Skincare Tips

Ingredient Spotlight: Peptides

If you’re like most skincare-obsessed women, you’re familiar with the word “peptide”, but you may not be entirely sure what a peptide actually is or why you want it in your products. Knowing to include peptides in your routine is important, but learning about the different types and how they work can help you choose the right skincare product for your particular needs. Read on for those answers and more. 

What are peptides? 

Peptides are short chain amino acids. Like proteins, they are components of cells that perform biological functions within the body. The main difference between peptides and proteins is that peptides are smaller (peptides are molecules made up of between 2 and 50 amino acids, while proteins are composed of 50 or more amino acids). They occur naturally in the body, yet synthetic versions also exist. Formulating synthetic versions in a lab allows scientists to modify them to have different and improved functionality (for example, helping them penetrate deeper into the skin and improving stability). 

How do they work? 

If your skin was a factory, peptides would be the foreman, ordering the body to churn out collagen and elastin, which helps the skin feel firmer, smoother and generally younger-looking. This is important because collagen and elastin break down as we age, and production of these structural proteins decrease with each passing birthday. Peptides are also proven to even out pigmentation, reinforce the skin barrier (keeping moisture in and environmental toxins out) and help reduce the appearance of redness.

Are all peptides created equally? 

Yes and no. All peptides are beneficial to your skin. They just go about helping your skin in slightly different ways and some are more researched than others. Topical peptides are generally classified into four main groups based on their specific functions: Neurotransmitter inhibitor peptides, signal peptides, carrier peptides and enzyme inhibitor peptides. Neurotransmitter inhibitor peptides mimic Botox by preventing the repetitive muscular facial moments that, over time, cause wrinkles. Signal peptides signal to the extracellular matrix to release collagen and elastin. Carrier peptides promote wound-healing collagen and elastic production, and have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties; andenzyme inhibitor peptides act as bodyguards against enzymes that break down structural proteins like collagen. 

Perricone MD’s Newest Peptide Innovation 

Cream Tub swashed on marble table

In 2009, Perricone MD introduced the first Cold Plasma Plus+ face and eye treatments, which today is Cold Plasma Plus+ Advanced Serum Concentrate and Cold Plasma Plus+ Advanced Eye Cream. Over the past 12 years, the collection has grown to include comprehensive solutions for other parts of the body, including the neck, chest, arms, shins and hands. The newest addition is an ultra-rich, multi-tasking moisturiser, Cold Plasma Plus+ The Intensive Hydrating Complex, which is packed with peptides to help rebuild and repair damaged skin. It contains a potent combination of different types of peptides including copper tripeptide (a carrier peptide), acetyl hexapeptide-8 (a neurotransmitter inhibitor peptide) and four distinct signal peptides. 


Peptides are team players and are most effective when combined with other ingredients. That doesn’t mean you can throw them together with any old group of ingredients and expect them to work wonders, though. Like with any team, you need good chemistry for optimal performance. The new Cold Plasma Plus+ The Intensive Hydrating Complex combines peptides with two other complementary and highly-effective active ingredients: Vitamin C Ester and vegetable triglyceride complex. Vitamin C Ester smooths and brightens skin, while the vegetable triglyceride complex (a blend of jojoba, soybean and olive oils) helps hydrate, smooth and soften the skin. Vegetable triglyceride complex also strengthens the skin’s lipid barrier, which is the protective coating that sits on the outermost layer of the skin. A strong lipid barrier prevents moisture from seeping out of skin cells and environmental toxins from burrowing into the skin, causing damage.   

Before and After Picture (8 weeks apart)

This ingredient combination is so effective that when 39 women in a clinical study for 8 weeks used Cold Plasma Plus+ The Intensive Hydrating Complex daily, 100% showed a reduction of fine lines, wrinkles and pores; 85% showed improved elasticity and skin tone; 85% showed reduced skin redness; and 80% showed a reduction of the appearance of dark spots.   


To apply, rub it between your fingertips for a few seconds to warm it up. Then massage onto your face and neck using a gentle upward motion until fully absorbed into your skin. Use morning and night. For best results, apply after cleansing with the High Potency Classics Nutritive Cleanser and after an application of  Cold Plasma Plus+ Advanced Serum Concentrate.  


Peptides may not be new—they were first discovered in the 1950’s—but Perricone MD’s new Cold Plasma Plus+ The Intensive Hydrating Complex represents a novel use of peptides, combining them to ensure dramatic skin renewal results. 




Writer and expert