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As much as we're all told to love the skin we're in — and as much as we really, truly do! — that doesn't stop us from wanting a firmer, tighter, brighter complexion
. And while those results used to go hand in hand with a trip to the cosmetic dermatologist, nowadays you can stroll down the beauty aisle for an OTC solution
that, while not as instant as an injection
, can be just as good. The trick is to look for products jam-packed with peptides. "Peptides are proteins that strengthen one’s own key proteins — collagen and elastin," says Joanna Vargas, celebrity facialist and founder of Joanna Vargas Salon and Skincare Collection
. "We need these building blocks to help reinforce our collagen because collagen synthesis wanes with age." That's the short of it, so we dug a little deeper to really learn why this ingredient is such a star in skincare.