It's clear that peptides are an important and highly beneficial skin care ingredient — but when it comes to choosing the best peptide serums, knowing how to use them properly, and what products to pair them with, things get a little murkier. That's why I turned to Dr. Ava Shamban, a board-certified dermatologist, for more information on the topic.
First, some background. "Peptides are building blocks in our body that naturally support key cellular functions to build or repair cells," Dr. Shamban explains. "Acting as a ‘light switch,’ they can turn on or off any specific functions. For our skin, they are short amino acid chains in the proteins responsible for the production of our collagen, elastin, and keratin — all highly important foundational support functions for healthy skin proliferation."
In short, peptides can do all sorts of wonderful things for your skin, especially, Dr. Shamban explains, when paired with antioxidants and retinoids. You can use a peptide serum both in the morning and nighttime, but be aware that AHAs (alpha-hydroxy acids) may reduce its efficacy. Also, using stronger forms of retinoids along with peptide serums might be too aggressive for some people, so you may want to talk to your dermatologist about lowering to a less potent retinoid. You can also reduce retinoid application to twice weekly while you're integrating a peptide serum into your routine. "After a few weeks you can return to every other night, alternating the peptides and the retinoid product," Dr. Shamban says. As always, daily sunscreen application is a must.
Now that you're informed on peptides 101, scroll on to shop five of the best peptide serums on the market right now.
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