The Ultimate Guide to Anti-Aging Ingredients 02: Peptides vs. Alternatives

Close up portrait of a model wearing Phaedra Botanicals makeup
Sophie photographed by Liubov Pogorela for Phaedra Botanicals ©

Peptides in skincare are short chains of amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. They play a crucial role in skin health by supporting collagen synthesis, wound healing, and cellular communication.

In skincare, peptides are often used as active ingredients in various products due to their potential benefits.

Types of Peptides in Skincare:

  1. Signal Peptides: These encourage the production of collagen, elastin, and other proteins essential for maintaining skin structure and firmness.
  2. Carrier Peptides: These facilitate the transport of essential minerals and nutrients to the skin cells, enhancing their overall health and function.
  3. Enzyme Inhibitor Peptides: These inhibit enzymes that break down collagen and elastin, helping to maintain the skin’s elasticity and youthfulness.
  4. Neuropeptides: Claimed to work similarly to Botox by relaxing facial muscles, potentially reducing the appearance of wrinkles caused by repetitive facial expressions.
  5. Antioxidant Peptides: This help protect the skin from oxidative stress and damage caused by free radicals, supporting overall skin health.


Stability and Formulation Challenges: Peptides can be sensitive to environmental factors such as light, heat, and pH. This sensitivity can lead to their degradation over time, affecting their effectiveness in skin care products and other applications.

Limited Penetration: Peptides are relatively large molecules, so their ability to penetrate the skin’s barrier is limited.

Specificity: Many peptides have specific functions and target particular biological pathways. While this specificity can be advantageous, it can also limit their versatility in addressing multiple skin concerns.

Short Half-Life: Peptides often have short half-lives in the body, requiring frequent application or administration to maintain their effects; this can be a challenge for sustained benefits over time.

Potential Allergic Reactions: Some individuals may experience skin sensitivity, irritation, redness, or allergic reactions when using products containing peptides.

Peptides used in skincare can be either synthetic or naturally derived. Synthetic peptides are created in a laboratory, offering more control over their properties and effects. Natural peptides are derived from natural sources like plants or animals. Both types have benefits, but natural peptides might offer a more holistic approach for those seeking naturally derived skincare options.

Organic aloe vera in our Transcendent the Lotion Phaedra Botanicals

Effective Natural Alternatives to Peptides in Skincare:

  1. Vitamin C: An antioxidant that brightens the skin, promotes collagen synthesis, and protects against UV damage.
  2. Hyaluronic Acid: A naturally occurring molecule that attracts and retains moisture, providing hydration and plumping effects.
  3. Niacin: Helps improve skin elasticity, reduces inflammation, and can minimize the appearance of pores and fine lines.*
  4. Bakuchiol: Supports collagen production, enhances skin texture, and reduces the appearance of wrinkles and hyperpigmentation.
  5. Plant-Derived Oils: Oils like argan, jojoba, and rosehip can provide hydration, nourishment, and antioxidants to the skin.
  6. Peptide-Rich Foods: Incorporating collagen-rich foods like bone broth and fish into your diet can help support skin health from within.
  7. Botanical Extracts: Ingredients like aloe vera, green tea extract, and chamomile can provide soothing and anti-inflammatory effects.
  8. Antioxidant-Rich Ingredients: Natural antioxidants like vitamin E and coenzyme Q10 can protect the skin from oxidative stress.

How to secure the delivery of these in your everyday routine?


Start your morning routine by cleansing your skin with gentle cleansing oil or gels. These products remove dirt and impurities without compromising your skin’s natural barrier. Our balanced formulation incorporates botanical extracts and antioxidant-rich plant-derived oils, leaving your skin radiant and dewy. If you’re unsure which cleanser suits you best, check out our guide on finding the perfect cleanser.

Next, give your skin a refreshing mist with one of our Skin Tonics. These tonics infuse your skin with beneficial polyphenols, preparing it for the upcoming treatment steps.

After toning, apply Sapphō’s Brightening Serum to enhance your skin’s radiance. This serum boasts a dose of vitamin C to illuminate your complexion. Follow up with Hana Defies Time Phytotherapy Serum (HDTP Serum) for an effective anti-aging solution. This serum features a blend of 21 carefully selected bio-actives strategically combined to combat signs of aging without irritating.

Our serum formulations contain a complex Provitamin A blend, a Vitamin C blend, and a range of anti-aging botanicals that yield remarkable results without triggering adverse reactions.

Beyond their potent skin-nourishing qualities, our HDTP serum has undergone laboratory testing to confirm its non-toxicity. Harmful compounds like Arsenic (As), Cadmium (Cd), Copper (Cu), Lead (Pb), Mercury (Hg), and Iron (Fe) have been rigorously screened.

These two serums cover all the alternatives mentioned above and are designed to deliver visible and impressive results. Your skin will thank you for this revitalizing morning regimen.

As the night settles in, begin your nighttime routine by cleansing your skin as meticulously as you did in the morning. However, this time, your follow-up steps will be slightly different. After cleansing, apply the Hana Defies Time Phytotherapy Serum, allowing its rejuvenating effects to work their magic while you sleep.

For an added layer of care, consider the Ex Prūnīs Antioxidant Treatment Oil or Eratō’s Multipurpose Essence (ideal for dehydrated skin). These products offer a potent dose of antioxidants to your skin, delivering a powerful punch of nourishment. Your skin will appreciate this extra attention, ensuring it’s well-prepared for the night ahead.

The Ex Prūnīs Antioxidant Treatment Oil and Eratō’s Multipurpose Essence proudly feature our certified organic Ente plum oil sourced from Agen, France. This exquisite oil is renowned for its exceptional antioxidant richness and undergoes rigorous screening for 21 external contaminants. You can find a detailed list of these screened elements on the respective product pages under the “DIFFERENCE” section.

Learn more about our blends.

Experience the exceptional freshness and uniqueness of Sapphō’s Brightening Serum & Hana Defies Time Phytotherapy Serum through our exclusive Fresh Series. Each batch is meticulously crafted bi-monthly, exclusively for those who purchase it, ensuring unparalleled quality and potency.

Learn more about our exclusive Fresh Series.

Close up of Sapphō's Brightening Serum placed on freshly cut aloe vera

This light gel serum with 17 bio-actives is rich in vitamin C and carries AHA fruit acids and soothing organic aloe vera, green tea, cucumber, and ginkgo biloba.

Hana Defies Time Phytotherapy Serum by Phaedra Botanicals

Our HDTP Serum contains Bakuchiol among with our antiaging, Vitamin C and natural Vitamin A complex.