What is Copper Peptides and its Benefit on the Hair and Skin?
Clinically termed as GHK-Cu or “glycyl-L histidyl-L-lysine”, copper peptides are an amino acid that has a tripep-tide which a has close affinity to copper ions and is naturally occurring in the human plasma, saliva and urine. At the age of 20, the normal level of copper peptides in the body is about 200 µg/ml and will significantly drop to 80 µg/ml by the age of 60.
Its Discovery and How is it good for us?
When American biochemist Loren Pickart first isolated copper peptides(CP) in 1973 from human albumin (liver protein), he noticed that the liver cells of old patients when enriched with CP from liver cells of young people, their liver was functioning pretty efficient or much better than before.
Since then, CP was much more than that and was effective in promoting wound healing, attraction of immune cells, stimulation of collagen and promotion of blood vessel growth. Recent studies show that the cosmetic application of CP can have a positive effect on our genes providing a sort of reparative and anti-aging compound. From what I am understanding is that it depends on the level of CP(GHK-copper), as some products on the market may have too little of it to even have an impact.
Claims by Cosmetics
Cosmetic products that contain copper peptides had claimed several health benefits. Facial creams with it has made the skin firmer while preventing the onset of wrinkles. Some has even claimed that it is more effective than vitamin C and retinoic acid in terms of providing anti-aging and anti-wrinkle properties. It is said that it helps increase the production of natural collagen in the skin.
Instructions for Facial Creams/Disclaimer
For it to be effective, you need to apply facial creams with CP twice a day for 12 weeks. By then it is suggested that you will notice a skin improvement like elasticity and clarity appearance of the skin. Other claim is that there will be a reduction of fine lines. Other individuals will only apply it only 2 or 3 times a week and there have been instances where it can cause skin sagginess (lose skin) in individuals if overuse over a long period of time. Be sure if you are going to use it on a weekly basis to limit the uses and monitor yourself daily.
More Claims – Benefits the Hair Too?
Similarly, like Jojoba Oil, it supposedly can help provide vibrant hair. CP is also widely used in the treatment of hair loss and post hair transplant and maintenance. There has been the old saying that it helps hair growth because it improves the circulation of the blood around the scalp area. In fact it more less helps decrease the death of cells caused by free radicals as we age, thus merely only slowing down the rate of hair loss. Now does it help with hair growth or just simply slows down the rate of hair loss? That is up for debate!
Repair Scars? What it is Known For!
Study show that copper peptides has the ability to regenerate skin tissue in areas where the skin is badly scarred or damaged. It is used to treat mild skin burn, acne and diabetes related wounds. The same can be said about using Manuka honey but not to the same extent. While the characteristics of a typical damaged skin is composed of large clumps of collagen, CP will break down this clumps replacing it with smaller collagen which in turn promotion of new skin growth.
Side Effects and Good for my Eczema?
If you have read through this article you will have notice I used the word “claim” a lot. The reason being is that copper peptides is more recognized as a wound healer more than anything else.
Now to use CP everyday on a long term basis, will it show benefits on my skin?
This is somethings I cannot comment on or say anything definite as the research is mix on that. I did mention some people having saggy skin after many years of use, where as many others said it helped their skin tremendously. It seems to depend on the individual skin. For short term or occasionally use, it has shown to have benefits in treating wounds or scars. As a consumer it is best to discuss further with your dermatologist for further detail as he or she will have updated information.
Minimize use if you have Sensitive Skin or Eczema
If you have the following 4 – Eczema, sensitive skin, oily skin or heavy Acne “IN MY OPINION” – i would do my best to avoid it. Some of the side effects are redness, inflammation and rashes. Sure it will help reduce your scars caused by acne or Eczema but I’d be very cautious.
If you have any of those 4 skin condition and really want to try CP, then make sure to follow my skin test steps here but instead of doing it for a day or 2, do the test over several days just to be sure.
One final note – If you do my skin test above but do not suffer from any of the 4 skin condition that I mention, and your skin reacted badly from CP, then you could be in a very small population that may be allergic to it.
Be sure to always discuss with your health official or dermatologist for further detail or please email me with other concerns/questions.