THE POWER OF PEPTIDES
By Rhonda Allison, Founder & CEO of Rhonda Allison Cosmeceuticals
Proteins are crucial to nearly every cellular process, not just within the skin, but the body as a whole.
They are required for the structure, function and regulation of the body’s tissues and organs, and at
the root of those all-important proteins are amino acids – often referred to as the building blocks of
In skin care, proteins support collagen and elastin production, sending important messages between
cells, regulating pigmentation, accelerating wound healing, and strengthening and firming the skin.
However, every amino acid performs a different function, and it’s important to understand what they
do and how they come together in the form of chains (peptides) to produce different results.
THE PRIMARY AMINO ACIDS
Of the 20 amino acids important in human biology, all but one (glycine), are chiral. This means all
amino acids in our cells will have the (L) designation with the exception of glycine. This is important
because it impacts the efficacy of peptides used in skin-rejuvenating products.
Amino acids break down to three categories: essential, non-essential, and conditional. The body
naturally produces non-essential and most conditional amino acids, but sometimes these need to be
supplemented if there is a deficiency. The body, however, does not produce essential amino acids on
its own. These need to be derived from others sources such as supplements, food nutrients or topical
Non-essential amino acids: L-Alanine, L-Asparagine, D-Aspartic Acid, L-Glutamate
Conditional amino acids: L-Arginine, L-Cysteine, L-Glutamine, L-Glycine, L-Proline, L-Serine, and
Essential amino acids: L-Histidine, L-Isoleucine, L-Leucine, L-Lysine, L-Methionine, L-Phenylalanine,
L-Threonine, L-Tryptophan, and L-Valine.
These 20 amino acids bond in various sequences to form chains referred to as peptides.
FUNCTIONS OF PEPTIDES
Active in very small doses, peptides provide several benefits from stimulating and building fibroblast, to
supporting cellular energy and regulating healthy pigmentation. The function of the peptide depends
on its grouping, which is based on the number of amino acids as well as type of amino acid within
its sequence. Peptide bonds include:
• Tetrapeptides – four amino acids
• Pentapeptides – five amino acids
• Hexapeptides – six amino acids
• Oligopeptides – two to 20 amino acids
• Polypeptides – small peptides made up of many amino acids
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