Now more than ever, people love having options and being able to customize their skincare routine to create a one-of-a-kind product made just for them. You see this from brands like Curology and Function of Beauty. Even Renee Rouleau’s line allows customers to build their routine with products designed for their specific skin type.
Because of this, boosters like the Peptide Booster from Paula’s Choice have been having a moment for the last few years. But are they worth it?
What is the Point of a “Booster?”
So you’re probably wondering what a skincare booster is, and if you actually need one. The first booster hit the market in 2015, and they have been growing in popularity since. They are ultra-concentrated formulas designed to help you come up with the right concoction for your skin, and are formulated to be mixed in with your current moisturizer, treatment product, or serum, with purposes ranging from acne-fighting to anti-aging to skin-brightening.
These skincare boosters are great for those who are skincare fanatics and want a customized, DIY type of routine. With the right combination, it is true that a skincare fanatic could transform any product into a one-of-a-kind multitasking potion that could never be found on the shelves of Sephora. And skincare boosters are innovative because they allow you to customize your skincare routine each and every time you use them. Because they mix into and “supercharge” the products you already love, you can tailor the strength of your treatment every time you use it, simply by adding more or fewer drops. But on the other hand, skincare boosters aren’t meant to give you the power or the potency cosmetic chemists have at their disposal. And you can end up paying big bucks for very little benefit.
The Peptide Booster from Paula’s Choice is a whopping $52 for 0.67oz of product. As mentioned above, it is intended to be mixed in with the existing products in your routine, but for that price, you are probably better off just getting a peptide serum or cream.
How Peptides Can Benefit Your Skin
Why would you want a peptide booster anyway? Well, research on peptides has demonstrated that they can firm skin and stimulate collagen production so you can see why companies would want to have a peptide product included in their lineup!
Peptides work in four different ways:
Signal peptides are designed to stimulate collagen synthesis, increase elastin, and help the skin look firmer and younger. Most peptides fall into this category — think copper peptides, Matrixyl, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4, Tripeptide-1, etc. You can find signal peptides in nearly all peptide-containing products including the Peptide Booster from Paula’s Choice.
Enzyme inhibitor peptides are designed to work, at least in part, like retinoids. Retinoids prevent the degradation of collagen in part by inhibiting enzymes called matrix metalloproteinases, which inhibit collagen. Peptides that are enzyme inhibitors include Trifluoroacetyl tripeptide-2.
Neurotransmitter peptides are designed to inhibit acetylcholine release, which reduces muscle contraction. Designed exclusively to treat expression lines, neurotransmitter peptides include Argireline, Palmitoyl tetrapeptide-28 and Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38.
Carrier peptides can be thought of as delivery molecules. They were designed to deliver trace elements for wound healing, but have since been used to transport molecules for anti-aging delivery.
But some dermatologists and aestheticians deny that peptides even work because they are too large to penetrate the skin, while others note that peptides have to be used in significantly high concentrations — sometimes as high as 4-8% — to have the same effects that have been shown in research studies.
Personal Use and Opinion
I think that peptides are a great addition to any skincare routine, and find that this product works as it says. It is virtually undetectable when mixed with my moisturizer and it doesn’t impact the formula at all. However, I have a hard time recommending it because of the price point.
If it were somewhere between $10-20, it might be worth it. Generally, skincare boosters are priced the same or higher than serums, and you’d be better off getting the concentrated skincare serums to begin with. So $52 for less than an ounce of product is not worth it in my opinion. Especially when you can get the Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream for $68 and 1.69 oz of product.
Peptides are a great addition to your skincare routine, and if you’re someone who wants to create a custom one-of-a-kind product tailored for you, then the Peptide Booster from Paula’s Choice may be a great option for you. It is easy to use and mixes in seamlessly with whatever product you choose without altering the formula or effectiveness. It also enables you to get the effects of eight different peptides without overloading your skin with formulation bases.
On the flip side… $52 is pretty expensive for what you’re getting and for such a small quantity that won’t last very long. In terms of value, I think that it is kind of a bust.