The Power of Peptides in Skincare

What are peptides?

Peptides are short chains of amino acids, linked together by peptide bonds. There are 20 individual naturally-occurring amino acids which can be linked together in any order to give millions of different peptide combinations, with each assisting with different skin concerns. Peptides are also the building blocks of proteins. Our skin is naturally overflowing with different kinds of proteins and peptides, including some of the most important; collagen and elastin, which are both responsible for retaining the skin’s natural strength and resilience. When applied to the skin, peptides can act as communicators, triggering a response in certain cells of the skin. They give your skin a specific instruction to do ‘something’ and that ‘something’ entirely depends on what order your amino acids are in. Every peptide has a unique superpower to target different skin concerns.

7 benefits of using peptides

There are many different types of peptides that are commonly used in skincare for different purposes. However, not all peptides are created equal, and the potency of a peptide will depend upon its specific properties and the formulation of the product that it’s used in.

1. They can help to improve the skin barrier

The skin barrier is the body’s first line of defence against pollution, bacteria, ultraviolet rays and other toxins. The skin barrier is very delicate, and it can easily be damaged by environmental stressors, pollutants, too much exfoliation and even lack of sleep. Peptides help to promote a stronger skin barrier, keeping the skin feeling healthy, resilient and supported.

2. Reduce the appearance of wrinkles

Certain peptides can also help to increase collagen production. Collagen works to visibly plump the skin, resulting in fine lines and wrinkles becoming less visible and the complexion appearing firmer and more youthful-looking.

3. Enhance skin elasticity

As well as helping to support collagen production, peptides also make up elastin fibres, which are another type of protein that naturally occurs in the skin. These fibres help to give the skin a firmer, more lifted appearance.

4. Help to even out skin tone

Peptides can also help to visibly even the skin tone, therefore reducing the appearance of dark spots and hyperpigmentation.

5. Help to control breakouts

Some peptide molecules also boast antimicrobial properties. This means that they may help to prevent the bacteria that leads to acne and blemishes, resulting in a visibly clarified and flawless-looking complexion.

6. Reduce the appearance of eye bags and dark circles

Peptides can also be used to help reduce the appearance of tired-looking eyes as they can visibly brighten dark circles and discolouration while diminishing puffiness with a lifting and awakening effect.

7. Calm redness and inflammation

If your skin is sensitive and inflamed, peptides can help to reduce the appearance of redness by boosting the production of prostaglandins - a group of anti-inflammatory compounds that help to reduce visible swelling.

What ingredients do peptides pair well with?

All of our peptides have been expertly formulated with our CSA Philosophy in mind, and work to boost your visible results while you tailor your Medik8 CSA routine to meet your specific skincare needs. Most of our peptide formulas can be used both day and night, working to complement the visible benefits of other ingredients including antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin A products (retinoids) and hyaluronic acid.

What is the best type of product to include peptides in? 

Depending on your skin type, all of our peptide products have the potential to help treat specific skin concerns including fine lines and wrinkles, dullness, blemishes and uneven skin tone. Using a product that you can leave on your skin for a prolonged period of time, like a serum or moisturiser, will allow the peptides to gradually penetrate the skin throughout the day and evening - maximising visible results.

How to add peptides to your skincare routine

Peptides can easily be incorporated into your existing skincare routine - you just need to know how to use them correctly. For optimum results, we recommend applying peptides both in the morning and evening. Medik8’s peptide formulas can also be safely layered with AHA/BHA products, as these acids will not damage the efficacy of the peptide molecule. Morning routine: Apply your chosen peptide product onto a cleansed face before your moisturiser and sunscreen. Evening routine: Apply your chosen peptide product after cleansing and before moisturiser.

The Medik8 approach

Peptides might be in the skincare spotlight for their incredible collagen-boosting powers but, at Medik8, we understand that peptides are so much more than just a one-trick pony. Each peptide has a different action on the skin - not just for skin ageing concerns, but also for tackling dullness, hyperpigmentation, anti-glycation, dryness, and more! At Medik8, we wanted to harness the broad range of different peptide powers in our peptide product offering. We have developed revolutionary, results-driven peptide formulations which help to amplify the results of all Medik8 CSA regimes. We use scientifically proven ingredients and advanced delivery systems alongside each carefully-selected peptide to enhance the penetration and power of the active ingredients. The perfect addition to your CSA routine, our full range of innovative peptide formulas are expertly designed to support many different skin concerns.

Meet Our Peptide Family

 Flawless-looking skin: Clarity Peptides

Boost your skin's natural luminosity with Clarity Peptides. Infused with 10% niacinamide, it works wonders for calming the look of red, inflamed or blemish-prone skin. This milky serum promotes glass-like skin and is ideal for anyone who feels like life is getting in the way of perfect skin. The formula also features next-generation Crystalide™ peptide, which helps to normalise the way skin cells renew to promote a uniform complexion.


Anti-ageing: Liquid Peptides

If anti-ageing is your main focus, Liquid Peptides is the perfect option for you. The 30% peptide-packed formula helps to fight expression wrinkles by supporting collagen production. Boosted with a pioneering drone-targeted delivery system, the formula ensures every peptide is activated within the layer of skin where it’s needed the most, for maximum visible results. This collagen-boosting copper peptide is encapsulated in a polymer shell, with external peptides which fit into receptors on the outside of collagen-making fibroblast cells. The encapsulation swoops down (like a drone) to the fibroblast cell, releasing the copper peptide exactly where it’s needed most. The skin is left visibly smoother, deeply hydrated, and ultimately more youthful-looking.


