Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, we learn that in school, but proteins are just as important for the skin as they are for your body. Peptides are chains of amino acids that make up protein the skin needs like collagen, elastin and keratin. Lack of these proteins can cause thinning of hair, fine lines, loss of firmness and dull skin. As you age, you lose collagen which is why fine lines, wrinkles and loss of firmness start to appear.
In skincare, retinoids, acids like AHAs or BHAs and Vitamin C often are looked as the power ingredients. Sort of like the heavy hitters and game changers but they don’t target every issue. If you’re wanting to target fine lines and signs of aging, peptides are the direction you want to head in. Peptides stimulate collagen, causing the skin to look younger and work to improve the quality of your skin. Bottom line, you want them in your routine in any way you can get them!
All of The Ordinary’s peptides target signs of aging, fine lines and skin firmness. But, this doesn’t mean they’re not for young skin. Firming, smoothing and hydrating the skin is highly sought after regardless of your age! Whether you’re looking to improve the quality of your skin overall or target some new fine lines, peptides function to target both of those issues.
Peptides can’t be used with direct acids, most retinoids or Vitamin C. You don’t want to completely abandon those ingredients for peptides. Find a routine that incorporates all those into your routine, on alternating nights, without pushing it.
All of The Ordinary’s peptides conflict with direct acids – those include:
- AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution
- Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%
- Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution
- Lactic Acid 10% + HA
- Lactic Acid 5% + HA
- Mandelic Acid 10% + HA
- Salicylic Acid 2% Masque
- Salicylic Acid 2% Solution
The peptides also conflict with LAA and ELAA – pure Vitamin C known as l-ascorbic acid or ethylated l-ascorbic acid.
The pure vitamin C products the peptides conflict with include:
You CAN use the peptides with these Vitamin C derivatives. Those include:
- Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate 10%
- Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 20% in Vitamin F
- Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F
- Ethylated Ascorbic Acid 15% Solution
How To Use: Use this water based serum in the AM or PM before creams and oils. Think of this serum as a ‘buffet’ of ingredients doing wonderful things for your skin, hence the same. This serum includes multi-peptides like matrixyl synthe-6, matrixyl 3000, argirelox, hyaluronic acid, amino acids to target anti-aging, fine lines and dullness. Sounds familiar? Matrixyl, argireline and hyaluronic acid which are also other serums The Ordinary offers.
- Affordable, multi-peptide serum that targets anti-aging and fine lines at every turn.
- Ultra lightweight texture that does not feel sticky or heavy on the skin.
- This gets amazing reviews and it’s a great serum for improving your skin overall. Use it with a direct acid or retinoids on alternating nights.
Use With: (reference this chart) Use this in the AM or PM. This can be used with hydrators and oils, Vitamin C derivatives, more molecules, retinoids and antioxidants.
Don’t Use With: (reference this chart) This conflicts with direct acids and Vitamin C (LAA/ELAA – L-Ascorbic Acid and Ethylated Ascorbic Acid).
How To Use: Use this water based serum before cream and oils in the AM or PM. This serum is blue so don’t be alarmed when you first try it out! This serum contains 11 skin-friendly amino acids (like argireline and matrixyl) and multiple forms of hyaluronic acid. Plus copper peptides which improve collagen synthesis, overall skin health and accounts for the blue hue. Think of the original ‘Buffet’ serum kicked up a notch.
- This serum targets signs of aging and works to improve the quality of skin overall. Also expect to see smaller pores and a noticeable glow. It helps to improve the skin in so many ways!
- Reviewers report significantly improved and smoother skin! This also helps to target loss of firmness and skin elasticity.
- There should not be any stinging when you use this product. But, if you do experience irritation, try ‘Buffet’ without the copper peptides.
Use With: Use this water based serum in the AM or PM before creams and oils. This can be used with The Ordinary’s ‘More Molecules’ (Alpha Arbutin, Niacinamide and Caffeine solution) and all the oils and hydrators.
Don’t Use With: This serum conflicts with Vitamin C (LAA/ELAA – L-Ascorbic Acid and Ethylated Ascorbic Acid), Retinoids, Direct Acids, or Strong Antioxidants.
How To Use: This is a water based serum, used in AM or PM before oils and creams. This serum targets all signs of aging! Tough to find a serum like this but easy to incorporate into your routine. It conflicts with Vitamin C and direct acids so this may be better for your PM routine. But, the water lightweight texture makes it good for layering and friendly for all skin types.
- Argireline improves fine lines! This works especially well on the forehead, smile lines and eye area. This can’t be mixed with acids but using an AHA or retinol on alternating nights can do wonders for the skin.
- The lightweight, watery texture is comfortable on the skin. It layers very well with other products or under makeup.
- This serum targets all signs of aging but is especially fine lines.
- It gets very favorable reviews and it’s hard to find a serum like this with such an affordable price tag.
Use With: In the AM or PM before oils and creams. This can be used with hydrators and oils, Vitamin C derivatives, more molecules and antioxidants.
Don’t Use With: Vitamin C (LAA/ELAA – L-Ascorbic Acid and Ethylated Ascorbic Acid) or direct acids.
How To Use: Use this water based serum in the AM or PM. If you’re looking to target wrinkles and fine lines, this is the one for you! Matrixyl is a synthetic peptide that targets fine lines, heals the skin barrier and signals the cells to create more collagen. Plus, the inclusion of hyaluronic acid helps to retain moisture and help absorption.
- The inclusion of hyaluronic acid allows the skin to retain moisture while allowing all the other ingredients to work better.
- Matrixyl signals cells to create collagen this leads to less fine lines and younger looking complexion.
- Gel texture is hydrating and soothing on the skin.
- It’s a great and affordable serum that targets fine lines while healing the skin.
Use With: Use this water based serum in the AM or PM. This can be used with hydrators and oils, Vitamin C derivatives, more molecules, retinoids and antioxidants.
Don’t Use With: This conflicts with Vitamin C (LAA/ELAA – L-Ascorbic Acid and Ethylated Ascorbic Acid) and direct acids.
Add peptides to your routine if you’re looking to target signs of aging and fine lines. But you don’t want to forget about your acids, hyaluronic acid, antioxidants and retinoids. Your skin will start to look its best with a little bit of peptides, acids, vitamin c and retinoids. (On alternating nights of course.) Plus tons of hydration and hyaluronic acid.
The Ordinary has a good variety of peptide serums to choose from. They’re a great way to get the anti-aging, transformative qualities without spending too much. Our pick of choice? You can’t go wrong with ‘Buffet.’ Copper or no copper, both are a great option with a cocktail of peptides that serve to treat a number of different issues.