‘I’ve Been a Dermatologist for 40 Years, and This Is the Skin-Firming Serum I Use Every Day’

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Not to state the obvious, but dermatologists know a thing or two about skin care. And considering they have access to the best ingredients (and injectables) that money can buy, when they recommend a product that they use every day, we take it as gospel.

Loretta Ciraldo, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Dr. Loretta Skincare has decades of research experience under her belt, in addition to regularly seeing patients. Her line is developed to protect against common environmental aggressors that speed up aging. For many people, one of the most common signs of aging is depleted collagen, which leads to the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. "We make less of these very important proteins, and our bodies also break them down faster," says Dr. Ciraldo, adding that dermatologists believe that by the age of 40, we have 1 percent less collagen in our skin each year.

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While adding topical collagen to your routine may seem like the obvious way to account for these changes, that isn't actually the case. "Topical collagen won't help, because it's a very large molecule that cannot penetrate into living layers of skin so this does not help to replenish skin's collagen, firmness or elasticity," says Dr. Ciraldo. Instead, you'll want to use collagen-stimulating peptides, which are able to get way down deep into your skin and kick collagen production into high gear.

"One group of peptides that truly help firm and increase elasticity in skin are 'signaling peptides,'" says Dr. Ciraldo. "Since they are very small molecules these peptides penetrate down into the living layers of skin where they signal the skin to start to make more collagen since they contain amino acids that are specific to the collagen molecule." She recommends tetrapeptide 21 and rice proteins—both of which are included in the formula of her anti-aging serum—because both of these ingredients contain amino acids, which act as the building blocks of collagen.

"The serum is a true multitasker with deeply penetrating Vitamin C to firm and smooth skin, lilac stem cells to balance skin oils and brighten, and marine extracts to boost skin's own collagen and hyaluronic production," says Dr. Ciraldo. "I love how the product feels on my skin and the nice texture it leaves after each application." She uses the stuff on her own skin every single day, and with her glowing recommendation, now we want to, too.

To learn more about why peptides deserve a place in your routine, check out the video below. 

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Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

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