Pep Talk!
…three cheers for peptides, the Olympians of skin care products



Years ago, our Grandmothers bought two jars of face cream, one for day, and one for night. I always get a chuckle when I see those images of women from the Lucy and Ethel era sleeping with a thick white mask of goop on their face. And I still don’t get why it was called cold cream! Fast forward to the 70’s and Clinique was the first cosmetic line to eschew the fancy, feminine jars and frilly boxes in favor of “serious” looking packaging; and mandated that their department store salesladies wear white lab coats to sell their new dermatological oriented creams.

We’ve come a long way baby and we’re no longer swayed by a white coat. We want facts, we want research, we want choices and we want results! Yesterday’s cold cream buyer is today’s sophisticated consumer; and words like retinol, cosmeceutical, hyaluronic acid, SPF, and peptide roll off our tongues at the cosmetic counter as easily as shiraz, malbec, or voignier rolls off our tongues at the wine shop. But do you really know what peptides are and what they do?
Read on. Time for a little Pep talk from your cheerleader for flawless skin…me!

So what are they and what to they do? I asked these questions, and more, of two experts that use these powerful ingredients in their cutting edge cosmeceutical products, Dr. Nicholas Perricone, Clinical Dermatologist and founder of NV Perricone MD, and Cosmeceutical Chemist, Sam Dhatt, founder and owner of DermaQuest Skin Therapy. Both have been using peptides in their high quality skin care products for approximately four years. Dr. Perricone tells me that “Peptides are compounds consisting of two or more amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) chained together by what is called a peptide bond”. Mr. Dhatt has helped me (patiently, I might add) define the many different varieties, and so for you my sleuth, a Skinopedia of some key peptide terminology:

• Neuropeptide – a peptide that sends a message to the brain and tells it to inhibit the release of a neurotransmitter which is involved in creating a muscle contraction…..remember face muscle contractions cause wrinkles! Two of the most popular neuropeptides are Argireline™, and Snap-8, known as an octapeptide because of its 8 amino acids.

• Syn™-Ake – this combination of neuropeptides mimics the venom in the temple viper snake. The actual snake venom causes muscle paralysis and works by inhibiting neurotransmitters from entering the muscle receptor site. Combining Syn™-Ake with other peptides creates a powerful combination for a muscle-smoothing and anti-wrinkle effect on the skin.

• Octapeptide – 8 amino acids which are linked together to create one particular peptide, for example, Snap-8 is an octapeptide.

• Biopeptide – a peptide that alters or affects a biological function of the skin such as creating collagen.

• Syn™-Coll – a tripeptide which helps the body to create amino acids, which then strengthens the dermis and reduces fine lines and wrinkles.

• Matrixyl™ – this biopeptide collagen builder is a trademark name for a popular combination of Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4.

Helpful tips: on product labels you’ll always see the actual ingredient name, and in advertising, you’ll often see the trademarked name and sometimes the actual peptide name. Also, while you never know how much peptide is actually used, the higher an active ingredient is on the ingredient list, the higher the percentage contained in the product.

Gorgeous skin can’t be created by peptides alone. It takes a team of them, along with moisturizers, hydrators, vitamins, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidants to create the most effective products. Some of our favorite products are…..


Peptide Moblizer by DermaQuest Skin Therapy, is a powerhouse of neuro and bio peptides including Syn™-Ake Syn™-Coll and Snap-8, to smooth out wrinkles, increase hydration, plump skin, and activate collagen production which aids in increasing skin thickness. Also promotes healing and enhances the effects of peels and laser treatments.

Available: and


The Rolls Royce of N.V.Perricone, MD products is the Neuropeptide Facial Conformer which contains various neuropeptides made in small batches, and anti-oxidants such as DMAE and vitamins E and C Ester. Its ingredients dramatically improve the skin’s muscle tone, combat crepey skin, minimize fine lines and wrinkles, stimulate collagen and renew texture and tone by increasing circulation.

Available: N.V. Perricone store, Madison Ave and


Blue Copper 5 Firming Eye Repair by Osmotics features copper with their powerful combo of peptides to firm, tone and tighten the entire eye area, while it also reduces the depth of fine lines and wrinkles. Additionally, anti-aging proteins help boost collagen levels and anti-oxidant vitamins E and A to improve skin thickness and elasticity.

Available: Lord & Taylor and


I love peptides so much that I want to kiss the chemist that discovered them! But before I do, I’ll make sure I’ve applied C-Lipoic Lip Enhancer from DermaQuest Skin Therapy. I’ve become addicted to the sweet taste and tingly feel of this lip plumper that contains vitamin C, alpha lipoic acid, and yes, peptides that moisturize, add volume and stimulate new cell growth for rosy luscious lips. Pucker up!


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments


Subscribe to our Beauty News NYC Newsletter.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x