Our body is complicated and complex beyond our comprehensive abilities. Sure, we have managed to determine many physiological and medical facts which we find to be true in medical practices, but all of these discoveries are just that, discoveries.
We didn’t invent or calculate how our bodies function; we observe them and make conclusions. Some of these conclusions are simple. Put too much strain on any bone in your body and it will break.
Others are much more complex and unpredictable, such as the involuntary linking of different senses such as sight and smell known as synesthesia. No matter which way you spin it, our body is a mystery, even to the most educated medical professionals.
But which out of all of our organs is the most difficult to understand and dissect? Many people argue that our brain is by far the most impossible puzzle to put together. We know how some nerves or neurons interact with one another and what actions cause which reactions.
But in a broader sense all of this knowledge is just the tip of the iceberg. We discover anomalies, disorders, and syndromes associated with the brain very frequently. At the same time, we also come across people who seem to be able to defy what we set in stone as a physical normality.
Just look at Wim Hof, a holder of more than 20 world records in withstanding extreme cold conditions. It can be easily speculated that our brain controls all aspects of our body, mind, spirit, and consciousness. But what runs our brain? What affects how we feel and what we perceive as reality?
Neuropeptides: The Masters of our Brain
Scientific research points to neuropeptides as the masterminds behind our brain’s functionality.
Our memory, capability for learning, reproduction, social behavior, food consumption, feelings associated with rewards, and metabolic functions are all tied into direct involvement with neuropeptides.
These small protein-like molecules drive our neuron communications. This means that any information being passed to and from your brain is effected by neuropeptides.
There have been studies which link neuropeptides to depression and diabetes. In 2006, an experiment was done involving non-obese diabetic mice, which are genetically predisposed to developing type-1 diabetes.
These mice were injected with capsaicin in order to kill the pancreatic sensory nerves. The result was an 80% decrease of type-1 diabetes development in the tested mice.
This research suggests a link between neuropeptides and the development of type-1 diabetes.
Furthermore, when diabetic mice were injected with substance P, these mice were cured of diabetes for as long as 4 months.
Currently, this research is being validated and applicability in humans will have to be determined in the future.
Neuropeptides VS Neurotransmitters
Although there are a few similarities between the two neuron communicators, neuropeptides and neurotransmitters are very different from each other.
Often, neuropeptides are co-released into your system with small-molecule neurotransmitters. Neurons use many different chemically induced signals to communicate and neurotransmitters as well as neuropeptides are amongst them.
The major difference between the two is that peptides are not recycled back into your body’s cells after secretion like neurotransmitters.
The other major difference is that neurotransmitters aren’t affected by extracellular peptides. On the other hand, neuropeptides can be easily influenced by extracellular peptide activity, which makes their functionality even more complex to determine.
The problem is that the extracellular peptides don’t affect neuropeptides in the same way every time.
Sometimes they inactivate the biological activity completely and other times they do the opposite and increase the neuropeptides affinity towards certain receptor while dulling other receptors.
What does all this research mean?
To put it simply, because of our knowledge of how neuropeptides communicate with the brain and how they are influenced by extracellular peptides, we can create products which use these peptide based concentrations to cause a desired reaction from our body to occur.
At the given moment, peptide compositions are widely used for skin care and as an alternative to BOTOX. Essentially, you are forcing your muscles and tissues under your skin to either contract or relax, depending on your desired effect.
What are some peptides based skin care products?
Since the discovery of the effects that peptides can have on our complexion, there have been quite a few products that have hit the market to help you maintain your skin wrinkle free and age deifying as long as possible.
Some products work better than others, but since all of these employ the use of peptides for a desired effect, they will have a result one way or another. Another thing to consider is that each body is different and unique in its own way.
This means that some peptide compositions might have a better result than others for a given individual. Unfortunately, the only way to find out which one of these works best for you is through the method of experimentation.
Let’s get started and look into some of these peptides based products to see which ones might work best for you.
This product is a cream which has a very similar peptide base to BOTOX. However, you will not have to get injections under your skin to look more youthful and wrinkle free. It is designed to be applied directly to your skin.
The chemical composition of this cream makes it so that your muscles can contract with less force. This means that you will see a significant reduction in wrinkle depth and much smoother fine lines, which appear overtime with aging.
Because this is a cream based product, it is suggested for people who have medium or thin skins. Those who have thicker skin might not see the same results because the cream won’t be able to penetrate their skin as well.
There are many products out there that contain argireline in them, but you should always search for those that have a higher chemical composition of argireline than others, as they will be more effective.
Lastly, before using any argireline product, you should consult your medical professional and discuss if the specific product is right for you.
