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Copper Peptides Proven Effective



by Dr. Loren Pickart
BA, Chemistry and Mathematics, University of Minnesota
PhD, Biochemistry, University of California, San Francisco

Discoverer of GHK-Cu and many of the effects of copper peptides

What type of copper peptides are proven safe and effective?

Only two types of copper peptides have been proven safe and effective for improving skin beauty and appearance during clinical testing in humans:

1. Gly-His-Lys:Copper 2+ (GHK-Cu)

2. Copper 2+ chelated to peptides from hydrolyzed soy proteins (used for many years in intravenous feeding of patients in hospitals)

 

TYPE 1 Copper Peptides

Gly-His-Lys:Copper 2+ (GHK-Cu)

Scientifically-proven and safe, GHK-Cu copper peptides are all backed by studies by experienced, respected researchers. Below are just a few examples.

Effects of topical creams containing vitamin C, a copper-binding peptide cream and melatonin compared with tretinoin on the ultrastructure of normal skin - A pilot clinical, histologic, and ultrastructural study.

Abdulghani A.A.; Sherr A.; Shirin S.; Solodkina G.; Tapia E.M.; Wolf.GottliebA.B.; Dermatology, UMDNJ, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School; Disease Management and Clinical Outcomes, 1998, 1:136-141 AA.Abdulghani et al., “Effects of topical creams containing vitamin C, a copper-binding peptide cream and melatonin compared with tretinoin on the ultrastructure of normal skin—a pilot clinical, histologic, and ultrastructural study", Disease Management and Clinical Outcomes, vol. 1, no. 4, pp. 136–141., 1998.

AA.Abdulghani et al., “Effects of topical creams containing vitamin C, a copper-binding peptide cream and melatonin compared with tretinoin on the ultrastructure of normal skin—a pilot clinical, histologic, and ultrastructural study", Disease Management and Clinical Outcomes, vol. 1, no. 4, pp. 136–141., 1998.

Huang PJ, Huang YC, Su MF, Yang TY, Huang JR, Jiang CP, In vitro observations on the influence of copper peptide aids for the LED photoirradiation of fibroblast collagen synthesis. Photomed Laser Surg. 2007 Jun;25(3):183-90.

Effects of topical creams containing vitamin C, a copper-binding peptide cream and melatonin compared with tretinoin on the ultrastructure of normal skin - A pilot clinical, histologic, and ultrastructural study. Abdulghani A.A.; Sherr A.; Shirin S.; Solodkina G.; Tapia E.M.; Wolf Gottlieb A.B.; Dermatology, UMDNJ, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School; Disease Management and Clinical Outcomes, 1998, 1:136-141.

A Clinical Evaluation of a Copper-Peptide Containing Liquid Foundation and Cream Concealer Designed for Improving Skin Condition. Appa Y, Barkovic S, Finkey M B, Neutrogena Corporation, Los Angeles, CA, Stephens, T, TJ Stephens & Associates, Inc, Dallas, TX Abstract P66, American Academy of Dermatology Meeting, February 2002

The Effect of Tripeptide to Copper Ratio in Two Copper Peptide Creams on Photoaged Facial Skin. Leyden J, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, Grove, G, KGL, Inc/Skin Study Center, Broomall, PA; Barkovic S, Appa Y, Neutrogena Corporation, Los Angeles, CA; Abstract P67, American Academy of Dermatology Meeting, February 2002

Skin Care Benefits of Copper Peptide Containing Eye Creams. Leyden J, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA; Stephens T, Thomas J Stephens & Associates, Inc, Dallas, TX; Finkey MB, Barkovic S, Neutrogena Corporation, Los Angeles, CA; Abstract P69, American Academy of Dermatology Meeting, February 2002.

 

 

TYPE 2 Copper Peptides
Copper 2+ chelated to peptides from hydrolyzed soy proteins that were used for very many years for intravenous feeding of patients in hospitals. Sometimes called "Second Generation Copper Peptides.

Our second generation copper peptides use peptides from soybean proteins that have been broken down and used for intravenous feeding of hospital patients for many decades. They are very safe.

Dermatologist Howard Maibach (+3,000 papers and +100 books on skin) published four papers on our second generation copper peptides (using BioHeal) on humans with various types of experimental human skin injuries and all the results were health positive in terms of a better looking skin.

Zhai, M. D., et al. "Stripped skin model to predict irritation potential of topical agents in vivo in humans. International journal of dermatology 37.5 (1998): 386-389.

Zhai, H., Y-H. Leow, and H. I. Maibach. "Human barrier recovery after acute acetone perturbation: an irritant dermatitis model.Clinical and experimental dermatology 23.1 (1998): 11-13.

Zhai, Hongbo, Nicholas Poblete, and Howard I. Maibach. "Sodium lauryl sulphate damaged skin in vivo in man: a water barrier repair model."Skin Research and Technology 4.1 (1998): 24-27.

Zhai, Hongbo, et al. "In vivo nickel allergic contact dermatitis: human model for topical therapeutics."Contact dermatitis 40.4 (1999): 205-208.

 

 


 

 

What about so-called copper peptides found in other products?
There are many such products and the copper peptides are often mixed with other "active" molecules. The key here is to ask are there published results in journals from honest, reputable researchers?

Marketing groups are very clever people who twist words and slogans around the affect your emotions and sell a variety of copper peptides. I am unaware of any published studies in scientific journals on such products from reputable researchers.

Some companies appear to sell copper chelated to amino acids. I have never found this mixture to promote skin improvement.


What if they have testimonials?
Keep in mind that most testimonials are fake. You can hire companies, often based outside of the USA, that send out testimonials praising your products and attacking your competitor's products. We do put testimonials that we receive into our website, but also publish many papers on the biochemistry of copper peptides.

 

Which levels of copper peptides actually work on the skin?
0.3% works but 1.0% is much better. This is dark blue with a touch of purple. Our strongest GHK-Cu is 3%.

 

Do very low levels of copper peptides work?
No. Some people claim that very low levels work. These are a very faint blue. Such people have a very poor understanding of the system. The very low levels are based on the effect of GHK-Cu on cultured cells without any skin covering. In such a cell culture system, GHK-Cu is active at 1 to 10 nanomolar, a very small amount. But application to the outer skin requires a much higher amount to have a positive effect.

The first copper peptides +2 (blue) that are put on normal skin are converted to copper +1, which is colorless and inactive. This is a reaction with the outer layer of skin proteins which the copper 2+ oxidizes proteins in this layer. This outermost layer of dry, dead, cells is continuously shed and called the stratum corneum and replaced about every four weeks. There are usually 15 to 30 layers of cells in the stratum corneum. The entire layer is replaced during a period of about 4 weeks. Cosmetic procedures, such as microdermabrasion, help remove some of the dry, upper layer and aim to keep the skin looking “fresh” and healthy. However, this reduces your skin's protective powers.

After the above step, copper 2 + peptides in small amounts enter the skin and improve the your skin look and health.

 

Strange Mathematics
We are asked about a product that apparently takes 1 milliliter of a 1% GHK-Cu water solution and adds this to 99 milliliters of water. This is said to create 100 milliliters of 1% GHK-Cu. Actually it creates 100 milliliters of 0.01% GHK-Cu, a very dilute solution.