Hyperpigmentation: Oxy-R Peptides

Oxy-R Peptides is our targeted peptide solution for visible hyperpigmentation. The click-activated formula has been expertly formulated to target the appearance of visible age spots, hyperpigmentation, uneven skin tone and post-inflammatory marks. Utilising a previously-untapped high concentration of 1% oxyresveratrol (Oxy-R), the water-light formulation overcomes common stability issues with Medik8’s one-of-a-kind, patented stabilisation system - for ultimate Oxy-R potency. Also enriched with twin brightening peptides, tetrapeptide-30 and acetyl glycyl beta-alanine, this silky serum can deliver visible improvements to hyperpigmented skin in as little as 7 days.*


Retinol-alternative: Bakuchiol Peptides

In need of a vitamin A replacement in your CSA skincare routine? Look no further than Bakuchiol Peptides; the ultimate, clinically proven substitute for retinol. Perfect for expectant or nursing mothers, Bakuchiol Peptides is extremely gentle yet delivers impressive visible youth-renewing results. Elevating the effects of 1.25% pure bakuchiol with brightening peptide precursors and calming cica extract, this lightweight oil serum takes the gentle powers of bakuchiol to the next level of anti-ageing technology.


Vitamin C Alternative: Copper PCA Peptides

Utilising revolutionary mineral antioxidant power is Copper PCA Peptides. With patented technology and copper PCA as a potent antioxidant, this energising peptide serum was formulated to expertly recharge the skin for optimal free radical protection. A robust armour against premature skin ageing, the innovative dual-chambered serum helps to prevent the visible signs of ageing caused by environmental stressors. This is the perfect replacement for those who struggle to incorporate vitamin C into their regime, as mineral copper PCA offers potent yet gentle antioxidant power. Enriched with an advanced complex of age-defying peptides including Matrixyl 3000, the award-winning serum visibly lifts and smooths to keep skin looking plump, soft and hydrated while reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.


Peptides for the eyes: Eyelift Peptides

Finally, within our peptide family, we have Eyelift Peptides; the ultimate lifting and firming eye treatment. With a complex of 5 collagen-boosting peptides, this multi-action eye serum helps to visibly lift and shape the look of eye contours for an immediate well-rested, bright-eyed appearance. This optimised formula also harnesses the powers of hesperidin to minimise the appearance of dark circles, plus glycerin to hydrate the delicate eye area.


Easy as CSA

Our peptides range has been designed with our pioneering CSA Philosophy in mind, working to boost visible results while tailoring a Medik8 CSA routine to meet your specific skincare goals.

Most of our peptide products can be used both day and night, to complement vitamin C and A products. We always recommend layering serums from thinnest to thickest consistency, to ensure that your products can absorb properly while the thicker, cream-textures can lock in all the skincare goodness.

The only exception to the rule is with Copper PCA Peptides and Bakuchiol Peptides:

Copper PCA Peptides replaces vitamin C in a morning skincare routine. The two actives are not compatible and unfortunately cancel out each other’s anti-ageing powers if used within the same routine.

Bakuchiol Peptides replaces vitamin A in an evening skincare routine. As most of our vitamin As (except r-Retinoate Day & Night serum) can only be used at night, Bakuchiol Peptides is a great option to boost your skincare routine during the day. However, as bakuchiol and vitamin A have similar effects on the skin, at nighttime we would recommend layering your vitamin A with Liquid Peptides or Clarity Peptides to gain extra visible benefits.

Enhance your CSA skincare routine today and discover your perfect peptide blend. *Proven via an independent consumer study Tested over 4 weeks on 50 participants aged 35-70 with hyperpigmentation skin concerns **Of course, due to ethical considerations the Bakuchiol Peptides formula has not been tested on pregnant women, but there is nothing in the formula which is known to be an issue (eg vitamin A or high levels of exfoliating acids). If you are at all concerned, always consult your doctor.

Which is better: peptides or hyaluronic acid?

There is a lot of debate as to whether peptides or hyaluronic acid are ‘better’ for the skin. Although they both occur naturally within the skin, they are both equally powerful and promise very different results.

While peptides help to boost the skin’s production of collagen and elastin (which hyaluronic acid can’t do), hyaluronic acid is important for maintaining a firm and supple complexion with its unique ability to attract 1000x its own weight in water. For these reasons, we recommend including both ingredients in your skincare routine for maximum age-defying results.

How do peptides differ from retinol?

Both peptides and retinol are powerful anti-ageing ingredients, however they work in different ways. Peptides are made up of small chains of amino acids, and are the building blocks of proteins. Retinol is a form of vitamin A that helps to boost collagen production and speed up skin cell turnover. Although both of these ingredients work differently on the skin, they’re both essential in any anti-ageing routine.

Should I use retinol and peptides together?

Peptides and retinol can be used together, and they are the ultimate anti-ageing duo for visibly youthful skin. The only exception to this rule is Bakuchiol Peptides, as it is proven to act in a similar way to vitamin A. If you want to use Bakuchiol Peptides alongside vitamin A, we recommend using Bakuchiol Peptides in the morning, and another vitamin A product in the evening. 

All of Medik8’s peptide and retinol/retinal products can be used safely together.