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Best Cruelty-Free Peptide Products
Looking for the best cruelty-free peptide skincare products? This was a quest I had more recently set on over the last few months. Stress had taken its toll on my skin. The skin around my eyes and the sudden second crease across my forehead had made me realize that I wasn’t truly preparing my skin for the future – that future being a natural progression of skin aging. I had hit a wall and fast. When I randomly stumbled upon the term peptide skincare, I knew that my routine could no longer stay afloat without it.
What are Peptides?
Before jumping into the best cruelty-free peptide skincare products, it’s a good idea to have a basic understanding of what peptides are and why they are good to include in your skincare routine. If you really want to delve as far as I have into the science aspect, check out this comprehensive peptide guide to learn more.
So, what are peptides? Alexis Parcells, MD board-certified plastic surgeon and skincare specialist of Parcells Plastic Surgery in New Jersey, explains: “Peptides are amino acids, and when bound together they make up proteins. These building blocks of collagen and elastin fibers keep our skin hydrated, healthy, and youthful.” Essentially, peptides are a smaller version of proteins. Proteins are an essential part of life because they give us strength and resilience. Think of peptides as the same thing in your skincare.
Natural vs Synthetic Peptides
Peptides are naturally occurring molecules that exist in all living organisms. With that said, oftentimes peptides found in skincare are “synthetic”. Synthetic Peptides are ones that are designed to encourage a certain reaction, typically in our skin, when they are combined with specific receptors. Natural peptides are peptides that are derived from natural resources (which can be plant or animal-based). They are synthesized from the nutrients that an organism consumes based on the physical needs of that living organism. In skincare products, it is likely you may find both synthetic and natural peptides. Neither version is dangerous for you. [source]
However, if you strive to only use vegan skincare products, it’s best to do your research before purchasing. If you see a peptide product advertising that it contains the ingredient “collagen” it’s most likely derived from an animal. However, plant-based collagen does exist as well.
Out of all my skincare concerns, the skin around my eyes become my first fixation. I was developing unsightly crow’s feet, and overall my skin became super dry and patchy too from endless hours of stress (and admittedly – tears). If you are looking to reverse signs of aging, brighten your under eyes, or give them the hydration they deserve, I swear by the next six products:
Squalane + Peptide Eye Gel
The Squalane + Peptide Eye Gel by Biossance is one of my favorite cruelty-free peptide products. This fast-acting gel utilizes a powerful combination of peptides to tighten & brighten. I like pairing it with the Squalane & Marine Algae Eye Cream to further plump creased skin. Plus, the eye cream is an incredible cruelty-free dupe for an overrated skincare product as well.
Retinol Eye Stick
The Retinol Eye Stick by Peace Out is one of the more unique cruelty-free peptide products in my kit. This balm-to-serum formula contains peptides & retinol that boost collagen production. It works well under concealer to prevent that dreaded fine line creasing throughout the day. Plus, it’s super easy to toss in my purse even on my no makeup days for a quick pick-me-up.
Firming Eye Cream
One of the best parts of being a Beauty Editor is the ability to always try new products. I recently was privileged enough to try the Firming Eye Cream by OSEA. This cream contains rich plant-derived peptides that firm and lift. This product, along with their peptide-enriched Anti-Aging Sea Serum has helped reverse early signs of aging for me.
FlashPatch® Restoring Night Eye Gels
On my quest to achieving flawless under eyes, I stumbled across the FlashPatch Restoring Night Eye Gels by Patchology. This 5 minute treatment not only felt luxurious but was super effective at plumping the delicate skin around my eyes. Ingredients like Retinol, vegan Squalane, Cedrus Atlantica Bark & fruit extracts further enhance the skin by firming and brightening dark circles.
C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream
Not only am I obsessed with Peptides, but I am also a huge fan of Vitamin C skincare products. The C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream by Drunk Elephant was a no-brainer. It brightens uneven skin tone while targeting pesky fine lines. Vitamin C is an active ingredient that pairs well with peptides, making this product a double whammy of skincare goodness.
Brightening Eye Serum
The Brightening Eye Serum from Skyn Iceland is just one more product of theirs I love. Their signature Arctic Peptide Blend contains a multitude of peptides to target wrinkles & stimulate the repair of delicate skin fibers around the eyes. This Peptide Blend also allows the skin to absorb other active ingredients such as Gotu Kola & Microalgae faster and more efficiently.
