Tomasz Wyszołmirski/iStock/Getty Images
Beauty-conscious women and even men will do most anything to slow the natural aging process. Copper is an important ally in skin care, finding its way into numerous creams and lotions designed to hide the appearance of wrinkles and maintain youthful skin.
Proteins serve many important roles within the body, including repairing damaged tissue and constructing new tissue. Peptides are small fragments of proteins instrumental to healthy skin. Copper, a trace metal found in the body’s cells, attracts these peptides and binds with them, forming substances known as copper peptides. In essence, copper acts as a conveyance, carrying nourishing protein to damaged skin.
In the 1970s, Dr. Loren Pickart conducted research into regenerating tissue. Dr. Pickart discovered that copper peptides, such as the GHK copper peptide, proved effective in healing wounds, mending skin lesions and treating some gastrointestinal conditions. This research serves as the basis for using copper to treat skin wrinkles, which are nothing more than small, improperly healed aging wounds.
Copper peptides promote the production of collagen, elastin, proteoglycans and glycosaminoglycans, all vital substances in healthy skin. Collagen and elastin, in particular, give skin its strength and elasticity. Often used in scar treatment, copper peptides break down large collagen deposits and replace them with more normal-sized collagen to create smoother skin. Copper peptides also enhance the function of antioxidants, assisting in the removal of harmful free radicals that cause skin damage.
Copper peptides’ main benefit comes in skin regeneration, making it highly effective in healing wounds and skin lesions. Copper peptides also possess anti-inflammatory qualities, allowing it to treat a wide range of skin irritation. Because of their ability to form collagen and elastin, copper peptides help skin stay firm, soft and flexible, resulting in a more youthful appearance. The collagen production also helps fill in fine lines and wrinkles, while the elastin and glycosaminoglycan stimulation firms the skin and cuts down on the sagging that often leads to wrinkles.
Legitimate scientific research has yet to validate the abilities of copper peptides to reverse wrinkles and skin aging. While moderate copper peptide use does stimulate collagen creation, users should be aware that excessive copper peptide usage can have the opposite effect, causing an increase in free copper within the body and leading to collagen destruction and accelerated skin aging. When purchasing creams and lotions containing copper peptides, remember the FDA classifies such products as cosmetics, meaning they don’t fall under FDA regulations requiring extensive testing and safety evaluations.
- Tomasz Wyszołmirski/iStock/Getty Images