USEFULNESS OF PEPTIDES IN BOTANICAL EXTRACTS
|Article at a Glance
•Peptides are the compounds made up of two or more amino acids. They may be natural or synthetic.
•Four different categories of peptides that have a role in cosmetic preparations are signal, carrier, enzyme, and neurotransmitter inhibitor peptides.
•Peptides have a significant role in the skincare and anti-aging process, and they produce collagen and cell signaling pathways.
•Palmityl peptides (oligo, tri, tetra, and Penta categories) play an essential role in collagen production and skincare.
Peptides are natural or synthetic compounds comprising two or more amino acids joined through an amide formation. There are four different types of peptides, including signal peptides, carrier peptides, neurotransmitter inhibitor peptides, and enzyme inhibitor peptides. With particular reference to the skin, each is discussed below.
Signal peptides are added to skin cosmetics because they can stimulate skin fibroblasts to produce more collagen, elastin, and other proteins in the dermis matrix. The increase of these structural proteins makes the skin look firmer and more complete. GHK (Glycyl-Histidyl-Lysine) is an example of a signal peptide and was one of the first peptides discovered. Wound healing with this peptide was observed for the first time in the mid-1980s, which shows that this technology is relatively new.
Carrier peptides deliver trace elements, such as copper and magnesium, that help with wound repair and enzymatic processes. It has been shown that these trace elements improve the synthesis of collagen, the elasticity of the skin, and the general appearance of the skin. For example, a copper complex is composed of amino acids glycine, histamine, and lysine and is used in the treatment of diabetic neuropathic ulcers. These are sometimes referred to as “penetrating peptides” or “membrane transduction peptides.”
Neurotransmitter inhibitors are added to cosmetics to reduce wrinkles because they inhibit the release of acetylcholine by a variety of chemical interactions. The most extreme neurotransmitter includes the Curare poison and the botulism toxin. Less invasive versions have been developed for use on the skin and the hypothesis is that they relax the muscles of facial expression, which causes wrinkles to relax. It has been shown that these neurotransmitter inhibitor peptides reduce certain types of wrinkles by approximately 30% (in vivo studies) In vivo is done with live cells, in vitro is done in the laboratory.
Enzyme inhibitor peptides can reduce the breakdown of collagen and other proteins by interfering with the processes that break down those proteins. For example, some enzymes (like MMP or matrix metalloprotease) degrade structural proteins such as collagen. A peptide derived from rice proteins can inhibit the activity of the MMP enzyme and thus keep more collagen around. Peptides derived from soybean proteins can also act to inhibit enzymes, specifically proteases.
The reason why peptides are used in anti-aging skincare products is due to their ability to increase collagen production. Collagen is the protein that gives skin a firm, smooth, youthful appearance. Natural and environmental factors, like sun exposure and free radicals, cause collagen to degrade over time. That will result in lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin. Therefore, since peptides can increase collagen production, they are able to minimize these signs of aging. While many clinical studies have proven this to be true, the mechanism(s) by which peptides accomplish this is still unclear. One theory suggests that peptides work through signaling. Cells can communicate with each other to coordinate certain actions, which is known as “cell-signaling”. Peptides can mimic specific cell-signaling processes. Specifically, peptides that are used in skincare products mimic the same peptides that can be found when collagen is broken down.
According to research from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), when collagen is degraded, it produces peptides that signal skin cells to generate more collagen. Synthetic peptides have been developed that can mimic these naturally occurring peptides, thus causing your skin to warn that collagen is deteriorating, and thus in the result, there is the production of peptides. One study published in 2007 states that Palmitoyl oligopeptide can significantly stimulate collagen production in human fibroblasts. Firmer skin can be seen when palmitoyl oligopeptide is used twice daily for a significant period (about six months). Tripeptide-1 is a type of synthetic peptide and categorized as a messenger peptide because it works by sending messages or signals to cells. Palmitoyl pentapeptide-3 has been extensively studied for its ability to stimulate new production of types I and II collagen as well as fibronectin, all of which are important for the firmness and elasticity of the skin. According to a 2017 publication in Cosmetics, palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7 serves as an anti-inflammatory after exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays.
We at Anti-Aging Extracts use different botanical herbs which contains significant levels of peptides responsible for the skincare, like green tea and soybean contains palmitoyl1 oligopeptide/tetrapeptide and tripeptide which are responsible for the production of collagen. Peptides are sensitive bioactive compounds which are destroyed either by the excessive heat of extraction or by denaturation caused by certain organic solvents such as alcohol. We use the water and glycerine mixture as the solvents which are entirely inert, non-toxic, non-irritant and not harmful for the value-added constituents of our extracts.