Are Peptides Vegan? What Are Peptides Made Of?

By Anett Rannamets. Published: October 2022.
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Peptides in skincare are collagen-boosting and help the skin stay young and hydrated. Peptides occur naturally in all living organisms including plants. However, in skincare, some brands still use peptides derived from animal by-products. Some on the other hand use plant-obtained compounds. Thus, peptides in skincare can be both, vegan and non-vegan.

Peptides in skincare have gained popularity in recent years. But are they really the ultimate silver bullet against skin aging and wrinkles? And what are they even made of? Let’s find out.

What Are Peptides? What Are Peptides Made Of?

Peptides are organic compounds. They are short chains of amino acids in the human body that have numerous functions. In skincare, peptides are derived from plants or obtained from animal by-products. 

To fully understand, what a peptide is, we need to go back to amino acids and proteins. A protein is an arrangement of amino acids – like a string of pearls. And a peptide is a smaller assembly, like a mini protein. Peptides divide into two categories:

  • oligopeptides: 2-10 amino acids
  • polypeptides: 10-100 amino acids

Like proteins, peptides are also found in every organism. A biologically active peptide can exist as a hormone, neurotransmitter, growth factor, or antibiotic

Among other properties, peptides can also act as signal molecules and control the sugar metabolism in the body. Biologically active peptides can also lower blood pressure and bind minerals. As well as have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial effects. 

There are countless peptides or peptide groups and they all have different structures, tasks, and properties. However, in skin care, people mainly talk about peptides, which are needed for the skin to synthesize collagen. The most well-known peptide in skincare is a copper peptide.

Peptides in skincare are usually obtained by extracting proteins, which are then hydrolyzed into smaller pieces. Most peptides used are produced from yeast, oat, wheat, eggs, milk, or shellfish. So, peptides in skincare are not always vegan.

Why Are Peptides Used In Skincare?

Peptides are used in skincare because they improve skin elasticity and stimulate collagen production. Therefore, peptides minimize fine lines and wrinkles. In addition, peptides have soothing and moisture-binding properties.

Firstly, peptides are collagen-stimulating. They help the skin to produce collagen and thus become thicker and firmer. Therefore, peptides support a fresh, youthful, and supple complexion.

Ceramides also bind moisture. The age-related degradation of collagen also means that the skin does not store moisture that well. By boosting collagen production, peptides can also provide better-hydrated skin.

Further, due to collagen-stimulating effects, peptides contribute to cell renewal. This in turn means that they also have anti-bacterial and clarifying properties. Therefore peptides can be effective against blemishes and inflammatory acne.

However, one of the most important benefits of peptides is strengthening the skin’s top layer. As peptides help the skin become thicker and firmer, they also play a crucial role in strengthening the skin’s protective barrier. This effectively protects against bacteria, UV radiation, and other environmental influences.

Since peptides occur naturally in the human body, they are usually well tolerated by most skin types from normal to dry and mature skin. However, for peptides to be the most effective, it is recommended to look for products with other supportive active ingredients. Like antioxidants, hyaluronic acid, or retinol.

FAQ About Peptides

What are peptides?

Peptides are organic compounds. They are short chains of amino acids in the human body that have numerous functions. Like proteins, peptides are also found in every organism. A biologically active peptide can exist as a hormone, neurotransmitter, growth factor, or antibiotic. However, in skin care, people mainly talk about peptides, which are needed for the skin to synthesize collagen.

Are peptides vegan?

Peptides can be both, vegan and non-vegan. Most peptides used are produced from yeast, oat, wheat, eggs, milk, or shellfish.

Why are peptides used in skincare?

Peptides are used in skincare because they improve skin elasticity and stimulate collagen production. Therefore, peptides minimize fine lines and wrinkles. In addition, peptides have soothing and moisture-binding properties.

Summary

Peptides help the skin to produce collagen and thus become thicker and firmer. They are great in anti-aging products as they strengthen the skin barrier and keep the skin hydrated. Still, peptides are safe to use on every other skin type.

Peptides occur naturally in humans, animals, and plants. Peptides derived from plant proteins or produced synthetically are used in skincare often. However, some brands also use peptides from animal by-products. Therefore, peptides can be both, vegan and non-vegan.

To get started with vegan peptide skincare, check out our guide to the best vegan peptide skincare in 2022. You can also find vegan skincare with peptides from 100% vegan brands or among the best vegan skincare products.

Anett is a passionate journalist, writer, and magazine editor with almost 7 years of experience. Through engaging articles, she brings kinder and more environmentally-friendly choices closer to everybody.