We’ve all witnessed new trends and skincare products gaining popularity in the beauty and skincare world. Copper peptides, also called nature’s botox, have been among the most raved about skincare ingredients among skincare enthusiasts.
Commonly seen in skincare products, from facial serums to toners to masks, skincare consumers and specialists swear by their effectiveness in helping fight various skin issues, including fine lines and wrinkles. If you haven’t already added this active ingredient into your skincare routine, here’s everything you need to know about it.
What Are Copper Peptides?
Peptides are strings of amino acids in the human body that aid in the production of elastin and collagen. You might already know that these two proteins are responsible for maintaining the skin’s elasticity and keeping the skin smooth and plump. But unfortunately, our skin loses these essential components as we age, resulting in the onset of signs of aging.
In addition, unhealthy lifestyle habits, like smoking and inadequate diet, unprotected sun exposure, and certain other factors can also reduce the level of collagen and elastin in the skin leading to fine lines and wrinkles. However, the good news is that some skincare products containing restoring ingredients, like peptides, can add them back to your skin.
Peptides are known as glycyl-L-histidyl-L-lysine or GHK in the world of science. These compounds quickly form a bond with copper enzymes. As we know that copper has a symbol of Cu on the periodic table, the combination of peptides and copper is called GHK-Cu.
Benefits of Copper Peptides
Copper peptides in topical skincare products penetrate the skin and perform their skincare wonders from below the epidermis, which is the outer layer of the skin. Here are different ways copper peptides can help your skin:
- Minimize Fine Lines and Wrinkles - Copper peptides are commonly used for their anti-aging effects. Formally called polypeptides, they significantly accelerate the synthesis of collagen and elastin proteins in the skin's connective tissue. This action helps reduce and prevent skin sagging, which can cause fine lines and wrinkles.
- Treat Hyperpigmentation - Another important function of copper peptides in skincare products is improving skin tone by repairing the skin. Copper peptides can remove damaged cells and replace them with new, healthier ones. This helps reduce the appearance of dark spots or hyperpigmentation, including age spots, acne scars, and other types of skin discoloration.¹ If you have an uneven or dull complexion, copper peptides can help you get closer to a brighter and more even skin tone.
- Protect the Skin - Copper peptides have an antioxidant effect on the skin, which can help soothe irritated skin and protect it from damage. Some common damaging factors for the skin are external factors, like UV rays, free radicals, bacteria, and other pollutants. These factors are the main reasons behind the appearance of many skin problems, including premature aging and inflammation. Copper peptides shield against these environmental aggressors by fortifying the skin’s outer barrier and neutralizing their damaging effects.
- Reduce Enlarged Pores - If you’re tired of uneven skin texture due to enlarged pores on the skin, adding copper peptides to your skincare routine can help.² The firming effect of copper peptides is effective in helping minimize the appearance of enlarged pores and toning the skin, in turn providing you an overall smooth and even-textured complexion. Using it consistently and regularly will help you see a visible reduction in pore size.
- Provide Anti-inflammatory Effect - If you have dry, sensitive, or inflamed skin and stress about your skincare products making your skin even worse, worry no more. Copper peptides are well-tolerated with most skin types and work to soothe irritated, dehydrated, and sensitive skin.
- Hydrate and Moisturize the Skin - Copper peptide skincare products can enhance the production of glycosaminoglycans, such as hyaluronic acid, in the skin. Since these compounds help restore and retain moisture in the skin, products with copper peptides also provide intense hydrating and moisturizing effects. This action also helps to encourage the production of collagen and preserve the skin’s elasticity. Also, amply hydrated and moisturized skin leads to a healthier lipid barrier, preventing moisture loss and inhibiting external agents from entering the skin.
How to Use Copper Peptides
It’s recommended to use copper peptide serums, masks, lotions, and creams to gain optimal benefits. Any product that you wash off, like cleansers, may not yield lasting and visible results. Copper peptide serums and masks are very common in the skincare market.
