Here’s How Copper Peptides Work To Transform Your Skin + 8 Copper Products You’ll Love
There’s a reason the internet is buzzing about copper peptides these days. Here’s what to know.
What Are Copper Peptides?
Peptides are fragments of proteins that exist naturally in the skin – and in many of our favorite product formulations. “All proteins are made of amino acids,” says Purvisha Patel, M.D., dermatologist at Advanced Dermatology and Skin Cancer Associates in Memphis and founder of Visha Skincare. “Peptides are just strings of amino acids aimed at providing the building blocks that the skin needs.” Copper peptides combine copper with these amino acids.
Collagen is made of peptides, so adding peptides to your skincare routine is believed to help stimulate your own natural collagen. “Copper peptides are thought to work by boosting collagen production, thereby improving the texture of the skin,” explains Marisa Garshik, M.D., a dermatologist at Medical Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery in New York City. Peptides can penetrate into the outer layer of your skin (whereas some molecules can’t), so they can deliver the signal to your cells to create more collagen.
What Can Copper Peptides Do For You?
Experts want to see more research to fully understand the efficacy of copper peptides, but so far, studies have shown that they have the potential to improve your skin in major ways.
For starters, copper peptides are known for their antioxidant capabilities, which can help protect from free radicals and slow signs of aging. “[Copper peptides are] thought to have antioxidant benefits, as they work to brighten the skin,” says Garshik. “It can also be used to promote wound healing and has also been shown to help with acne scarring.” This is thanks to copper peptides’ ability to replace damaged tissues with new, healthier tissue in the skin, which can also help make your skin tone more even.
Can Copper Damage Your Skin?
Have you ever heard of something called the “copper uglies,” a rumored skin drooping side effect that supposedly happens to some copper peptide users? Take a deep breath: despite their catchy name, the copper uglies are not a thing. “They are not remotely strong enough to do any damage to the skin, never mind make the skin worse,” says Patel.
In fact, copper peptides should create the opposite of drooping. “In general, by promoting collagen production, copper peptides should help to firm and tighten the skin, rather than make it appear droopier,” Garshik says. Copper peptides may even have more perks we aren’t even aware of yet. “Many of the studies are small studies, so further research is needed to fully understand all the potential benefits of copper peptides.”
Needless to say, copper peptides have earned their current cult status for all skin types. Below, a few of the best products to try.
Our Favorite Copper Peptide Skin Care Products
1.”Buffet” + Copper Peptides 1%, $28,90
This cruelty-free copper peptide serum combines The Ordinary’s original buzzy “Buffet” peptide product with a boost of copper peptides. The Oridnary Buffet formula includes a specially chosen blend of peptides, including tripeptide-1, intended to reduce signs of aging and wrinkles while improving firmness, which is fantastic enough on its own. The addition of copper peptides is just that much more of a boost.
2. Neova Creme De La Copper, $119
Neova’s moisturizer hydrates your skin with, as the name suggests, a fabulous blend of copper peptides alongside botanical extracts. Additional skincare ingredients include Jojoba oil, green tea, and grapeseed extracts to provide additional boosts of firmness, hydration and free radical protection.
3. iS Clinical Copper Firming Mist, $35
Spray this soothing firming mist to ward off free radicals, boost the production of collagen, and regulate your skin’s pH. The result is a more vibrant, even, and firm complexion with fewer fine lines.
4. Perricone MD Cold Plasma Plus+, $149
This exceptional serum utilizes copper tripeptide to help firm and smooth your skin while protecting against environmental agitators. The serum also includes retinol (a derivative of Vitamin A) to firm skin, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin C ester – a potent form of the antioxidant, to brighten and smooth. Omegas 3, 6, and 9 improve your skins’ moisture barrier while amping up the glow factor.
5. Osmotics Blue Copper 5 Firming Elasticity Repair, $85
Osmotics’ best-selling serum includes 5 chain pentapeptides to improve elasticity, soothe redness, and reduce the appearance of fine lines. It also helps even out your skin tone and creates a smoother look.
6. Kiehl’s Powerful Wrinkle Reducing Eye Cream, $45
This eye cream combines copper PCA with calcium PCA and caffeine to create a force to be reckoned with. The results are increased firmness and brightness around the eyes and a more even texture.
7. bioClarity SunFilter SPF 30 Mineral Face Sunscreen + 12 Hour Moisture, $35
Who says sunscreen can’t have extra perks? In addition to protecting your skin from the summer rays, bioClarity’s sunscreen lotion taps into a blend of copper, antioxidants, and chlorophyll to boost your skin’s elasticity while reducing signs of sun damage. Also beneficial for sensitive skin, green tea, vitamin C, vitamin E, and other powerful anti-inflammatory ingredients add an extra component of anti-aging and moisturizing capability.
8. Derma E Firming Eye Lift Cream, $14
This vegan eye cream puts a copper peptide complex front and center to lift, tighten, and build firmness around the eye area. Kakadu plum and plant stem cells are also included to help brighten, smooth texture, and help prevent wrinkles.