Of course, eyes are the windows to our soul, and oftentimes the first part of our face where we tend to notice skincare faux pas. However, just like the skin around our eyes, the rest of our skin equally needs some TLC. Remember that second crease in my forehead I mentioned? The next seven cruelty-free peptide skincare face products successfully eliminated my crease, targeted fine lines, and some even hydrated and soothed my acne-prone skin.
Repair Nightly Treatment
My love for True Botanicals is neverending. This time it’s their Repair Nightly Treatment, formally known as the Renew Repair Serum. This nighttime face serum is packed with proprietary bioactive peptides that work to target visible signs of aging. Tripeptides along with ceramides help to stimulate collagen production and slow down the process of skin aging.
DeliKate™ Recovery Serum
If the past year of intense skincare exploration has taught me anything, it’s that my skin is more sensitive than I thought. The DeliKate™ Recovery Serum by Kate Somerville provides me the plumping peptides I need while targeting my redness and sensitive skin all at once. It’s also ultra-hydrating and super lightweight. My skin feels balanced and calm after using it.
The Blemish Balm by OSEA recently joined the ranks of nightly skincare products I can’t live without. With all of this maskne that I’ve been struggling with, this mineral peptide-infused anti-acne treatment has been a skin savior. The Blemish Balm contains three fermented minerals that firm the skin while eliminating & preventing future acne breakouts.
The Water-Lock Moisturizer by Tata Harper is an easy lightweight orange peptide-infused moisturizer. The peptides fill & plump while radical ingredients such as Hyaluronic Acid and Pomegranate Spheres hydrate and even out rough skin texture. Its lightweight formula makes it perfect to apply at the beginning of my days without making my face feel heavy or weighed down.
Buffet Peptide Serum
I had been dying to try The Ordinary for the longest time. After all, their products are extremely affordable. I picked up the Buffet Peptide Serum because of its claims to target multiple signs of aging. While I can’t pronounce a lot of the ingredients in this multi-peptide serum (not necessarily a bad thing), the results have been above average, especially for the low cost of $15. It has all the fixings and plumps & hydrates my skin as it should.
Advanced Peptides & Collagen
I was first introduced to DERMA-E in a Petit Vour subscription box 2 years ago. Since then I have been testing products such as their Advanced Peptides & Collagen Collection. This collection utilizes the power of peptides with vegan plant-based collagen to support hydrate aging skin, support collagen health, & strengthen skin elasticity. My personal fav? Their Advanced Peptide Serum.
Hydrating Day + Night Cream
Hydration is key, especially in the colder months of the year. The Hydrating Day + Night Cream by TULA is a lightweight non-comedogenic moisturizer that uses peptides, Probiotic, & Prebiotic Extracts to reveal a plump and youthful glow. These extracts also balance the skin and reduce the look of irritation. I like that it’s also available in 3 different sizes as well.
My cruelty-free peptide skincare lip products are currently limited, to say the least. Almost surprisingly, it’s been rather tough to find quality peptide lip products. Nonetheless, I wanted to share my current lip treatment M.O. I’ll admit I tend to not give my lips the love it truly deserves, but with this product, I think I am learning to forgive myself.
Kiss Kiss Lip Perfecting Duo
While it’s the only peptide lip product thus far in my collection, it’s a treasured one. The Kiss Kiss Lip Perfecting Duo comes with the Lip Service Treatment and a FlashPatch Hydrating Lip Gel. Both of these all-star products contain vitamins & peptides that fill out visible lip creases that tend to happen with age or dehydration. For best results, I like to exfoliate my lips first with my go-to cruelty-free lip exfoliator before applying the patch and lip balm.
Are Cruelty-Free Peptide Skincare Products Worth It?
If you’ve been struggling to find that “it” skincare ingredient to give your skin the relief it’s been seeking, peptides may just be the answer to your prayers. While they aren’t made of magic, peptides can certainly transform your skin for the better. If your skin is looking to turn the corner like mine was, the above cruelty-free peptide skincare products are ones that have drastically improved my skin. If you’re still intrigued by the potential of peptides, hop on over this compressive guide where we talk more in length about what peptides are and why they’re worth adding to your skincare routine.
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