This little synthetic anti-aging treatment is rather amazing. It is designed, just like most of the creams and ointments on our list, to fight signs of aging such as crow’s feet, wrinkles, and age lines.
The company responsible for its development is Swedish based and goes by the name of Pentapharm Ltd.
Here is the amazing part: it is a synthetic form of snake venom! That’s right, this little chemical compound is based on a peptide known as Waglerin 1, which just happens to be one of the active ingredients found in the venom of the Temple Viper, commonly found in southeast Asia.
This fantastic serum can be used by itself or you can mix into other anti-aging creams or products. Yet again, the key point of this serum is to reduce muscle contractions under your skin while reducing cell movement, which results in younger looking skin and fewer wrinkles.
The idea was derived from the paralytic capabilities of the snake venom. Temporarily deadening the muscles under your skin would prevent development of age related skin markings.
Similar to the functionality of syn-ake, Pentapeptide-18 also mimics another chemical mechanism. This time enkephalins are the key. Pentapeptide-18 binds itself to the enkephalin receptor on the outside of the cell.
When this occurs, its excitability is drastically reduced. This “turned down” activity of the nerve cells allows for the release of acetylcholine.
The release of acetylcholine causes your muscle contractions to be more relaxed, which results in better looking skin with less prominent wrinkles.
It can also reduce the visibility of stretch marks. One little side note, pentapeptide-18 works in good synergy with argireline, so products that contain both of these neuropeptides can generally show better results than the products that only contain one of the two.
While you can’t purchase this chemical in its independent state, it has been used in a verity of skin care products that promise to reduce visible signs of aging on your skin. SNAP-8 is a mimic of the N-terminal acetylation end of synaptosomal-associated protein 25.
In simpler terms, it allows for reduction of muscle contractions, resulting in decreased formations of wrinkles and lines. It is most effective when used on the forehead and around the eyes.
Since its functionality is fundamentally different then BOTOX, it offers a better alternative to injections as well as more prominent results.
Thanks to the hibiscus flower, we have access to complex group of peptides responsible for forming a compound known as Myoxinol.
While this natural chemical also functions in a similar way as BOTOX via the method of reducing muscle contractions, its other functionality is to produce gentle muscle relaxing effects as well as protect your skin cells from other stressful occurrences which can produce wrinkles and skin lines.
Most products that use this compound show about 25% reduction in wrinkles and age related lines.
Another plant based extract which is thought of as an excellent alternative to BOTOX. Acmella Oleracea contains within it a special little fatty acid amide by the name of Spilanthol.
This wonderful chemical possesses some extraordinary capabilities, such as the ability to paralyze tissue on contact. Many people have used Acmella Oleracea in the past to numb tooth aches.
This is why it is also called the toothache plant. Paracress and electric daisy are also some of the name the plant has been called. Incidentally, the paralytic effects that Spilanthol has on your gums can also be extended to your facial muscles, making it a wonderful age defying and wrinkle reducing agent.
Because of the elements which are found in the electric daisy plant, many patients have said that the smoothing effects from products containing the plant extract are nearly immediate.
However, this plant doesn’t contain the same type of collagen-building peptides that BOTOX does, which means it’s not as powerful. Repeat applications might be needed, and even then you won’t see anything near the 100% wrinkle diminishing capabilities that BOTOX has.
This doesn’t mean that it’s ineffective. It’s simply less powerful, which is a small price to pay rather than go through painful and potentially dangerous injections at the doctor’s office.
Neuropeptides Review Summary
There are many alternatives to BOTOX which can have the same results on your skin if not better in certain situations.
Some of these compounds are completely natural, which is great because you aren’t pumping your body full of potentially dangerous chemicals.
Others have been synthesized from different types of ingredients found in other chemical components, but they have been proven to have no major side-effects.
No matter which you decide to use, the less intrusive options are most likely best for your body. Eliminating injections also reduces the risks of certain issues which can surface due to this type of treatment.
Ultimately, the decision is completely up to you. You have the information and the knowledge at your disposal to make the right decision.
We do also suggest that you discuss your plans and ideas with your dermatologist or medical professional. They will be able to give you more insight into the world of neuropeptides and the effects that they have on your body.
Also, keep in mind that every single person in the world is unique and so is their body. Some peptide based products will have a better or worse effect on your skin. Determining which one is the right choice is up to you and your doctor.
Remember to be diligent and patient. Some products take a longer amount of time to take effect, so make sure you give each one of them the right amount of time to produce results.
As always, keep in mind that your body and complexion is a direct result of your diet and lifestyle. While these products can help you look younger and better, nothing is as vital for you as a proper diet and an active lifestyle.
No matter what decision you make, we hope that your end result is clearer, more youthful, and wrinkle free skin.