Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) represent a non-enzymatic post-translational protein modification. AGEs are very stable and the accumulation over time can be used as markers of carbonyl stress which are responsible for the malfunction of bioactive macromolecules in the body. Disclosed herein are a series of short peptides for blocking activity of advanced glycation end products (AGEs), the peptide being derived from a V-region of an sRAGE protein, wherein the V-region is given by SEQ ID NO:61. These peptides effectively inhibit the progress of a Maillard reaction, blocking the AGEs and inhibiting dicarbonyl induced cell apoptosis and death. The peptides can be used as, for example, an anti-glycation agent, a skin anti-aging agent, or an anti-diabetic complication agent.