Beauty Call: The science of the serum

Are peptides the next big skincare thing?


Skincare science can be confusing and the ingredients in your new anti-ageing cream incomprehensible.

Many of us will be familiar with peptides, however, as they have long been trumpeted by the cosmetics industry as the next big skincare thing.

But are they? Well, yes and no. No one ingredient alone can create firmer, younger-looking skin, but having peptides in the mix might help.

These mini-proteins form when collagen breaks down, and the theory is that adding them to creams can trick skin into producing more collagen, which can make it look younger, plumper and more hydrated.

Matrixil is one of the most common peptides – you can find it in the Olay Regenerist range – and other mid-price ranges such as No7 Protect & Perfect have proven through clinical trials that their peptide-rich formulas will work.

You won’t see instant results with peptides alone – choose a hyaluronic acid-rich serum to do that – but, in order to give the molecules the best chance to sink into your skin, make sure to apply to a clean, exfoliated face.

Serums will give you the most concentrated blast of active ingredients possible. Apply them after cleansing and before moisturising.

Aisling is on Twitter @aismcdermott



snoxinSnoxin Serum (€40, 30ml)

Sounds like something you might blow into a tissue during a nasty cold, but it is in fact the latest wonder product from Indeed Labs. A highly concentrated blast of the most effective anti-ageing peptides target all aspects of skin ageing from crow’s feet to jowls.



Biotherm Blue Therapy Serum (€49, 30ml)

Water-sourced natural ingredients such as algae and plankton combine to make this serum light, fresh and skin-firming while reducing the look of wrinkles.




Alpha H Liquid Gold Intensive Night Repair Serum (€61.50, 50ml)

An extremely potent serum with many active ingredients that work deeply to provide improved tone, anti-wrinkle and age-spot benefits. Be careful not to get carried away: use two or three nights a week only.




No7 Protect & Perfect Advanced Serum (€30.50, 30ml)

This follow-up to the blockbusting Protect & Perfect has improved upon the original with potent peptides that visibly reduce the appearance of even deep lines.





AISLING LOVES . . . Kiehl’s Oil Eliminator 24-Hour Anti-Shine Moisturizer for Men (€35, 125ml)

Formulated using aerogel technology – traditionally used in space exploration – this weightless formula cuts shine, minimises the look of enlarged pores and degreases oily skin.



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