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How Peptides Can Deliver Firmer, Smoother Skin

ICYMI: Peptides are having a major moment in the skin-care world right now, with editors and experts alike lauding the ingredient as a multitasking MVP. Depending on the type of peptide, they can pull off the seemingly impossible, maintaining skin’s natural collagen (for firmer-looking skin) or drawing in water (to hydrate). (There’s a reason polyglutamic acid, a peptide, is considered hyaluronic acid 2.0.) Even better: They can work together to deliver smoother, more radiant skin.

That brings us to the obvious question: What role do peptides play in skin health? Put simply, a pretty big one. Here, get the lowdown on peptides and all the ways they can benefit your complexion; plus, how to incorporate them into your skin-care routine for best results. 

What are peptides?

Peptides are a chain of amino acids and are often called the “building blocks” of proteins — specifically, proteins needed by the skin. But how exactly do they work? Take it from New York-based board-certified dermatologist Dr. Marisa Garshick, MD: “When peptides are applied to the skin topically, they provide a signal to the body that healing or recovery needs to take place, and in turn, this actually helps to boost natural collagen production.”

Moreover, Dr. Garshick explains, unlike collagen — which is too large to penetrate the skin topically — peptides are shorter amino acid chains that can penetrate the skin and signal it to boost collagen production. And, as many of us know, collagen plays a critical role in skin health and maintaining its youthful, bouncy appearance. More on that, ahead. 

The different types of peptides

Not all peptides are created equal. There are three main types of peptides: Signal peptides, carrier peptides, and inhibitor peptides. They all do different things, but can be combined (as polypeptides) to make the most of their benefits.

Signal peptides, as their name implies, send signals: As Dr. Garshick mentioned, they serve as communicators, telling fibroblasts in the skin to support and maintain collagen and elastin. This uptick in collagen and elastin — which together give skin its structure, keeping it firm and supple — can ultimately smooth, lift, and sculpt.

Next up are carrier peptides, which keep other nutrients, like minerals, stable. They also shuttle them through skin, delivering them safely so they can help work their magic. And finally, inhibitor peptides inhibit certain functions in skin.

As we noted, more can be more when it comes to peptides, which is why our Pomegranate Peptide Firming Serum contains several. First, it has two signal peptides that support collagen and elastin. (That’s kind of a big deal, since collagen production begins slowing in our 20s.) It also contains a polypeptide, which pairs a carrier peptide with two signal peptides. Together, these escort copper to certain enzymes, which then use it to support collagen and elastin, calm redness from dry skin, and even offer antioxidant properties. The payoff? Firmer skin and a lifted look.

How can I incorporate peptides into my skin-care routine?

It’s safe to say pretty much anyone can benefit from implementing peptides into their skin-care routine — regardless of skin concern or skin type. That’s why we made them the headliner in Pomegranate Peptide Firming Serum. Not only do they work on several fronts to support collagen, thus visibly firming and lifting skin, but we’ve also paired them with pomegranate, which is packed with antioxidants and fatty acids, and hyaluronic acid for one-the-spot plumping.

You can also find them in other treatment serums, alongside five sizes of hyaluronic acid and ice willowherb, which helps control oil production and supports the skin barrier. 

Finally, the Watermelon Glow AHA Night Treatment is also packed with peptides—namely, quinoa peptides. It works to firm and smooth skin, reducing the look of fine lines and wrinkles. Even better? The formula pairs it with a 2.5% concentrated AHA blend (equal in power to 10% glycolic acid, but far more gentle). This complex clears dead skin cells from skin’s surface, allowing those hardworking peptides to better absorb into skin.

Pair it with one of the aforementioned serums for a double dose of peptide-infused goodness — and see the magic of peptides for yourself.

Read more about the best skin-care ingredients:


Glow Recipe

Avocado Ceramide Recovery Serum


Glow Recipe

Plum Plump Hyaluronic Cream


Glow Recipe

Plum Plump Hyaluronic Serum


Glow Recipe

Guava Vitamin C Dark Spot Serum


Glow Recipe

Watermelon Glow AHA Night Treatment


Glow Recipe

Pomegranate Peptide Firming Serum


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