Advice From Our Experts

4 Reasons to Use Peptides in Skin Care

By Darcy Debernarde


In recent years, the skin care industry has been abuzz with the potential peptides offer in treating a multitude of skin care issues and promoting more than 4 Reasons to Use Peptides in Skin Care. Some skin care lines tout their peptide ingredients, yet fall short of including enough peptides in their product to be bioactive (having a biological response). Bioactive peptides represent the latest advancement in peptide technology.  Bioactive Peptides help with reduction of inflammation – a main cause of aging – and increase cell-to-cell communication, as well as increasing skin tightening, regulating cell turnover and disrupting the communication between bacteria cells.


To be bioactive, each peptide must meet the following requirements*:



Send the correct message


Meet threshold requirements


Fit into a biological feedback loop


Be received by the targeted cell

*Your peptide company educator can go into greater explanation

Peptides are a chain of amino acids bound by a peptide bond which sends a message to your cells to perform a specific function.  In the human body, peptides are found in every cell and tissue and perform a wide range of essential functions.  Each amino acid is coded within the DNA by 4 unique nucleic acids. A peptide most estheticians are familiar with is Oxytocin – dubbed the “Love Hormone” – which is responsible for uterine contractions, bonding and libido. In skin care, we are most familiar with peptides that soften fine lines and wrinkles (neurotransmitter peptides- muscle modulating), but they can do so much more! 

4 Reasons to Use Peptides in Skin Care

1. Decreases inflammation and slows down the aging process

Research shows that all aging diseases have one thing in common: inflammation.  The same holds true for your skin. We know inflammation can be caused by UV damage, certain skin care products and skin care treatments, as well as environmental factors.  These factors all play a role in damaging the mitochondria (the power pack of the cell) oxidative stress, shortening of telomeres (the endcaps of chromosomes) and cellular senescense (a cells declining ability to communicate with other cells and ultimately, death).  Bioactive signaling peptides have the ability to decrease inflammation and aid in tissue healing at the cellular level thus reducing the damaging effects to our cells.

Practical Use Tip

Use signaling peptides after any treatment that may cause inflammation  (example: post microderm, chemical peel, exfoliation) at the serum phase of the treatment and as client homecare. They may be prescribed for any client exhibiting signs of inflammation (heat, redness, swelling, TEWL, stinging, etc.). Peptides can be incorporated into any skincare regimen.

2. Increased skin tension, lifting and tightening

Structural peptides aid in intracellular (cell-to-cell) communication, as well as tighter cell to cell binding via cadherins, which creates increased skin tension and a lifting and tightening effect. Desmosomes, the adhering structures in cells which provide multiple connection locations between adjacent cells, connect with other cells by a specialized structure referred to as a Cadherin. Cadherins anchor cells together and simultaneously encode instructions for cell cycles and tissue homeostasis.


Practical Use Tip

Use a structural peptide in your treatments for anyone with saggy skin at the serum stage of treatment, as well as in their homecare. Electric modalities would accelerate the treatment.


3. Fights Bacteria

Antimicrobial peptides (AMPS) are amazing peptides that disrupt communication between bacteria cells, so they cannot communicate and continue to grow in number. They are found naturally in the body, but sometimes, when the body’s own defenses are not enough, additional measures can be taken by supplementing AMPS. The addition of AMPS give the body a further advantage; a chance to kill the bacteria naturally on its own.

Practical Use Tip

Antimicrobial peptides are an amazing addition to any acne regimen, slowing down the proliferation of p.acnes bacteria and allowing the body to kill the bacteria on its own.  Apply at the serum phase of your treatment and prescribe as homecare.


4. Optimize Cell Turnover

A message to stimulate and provide the proper nutrients and environment for mitochondrial function, increase ATP production, and to regulate cell turnover for healthy skin. This is the powerhouse peptide!

Practical Use Tip

This is a great peptide to use for all skin conditions where cell turnover is impaired – acne, psoriasis, aging etc.  Apply at the serum phase of your treatment and prescribe as homecare.

In conclusion, peptides that are properly formulated and meet the above bioavailable criteria are a great way to keep your skin care practice on the cutting edge of skin care technology.  By adding bioactive peptides to every treatment, modality and homecare protocol, you can help clients reduce inflammation, increase skin tension, firmness and lifting effect, fight bacteria, and optimize cell turnover for optimal skin health.

Darcy Debernarde Guest BloggerDarcy Debernarde, Licensed Esthetician

Darcy has been a sought after trainer for both equipment and product companies over the past 10 years. Currently, Darcy provides business coaching to estheticians, sits on the Advisory Board of Paul Mitchell Schools Costa Mesa, and  resides in Orange County, CA, where she operates her own skin revision clinic….Read More.

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