When it comes to anti ageing, retinol always seems to be the first ingredient on everyone’s list. The Vitamin A derivative has been around for decades but one anti-ageing ingredient that seems particularly new compared to retinol, are peptides. These peptides may not be on the market as long as retinoids but are they worth over-looking all together?  

Retinol boosts the production of elastin and collagen which reduces the appearance of wrinkles, sun damage and large pores. Nicknamed the holy grail of skincare, retinol has spent the last five years becoming the number one skincare ingredient on every store shelf. However, retinol does have some side effects which should be considered when first trying retinoid products. Skin dryness, irritation, sun sensitivity and changes in skin tone are all common side effects from using retinol and precautions like wearing sunscreen should be used. It’s best to slowly build up your application of the ingredient by introducing a small percentage every few days before using it daily.

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What skin does retinol work best for? 

Anti Ageing: 

Retinol should be incorporated into the skincare from 25 and onwards, however each person’s lifestyle should be taken into account before treating the skin with the ingredient.

Are you someone who likes to sit in the sun? Do you tend to forgot about SPF? If the answer to these questions is yes, then maybe retinol isn’t the product for you, as if it is used on skin that isn’t protected from the sun daily, it can cause more damage than do good. 

Mature Skin:

For mature skin, retinol can work as a great ingredient to reduce signs of ageing and sun spots. Studies have shown that more women in their fifties and onwards have incorporated retinol into their routine in the last 10 years than prior. 

Acne prone skin:

Although retinol might be an invasive product for acne prone skin, vitamin A is a great element for healed acne skin that has scarring. It penetrates and sheds the skin cells to give a smoothing effect to the acne prone skin texture.

Peptides are molecules made up of proteins and amino acids which aid in skin repair. Collagen contains proteins that holds the skins structure in place. These proteins and amino acids are the foundations to keep our bodies collagen production together. Without these peptides, our body would form wrinkles quicker, drier hair and unhealthy nails.

Using a serum or moisturizer that contains peptides can lead to firming the skin and reversing the signs of ageing. 

Some studies have shown that peptides are known for smoothing the skin with a Botox effect working quickly and immediate. 

Although peptides do not exfoliate the skin, they work seemingly similar to retinol. They penetrate the skin and increase the collagen cell turnover giving the face a fresher looking glow. However the difference with peptides is that they are less likely to irritate the skin or cause inflammation which is what retinoids tend to do when first introduced to the skincare routine. 

What skin do peptides work best for? 

Sensitive skin:

As just mentioned, peptides are not as irritating as retinol which means sensitive skin, like people with rosacea or inflamed red skin can use this collagen boosting ingredient without damaging the skin further or causing anymore sensitivity.

Heal the skin barrier:

Our skin barrier is the top layer of the skin that acts as a shield from the outside. For example if you over exfoliate your skin with harsh products, the skin barrier becomes irritated and causes breakouts. Or if you sit in the sun for too long, your skin barrier becomes inflamed and dry which leads to flaking. Peptides acts as a healing ingredient if damage is done to the skin barrier, using its components to repair the signs of damage. 

So what’s the verdict? Whether your team retinol or team peptide – like every skincare ingredient- these collagen producing products have their pros and cons. 

Retinol may be tried and tested but is known to be irritating on the skin, whereas Peptides are a new study that hasn’t had a lot of research yet is not as irritating. If there is one thing to conclude, it’s that these anti-ageing products won’t be going away anytime soon. 

thoughts?