound healing and skin renewal properties, repairs damaged skin DNA, assists in the reduction of the appearance of fine lines and rhytids, skin texture and pore size.

  • Sophisticated Biomimetic Peptide, that accelerates the growth of epidermal cells
  • Essential for cell proliferation, DNA repair & protein stimulus
  • Fundamental aspect of healthy skin regeneration
  • Reduces wrinkles, stimulates collagen & improves elasticity
  • Accelerates wound healing
  • Prevents scar tissue formation, maintaining skin health
  • Reverses existing scarring & structurally reforms promoting youthful appearance
  • EGF research results are named as the top of ten scientific achievements by American magazine “Science” in 1999 


SNAP 8 - Acetyl Octapeptide-3:

Amino-peptide that blocks transmitter signals from facial muscles to the skin. This skin-smoothing peptide is the ultimate prevention active: it helps muscles relax to minimise the formation of fine lines and wrinkles.

It reduces the muscle contractions that cause expression lines, especially around the eyes and forehead, by safely inhibiting acetylcholine – a bit like Botox! (Studies found wrinkle reduction after 28 days of twice-daily use).

This peptide helps strengthen and protect the skin’s natural barrier from premature ageing by preventing moisture loss and pollution damage.

  • SNAP 8 is a mimic of the N-terminal end of SNAP 25. It competes with SNAP 25 for a position in the SNARE (SNAp Receptor) complex, an essential process for neurotransmitter delivery.
  • By modulating its formation & destabilising this complex the release of neurotransmitters is inefficient, weakening muscle contraction
  • Reduces repeated facial movements preventing the formation of lines & wrinkles
  • Maintains youthful structural fibres of collagen, elastin & packing of the lipid matrix
  • Maximum wrinkle reduction value found with usage of 10% SNAP 8 was 63.13%
  • 98% wrinkle depth reduction after 28 days with 10% SNAP (applied twice daily)


Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7

A four amino acid peptide with the amino sequence of glycine-glutamine-proline-arginine. It is attached to palmitic acid (a fatty acid) to increase oil solubility and skin penetration. 

It works by reducing the production of the signal molecule, which promotes inflammation in the skin and less inflammation means slower degradation of important things (like collagen) that results in younger looking skin for a longer time. 

  • Stimulates regeneration of collagen fibres in the dermis by acting as a cellular messenger
  • Increases hyaluronic acid helping to tighten skin by attracting moisture to the epidermis
  • Skin penetration enhancer
  • Decreases inflammation by suppressing Interleukin (created in response to damage) which leads to cellular deterioration
  • Accelerates healing by relieving chemical pressure on the skin
  • Induces natural collagen production for skin healing and rejuvenation
  • Symptoms of rosacea maybe alleviated
  • Reduce the appearance of uneven skin tones


Beta-White Peptide™:

Advanced Lightening Agent Biomimetic Peptide. Beta-White helps reduce the appearance of age spots and brightens skin complexion by targeting two different proteins associated with the production of melanin, tyrosinase and MITF, both of which play an important role in the production of the substance that gives skin its pigment. 

It is different from other whitening ingredients because it essentially supports healthy melanin synthesis in the skin, managing pigmentation levels so future dark spots are less likely to be visible while current dark spots fade.

The ingredient has been shown in studies to manage the production of dark spots – especially those that are a result of photo-aging caused by exposure to pollutants and UV rays - resulting in a more even skin tone.

The peptide is encapsulated in such a way that it is able to not only better penetrate skin, but is also released continuously, so pigmented cells are targeted even hours after the initial application.

In clinical trials featuring participants ages 33 to 55, 100 percent of Beta-White users reported brighter skin, others saw a more uniform complexion and some saw a reduction in dark spots.

  • First ingredient with a unique inhibitory action on MITF (Microphthalmia – associated transcription factor) cellular pathway
  • Reducing MITF activity as well as Tyrosinase aids B-White to reduce Melanin
  • B-White binds to the TGF-B receptor on Melanocytes. This specific binding introduces an intracellular cascade leading to reduction in MITF activity
  • B-White has the ability to modulate constitutive (natural skin colour) & facultative (UV induced) pigment
  • Traditional lightening methods address Tyrosinase inhibition only
  • Liposomal encapsulation stabilises & delivers Oligopeptide-68 (Biomimetic Peptide TGF-B)


ChroNOline™ (Caprooyl Tetrapeptide-3):

ChroNOline™ is a biomimetic lipopeptide derived from a growth factor that boosts the production of key components at the dermo epidermal junction (DEJ) for maximal reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

  • Boosts the production of key components of the DEJ (collagen VII, laminin-5 and fibronectin) reinforcing healthy skin structure, volume & definition
  • Helps accelerate the reduction of the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles after only 28 days for younger skin appearance
  • Activates skin repair

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