Serums usually contain a high concentration, potent enough to produce fast and prominent results. You can apply a few drops of a serum containing copper peptides to your skin after using a cleanser and follow with your regular moisturizer and sunscreen afterward. If you choose to use a face or under-eye mask, the mask will help penetrate the copper peptides into the skin yielding optimal results.
Sundree’s Bio-cellulose Eye Masks contain copper peptides, white tea extract, cucumber, and CBD to help firm, brighten and hydrate the delicate eye area. Dr. Jessie Cheung, a board-certified dermatologist, says, “thanks to a unique blend of copper peptides, CBD, and white tea extract, they instantly refresh tired, puffy eyes as well as decrease inflammation.”³ We love using these under-eye masks for a quick me-up. Then, apply the masks, sit back and relax for 15 minutes for brighter, well-rested eyes.
How Often Should You Use It?
You can incorporate your copper peptide skincare products into your day or night skincare routine. Better yet, you can use it in both to reap their protective benefits during the day while letting them repair and renew your skin as you sleep during the night.
If you use a serum or cream with copper peptides, apply it just like your normal serum and moisturizer. Apply the product using gentle, upward motions and let it absorb completely before applying any other product.
How to Find the Best Products with Copper Peptides?
It’s essential to look for skincare products containing an active form of copper peptides in a concentration potent enough to produce a significant effect. Therefore, reading the label carefully is highly recommended before buying your copper peptides skincare products.
Sometimes, the labels indicate the presence of copper peptides, but the compound may not be labeled at the top of the ingredient list. Generally, the ingredients present in a higher percentage in the formula are listed first, and the ones with lower amounts come at the end of the list. This means that the ingredient of your interest should be listed closer to the top of the ingredient list.
Hence, opt for a product with copper peptides placed on top of the list, or you may not achieve your desired outcome. Also, ensure it's labeled GHK-Cu, copper amino, copper tripeptide, or copper gluconate.
Can You Use it With Other Ingredients?
It’s important to know if an ingredient works effectively when combined with other skincare ingredients because, if not, it may do more harm than help you with your skin concerns.
Using copper peptides with amino acids and hyaluronic acid is considered safe. However, certain active ingredients, such as AHAs, retinol, and vitamin C may not work well with copper peptides.
Are There Any Side Effects of Copper Peptides?
As mentioned before, copper peptides are generally known to be safe due to their gentle nature and anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, you shouldn’t worry about any significant side effects while adding it to your skincare routine. Nonetheless, one can be allergic to any skincare ingredient, so we recommend a patch test before applying your new copper peptide serum or moisturizer to your face in case of any side effects.
Apply a tiny amount of product to your arm and wait for 24 hours. Don't use the product if you notice burning, redness, or itching. Also, avoid using copper peptides if your skin is damaged, peeling, injured, or broken to prevent further aggravating it.
So many people in the beauty industry seem to be raving about the incredible skin benefits of copper peptides, especially its skin regenerating and repairing abilities. People are particularly fascinated by this compound for its firming, soothing, brightening, moisturizing, and anti-inflammatory benefits, which keep the skin looking and feeling youthful, radiant, and healthy.
So if you’re looking to get that healthy, happy skin and are up to trying something new in your routine, give this anti-aging ingredient a try. We have a feeling you won’t be disappointed!
- De Pietro, MaryAnn, CRT. (2019). ‘What You Should Know About Hyperpigmentation’, Accessed September 7, 2020. Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/hyperpigmentation
- Gallagher, Casey, MD. (2021). ‘Is It Possible to Shrink Large Pores?’, Accessed September 7, 2021. Available at: https://www.verywellhealth.com/can-i-close-my-large-pores-15486
- Rostamian, Michelle. (2021). ‘Look For This Skin-Care Ingredient If You’re Considering Botox’, Coveteur. Accessed September 12, 2021. Available at: https://coveteur.com/copper-peptides-skin-care