It seems as though every day there is a new skincare ingredient we 'should' be including in our skincare routines. While much of the newness is marketing noise, one of the new-kid-on-the-block actives that is receiving more attention than most is copper. Copper peptides to be more specific.
Many of the world's most popular and respected brands have already or are now introducing copper peptide serums that promise to do everything from protection against oxidisation, softening wrinkles and promoting collagen.
Copper peptides, as you would expect, are a type of peptide. They are naturally blue in appearance. Peptides in general are the building blocks of proteins which in turn make up the foundation of our skin. When the proteins of our skin lose peptides, our skin can lose its elasticity. This means our skin ends up crepey, saggy, wrinkles form more easily and the texture can change. So, for some copper peptides are a key part of an anti-ageing skincare routine.
What do copper peptides do?
If you've previously read or heard about copper peptides, you may have seen people calling it 'botox in a bottle'. Let's be clear. This is not the case, but the confusion comes from a place. Botox of course is one particular brand of a neurotoxin called botulinum types A to G. Botulinum toxins have the effect of paralysing muscles for a limited period, usually two to three months, when injected in a therapeutic quantity directly into the muscle. When you paralyse a muscle it stops the face moving and creasing, which prevents and lessen the appearance of lines that come through your expressions - like smile lines and frown lines. Botox can also help to lift parts of the face when injected strategically.
But of course copper peptides are applied topically, and can't feasibly work in the same way. But some of the positive benefits can be similar. When peptides are formulated correctly and delivered to the skin in stable and effective delivery system, they can repair the broken proteins of our skin - adding peptides back into the protein. The result here is that skin regains its elasticity and collagen production is boosted. And when skin is more elastic, it tightens, looks lifted and wrinkles appear less obvious and do not form as easily. These of course are many of the same effects of botox. It's important to note that, these are the effects and impacts seen through the usage of many types of peptides, and copper peptides are just one particular form.
One other particularly interesting aspect is that copper peptides have also been said to remove damaged connective tissue, which can help lessen the appearance of certain blemishes. This includes scars, sun spots, uneven tone and pigmentation.
Who should use copper peptides?
Copper peptides are a great product for anyone who is looking to reverse signs of ageing or anyone experiencing a loss of skin elasticity. But of course, there's only so much any one active can do for skin, so remember that any anti-ageing routine will need to include a blend of ingredients in order to be effective. It makes a good companion product to other actives such as hyaluronic acid and also antioxidants.
If you're unsure how to build a routine, the best thing to do is speak to a doctor, dermatologist or a trusted aesthetician.
Favourite copper peptide products