Dayspa

AUG 2014

DAYSPA is the business resource for spa & wellness professionals! Each issue covers the latest in skin care, spa treatments, wellness services and management strategies.

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54 DAYSPA | AUGUST 2014 Protein Power Enter Peptides What do peptides have to do with amino acids and pro- teins? Plenty. "Peptides are not just cosmetic ingredients but they're essential parts of every living cell," says Heath- man. "They consist of short chains of amino acids." A tripeptide is a sequence of three amino acids. A pentapeptide has fi ve amino acids, oligopeptides can incorporate up to 20, and polypeptides can have 50 or more. "As collagen in our skin breaks down, it produces short amino acid sequences, called peptides, that serve as feedback mechanisms," says Gül Zone, CEO and founder of DermAware (dermaware.com). "These peptides prompt cells to initiate specifi c actions. The synthesized peptides we use in skincare products mimic these collagen fragments, signaling fi broblasts to produce more collagen, for example." "One such combination of amino acids is GHK, a combination of glycyl-histidyl-lysine that has been shown to stimulate fi broblasts to produce collagen," says HydroPeptide's Zangl. "When the same combi- nation of amino acids is arranged in another way— glycyl-lysine-histidyl—it stimulates lipolysis (or fat breakdown) in the adipocytes." Lori Ann Griffi n, national educator for DermaQuest (dermaquestinc.com), asserts that peptides' specifi c functions render them better skincare ingredients than amino acids. "Before peptides, the only way we had to stimulate collagen regeneration was to wound the skin, as with microdermabrasion or peels," she adds. However, not any peptide in any formulation will yield results. "While peptides are small enough to penetrate the skin, combining them with the wrong ingredients may hinder their ability to penetrate for the desired effect," says Richard Crombie, formulating chemist, Vitelle Dermatology Laboratories (vitellelab .com). "That's why it's so important to use products that combine the right ingredients with peptides." Zangl agrees. "Peptides with more than six or seven amino acids are less likely to reach the deeper layers of the skin without a carrier," she says. "Attachment of a lipophilic chain (fatty acid of suffi cient length) to smaller peptides can increase the penetration rate by a factor of 100 or more." "Molecules like palmitoyl and acetyl grab onto the peptide and pull it into the skin," DermaQuest's Griffi n explains. As important as they are, peptides do not work alone. "In well-rounded formulations peptides are also paired with co-factors and vitamins and minerals that support new cells, collagen, elastin and fi broblasts," says Sanítas' Mayne. "Vitamins A, C, D and E are vital, and minerals like zinc are also essential." Proteins vs Glycation Although it is important to regenerate the skin with new collagen and elastin, it is equally important to protect existing collagen from threats like oxidation and glycation. Estheticians have been fi ghting sun damage and oxidation for years and have an impres- sive arsenal of antioxidants to help diminish the ef- fects of free radicals. Glycation, however, is a lesser acknowledged threat. "The elephant in the room is glycation," contends Cummings. "Sugar is the energy of life. Our cells burn sugar to produce energy. But if we consume too much sugar, the molecules that aren't needed for energy can Common Peptides Peptides can be synthesized from amino acids in the laboratory or hydrolyzed from natural collagen, says Richard Crombie, formulating chemist, Vitelle Dermatology Laboratories. He cites the following as the most common peptides used in today's skincare formulations: • Palmitoyl pentapeptide-3 (trademarked as Matrixyl) is a synthetic peptide that mimics a fragment of procollagen type 1. It prompts the skin to make collagen. • Argireline, SNAP-8 and Acetyl Hexapeptide-3 are wrinkle relaxers. • Copper peptides are central to wound healing and collagen regeneration. Copper can't be assimilated directly, but is easily assimilated as copper peptide. • Oligopeptide-34 and Oligopeptide-51 help control melanin formation. • Acetyl Tetrapeptide-15 helps control infl ammation and skin sensitivity. "Sugar is the energy of life. But if we consume too much, the molecules not needed for energy can damage proteins like collagen." © VALUA VITALY/GETTY

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