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Dangers peptides sur la peau.

Are there any dangers associated with the use of peptides?

"Peptide" is a general term used to describe many cosmetic actives composed of a sequence of amino acids. Used daily in our beauty treatments, can peptides pose dangers to our body?


Peptides: What roles do they play in cosmetic care?

Peptides are small-sized proteins.They are composed ofchains of amino acids (aa)linked together throughpeptide bonds. In nature, there are approximately 500amino acids; however, only 20 are present in the human body. These can be combined to create a wide variety of molecules, referred to asproteins (with a molecular mass greater than 10,000 Daltons, which is about 100 aa)orpeptides (less than 100 aa).

When applied topically, peptides are most commonly used for their activity in diminishing the appearance of wrinkles. They are capable of triggering a signalling cascade and stimulating the production of collagen and elastin. These fibrous proteins present in the dermis provide flexibility and firmness to the skin, but their content in the skin tends to decrease over the years. Moreover, certain peptides can also boost the production of hyaluronic acid for a hydrated, plump and smoother skin. Furthermore, certain peptides like pea peptides are incorporated into cosmetic formulas to stimulate hair growth, but also other types of hair such as eyelashes and eyebrows.

Peptides can be identified in I.N.C.I. lists through their Greek qualifying prefixes. For instance, di-, tri-, tetra-, pentapeptides refer to peptides of 2, 3, 4, and 5 amino acids in length, and so on. There are many variations: tetrapeptide-2, acetyl tetrapeptide-15, hexapeptide-2, acetyl tetrapeptide-9, alanyl glutamine, acetyl tetrapeptide-11, acetyl hexapeptide-1, carnosine, cyclopeptide-5, and so on...

What are the potential contraindications to peptides in cosmetics?

There is no contraindication to the topical use of care products containing peptides; pregnant and/or breastfeeding women can use them. Moreover, peptides are generally introduced into cosmetic formulas in very small quantities (which does not limit their biological actions).

Peptides are often identical or analogous to protein fragments already present in the body, which significantly reduces the risk of side effects. They are generally very well tolerated by all skin types and the risks of allergy are extremely low.

However, as with all skincare treatments, we still recommend performing a skin tolerance test before incorporating it into a routine. To do this, apply a small amount of the product in question to the crook of your elbow and wait 24 hours. If you observe any reaction, do not apply peptides to your skin and/or hair.

  • LINTNER K. Peptides : What else ? Cosmeticobs (2014).

  • PERLIKOWSKA R. & al. Signal peptides - Promising ingredients in cosmetics. Current Protein & Peptide Science (2021).

  • Dr. KRIVOSHIEV B. Peptides and proteins in cosmetics. Biorius.


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