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Jennifer Aniston, 54, swears by peptide injections for youthful skin: What they are — and can skincare help?

Jennifer Aniston's revelation that she relies on peptide injections (and salmon sperm!) to maintain her enviable glow has been the talk of the beauty world this week. We asked an expert what they're all about, and if we can reap the same benefits without the needle.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 28: Jennifer Aniston attends the Los Angeles Premiere of Netflix's
Jennifer Aniston attends the Los Angeles Premiere of Netflix's "Murder Mystery 2" at Regency Village Theatre on March 28, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly three decades since the world went crazy for Jennifer Aniston’s Friends’ character namesake hairstyle, “The Rachel Haircut.” But, it’s true. The award-winning actress debuted the hairstyle on the April 1995 episode of Friends. While the cut has certainly had an update since the show aired, one thing has stayed true to form: Jennifer Aniston’s flawless age-resistant hair and skin.

In a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, the Morning Show actress and producer gave us a glimpse into her anti-aging efforts — including that fact that she will try anything once. She even admitted to getting a "salmon sperm" facial, which, as gross as it may sound, has been a skincare staple in Korea for years. (In case you're wondering, she said she “couldn’t tell if it worked.”) What she did say worked to keep her skin looking supple were weekly peptide injections. She even went so far as to say, “I do think that’s the future.”

With a statement like that, we went right to our skincare experts to get the full rundown on these injections, and how we can reap similar benefits from beauty products.

What are peptides?

Before we dive into peptide injections, let’s first discuss what peptides even are. Dr. Amy Traub, Board board-certified dermatologist and assistant professor at Northwestern University School of Medicine, tells Yahoo Life, “Peptides are molecules composed of short chains of amino acids (anywhere from 4-50) that are often smaller fragments of proteins. Different types of peptides serve a myriad of different roles within the body.”

I know that seems like a mouthful of doctor jargon, but peptides are much more common than you think. In fact, you likely know someone who gets peptide injections daily if they use insulin for diabetes; insulin is a polypeptide hormone. Over the past decade, advancements in peptide research have led to new treatments for a large number of medical conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer therapy. Bottom line: Peptides are not new by any stretch and are not expressly for skin care.

Peptide agents used for skincare are administered directly to the face to provide anti-aging benefits, accelerate and promote cell turnover and act as anti-inflammatory agents. Ultimately, weekly peptide injections to the face are designed to ward off fine lines and wrinkles and improve the skin's overall texture. Sounds great, right? Well, there’s a catch: “While peptide injections might be gaining in popularity amongst Hollywood, most peptide injections are not approved by the FDA,” says Dr. Taub.”

Finding a dermatologist who will administer peptide injections may prove to be quite the issue, “I don’t inject anything that is not FDA-approved,” insists Dr. Taub.

So, while Jennifer Aniston may be spot on about peptide injections being the future (potentially for a large number of conditions), the shots still need to be approved for mainstream anti-aging injections for the masses. Hopefully, that will happen in the near future, “The medical community has invested time and resources in exploring innovative ways to utilize peptides, and many promising advances are on the horizon,” explains Dr. Taub.”

That said, all hope is not lost for reaping some of the same benefits the peptide injections give the ageless star. Plenty of skincare serums and moisturizers are packed with peptides. “Peptides have been used in skincare creams and serums for years, explains Dr. Taub, “examples of peptides known for topical use include argeriline, tripeptide-1 and tetrapeptide-21.” Here are a few cult favorites packed with peptides, that don’t require a weekly trip to the dermatologist for an injection. And we aren't just talking about topical products, Jennifer Aniston recently announced her partnership with Vital Protiens, where she is getting her peptide and collagen fix through healthy, hydrating drinks and shakes as well!

Peptide-rich serums

When it comes to your daily skincare routine, peptide-rich serums will offer a collagen-regenerating boost.

Drunk Elephant's serum combines powerhouse dose of 10% lactic acid to exfoliate with skin-fortifying signal peptides, growth factors and amino acids to help improve the appearance of your skin's texture, tone, radiance and bounce.

$46 at Amazon
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$82 at Kohl's

This luxe peptide treatment from Colorescience promotes healthy collagen and elastin production, deep hydration and advanced antioxidant support and works on all skin types.

$179 at Amazon
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$179 at Colorescience$179 at Dermstore

Peptide-rich eye creams

If crow's feet and fine lines are on your radar, a peptide-rich eye cream may be exactly what you need.

This wrinkle-fighting, anti-aging eye cream works to help improve the look of crow’s feet, fine lines, deep wrinkles, darkness and puffiness. Gamma Proteins harness the power of Asian natto gum, a breakthrough ingredient that helps improve the look of elasticity, radiance, uneven skin tone and texture. Yes, please! 

$75 at Amazon
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Neutrogena' potent eye cream contains a vitamin and peptide blend to revitalize stressed, tired-looking eyes and help visibly reduce fine lines. An added bonus? It also targets dark circles while reducing puffiness, so it's perfect for tired eyes after a late night. 

$21 at Amazon
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$22 at Walmart

Peptide-rich face and neck moisturizer

A moisturizer rich in peptides should be a staple in everyone's daily skincare mix. And don't forget to show some love to your neck and décolleté.

This superstar from Olay harnesses the power of vitamin C, vitamin B3 and lactic acid to deliver visibly brighter hydrated skin in just 28 days. The lightweight cream goes on silky smooth, won't clog pores and leaves no greasy residue.

$30 at Amazon
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$30 at Target

This is a rich moisturizer, packed with peptides, collagen and hyaluronic acid, that’s clinically tested to instantly double hydration, boost elasticity and improve the look of fine lines and wrinkles, while also reinforcing your moisture barrier.

$40 at Amazon
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$52 at olehnriksen$52 at Kohl's

Get a peptide and collagen boost from within with Jennifer Aniston's favorite Vital Proteins

Collagen Peptides Advanced powder is packed with vitamin C and hyaluronic acid, as well as 20g of collagen to help support healthy hair, skin, nails, bones and joints.

$30 at Amazon
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$30 at Vital Proteins