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So, these two things keep popping up on skincare discussions and in skincare blogs everywhere. Perhaps I'm slow or not well-read enough, but I don't really understand what these things do for your skin, other than that most people say they are great for your skin, though I have also heard some bad things about peptides as well. 

Can anyone break this down for me? What are peptides? What are ceramides? Who should be using them and why, and what do they actually do to the skin? What are the downsides of these ingredients? 

Hoping to get some replies here. 

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Ceramides are fats, or lipids, that play a huge role in your skin's moisture retention. They are a natural part of your skin anyway, but added ceramides, which mostly come from plants and then they are called phytoceramides, can help add moisture to your skin. That, of course, is something you need to keep you looking young! The effect is that your skin looks less wrinkled and more elastic and smooth. They are certainly worth looking into if you are looking to stay young for a longer time.
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Peptides are amino acid molecules. They are smaller than proteins at a mollecular level. In skincare, peptides make the skin more elastic and thicker, boosting collagen and again contributing to a more youthful look. There are many different kinds of peptides and they all do different things concretely. They are a very popular thing in skincare right now, and it is quite possible that some of the products you are using already contain active peptides without you being aware.
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Yes, that about sums peptides up. Peptides can be synthetic or organic, but mostly synthetic in skincare ranges. They're advertised as miracle workers now, and many people are now under the impression that they must use creams with peptides if they want to look young. It's not that simple. Yes, peptides help the skin repair its own damage, which is great, but they are not all you need. You need a balanced product and also the acceptance that no matter what you do, your skin will still age.
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Beware. Many people who first start using copper peptides are thrilled with what they see and notice a radical improvement in their skin within days, something that continues getting better. Those who have been using copper peptides for years are not always that happy. It turns out that too much copper is in fact toxic to the skin and many mention paper thin skin, loose and sagging skin, more wrinkles... This is something you have to look into for yourself but I wanted to throw that out there before someone gets you on the copper peptides = skincare god bandwagon. You may end up with very damaged skin and of course you don't want that.
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I have heard bad things about copper peptides as well. Not fully understanding the science behind that, I would be weary of using them. 

Phytoceramides are another story altogether. They are taken in pill form and replenish those compounds that are naturally found in the skin that are lost with age, those that, when we start lacking them, make us look aged. I think there are also topical applications, but with the tablets you are getting a system-wide boost and your skin is hydrated as well as rejuvenated. In addition, I also heard that they can improve your working memory and even help people with Alzheimer's. 

Rosie

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I have been using a copper peptide serum made by "Skin Perfection", which comes in a little blue bottle with a pipette, for a while now. I bought it on Amazon after hearing about the benefits of copper peptides. Of course I appreciate the anti-aging benefits, but I mainly bought it for the acne scars I had, and I can report that they have diminished an awful lot since I started using this serum. I am very happy with it. I have never heard anything dubious about copper peptides and am surprised to hear negative things here. I didn't experience any of that.
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Peptides come in different types. Matrixyl is a really popular one, and then you have copper peptides and neuropeptides. Some stimulate collagen, while others reduce inflammation and neuropeptides are supposed to work something like botox, by relaxing the muscles and reducing wrinkles dramatically. You use them as a serum or in a cream and you do need to use them for about three months before you begin seeing an improvement in your skin tone and look, but many find the wait more than worth it.
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And ceramides... ceramides help preserve smoothness, elasticity, moisture, and suppleness. They are naturally present in your skin, but because you lose them with age, applying artificial ceramides can do a lot to help you look younger for much longer. They are definitely a good choice for your skin if you want to preserve youthfulness.
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Hi,

I read something about phytoceramide pills recently in a magazine and I am very interested in something like this, a systemic solution that goes more than skin deep. Since these pills must be quite new on the market possibly with very little research done into their safety, though, I am wondering if anyone here might know anything about the safety or side effects of these phytoceramides? Pretty please, post something here if you have any idea at all or can link to studies.

TIA
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