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Greener peptides for skin

Consumers are looking for efficient, sustainable, and highly targeted solutions to address their skin care concerns. Peptides are incredibly effective at achieving the effects consumers want from skincare but do they meet the perceived desire for natural and sustainable ingredients?

What are peptides and how do they work?

Naturally present in the human body, peptides like proteins, are composed of amino acids (AA).

Peptides used for cosmetic applications are short chains (a maximum of 20 AA) and have very specific amino acid sequences. By mimicking natural mechanisms of action, they modulate a protein production pathway. The challenge for scientists is to find these very specific amino acid chains that enable the production of skin proteins such as collagens, elastin, hyaluronic acid, and other matrix components, like a key and a lock.

To understand how peptides work, watch the below video. Using the example of Matrixyl™, you can see how a peptide can stimulate fibroblasts to perform skin rejuvenation.

What is peptide and how does it work?

This example uses Matrikines™.

The wide variety of peptides available in the Cosmetics industry provide many benefits for the skin including anti-wrinkle, skin firming, and rejuvenating hair follicles. They are found as key active ingredients in the composition of many highly targeted skin care and hair care products and in particular anti-ageing products.

Both natural and synthetic peptides are targeted to achieve a specific benefit, so they are particularly effective. Having entered into the skincare routine of beauty consumers for decades, they fully respond to their growing demand to demonstrate the veracity of product activity claims on skin with scientific evidence.

So they’re effective but how sustainable are peptides?

Consumer perception of peptides is, unfortunately, that synthetic peptides are not sustainable. However, this has nothing to do with the actual facts around peptide production and use but more to do with a sense that natural = sustainable and synthetic = unsustainable.

Synthesised peptides are still made up of short chains of amino acids, elements naturally present in the human body and the environment, thus bringing nothing foreign to those ecosystems.

Croda closely follows the 12 Green Principles of Chemistry for chemical synthesis. Putting sustainable development at the heart of our concerns, important measures are taken to continuously improve our peptide synthesis process.

When performing chemical synthesis, our priority is to avoid the use of solvents that are harmful for people and the planet. We also continuously make progress in the reduction of energy consumption and in waste management. The design of chemical reactions and synthesis routes is intended to be as safe as possible.

Cosmetic peptides for skin and naturality

The naturalness of cosmetic products is seen as a key concern for many consumers today.

The ISO 16128 is a standard that helps ingredient selection when formulating, to meet the growing consumer demand for natural cosmetics. It offers a framework to determine the natural and organic origin content of products, based on the ingredient characterisation.

Peptides formulated in a solvent of natural origin (e.g. natural glycerine) meet the requirements of ISO 16128 with a very high natural origin index up to 99.99%. As an example, discover the ultimate and greener version of our iconic peptide Matrixyl 3000™ . This RSPO and IECIC active ingredient is now also free from ethoxylated and carbomer. 

What about natural peptides?

Peptides of natural origin meet the need for both effective active ingredients and that sense of “naturalness” consumers look for. We offer a range of naturally derived peptides as well. For example, Poretect™, is derived from peptides, naturally present in flaxseed which are cyclic and of perfectly defined size and composition.

Called “the green architect for an empowered skin”, Poretect also contains senkyunolide, naturally present in the seeds of Selenon (or celery, Apium graveolens). The activity of Poretect is based on its ability to stimulate the mitochondrial protein dynamics of the cell to re-densify and re-pulp the skin while improving its firmness and surface homogeneity. It also strengthens the pores sheath giving a younger look to the skin and moderates sebum productions.

Peptides and sustainable palm oil

Deforestation and other collateral damages linked to palm oil culture is a concern in the Personal Care industry. However, the answer is not to boycott palm oil but to transform the supply chain to – sustainable palm oil. Croda has received peer recognition for its work to deliver products containing sustainable palm oil derivatives, certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). Croda beauty peptides include a palmitic chain to enable their bioavailability. The palm derivatives used in low amounts to produce these peptides are RSPO certified according to Mass Balance (MB) supply chain model.