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Ingredient focus

Ingredient in focus: copper

Verity Douglas
Writer and expert3 years ago
View Verity Douglas's profile

Not just for lobbing in bottles until you've amassed a small fortune (it's true what they say about 'counting the pennies'), {copper} has long been acclaimed for its healing and health benefits. Chances are your parents wear those jazzy copper bangles (the ones that claim to ease their aching joints) but, though its pain-relieving properties are subject to debate, copper is acquiring a string of skin care accolades - especially in {'peptide'} form (don't worry, we'll explain).


A key component of 'healthy' blood (unfortunately, 'healthy' still goes hand-in-hand with 'youth' in medi-speak), GHK-Cu possesses powerful wound-healing properties, as well as having countless skin rejuvenating skillz. A copper tripeptide, the body's levels naturally deplete as we grow older (joy of joys!) and therefore, several skin care brands are harnessing its youth-preserving collagen-, elastin- and overall cell-stimulating brilliance with an entire swathe of blue-hued lotions and potions.

Copper bonded to a trio of amino acids, GHK-Cu is antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, collagen-boosting, elasticising and brilliant for healing {breakouts}, fading scars and {lessening discolouration} caused by spots or sun exposure (phewf!). Predominantly 'anti-ageing', it is also a great way to prolong your skin's general {wellbeing} - helping to ward against DNA damage that's caused by the everyday onslaught (it shields against toxins, {pollutants} and stress).

With consistent use, a 'test group' of women in their 50s found that GHK-Cu improved the thickness, firmness, strength and overall 'resilience' of their complexions, and, there are some biochemists who're certain that copper could soon play an integral role in 'resetting' our genes so our cells behave 'better' for longer.


So, want a piece of the action? Copper has been creeping into INCI lists for years, but recently it's started making headlines. {The Ordinary's} five star-rated incarnation of bestselling {'Buffet' + Copper Peptides 1%} comes served with a generous helping of copper peptides to help 'undo' the toll of our stress-addled, urban lifestyles.

You could even turn to {Alpha-H's} copper-rich {Vitamin B} {serum} - a soothing, free radical-fighting elixir that boosts skin's defences and charges cells' batteries so they manufacture the skin-essential 'scaffolding' that maintains 'bounce' and 'stretch'. And if serums are your ultimate fave, we recommend adding the {Copper Amino Isolate Serum 2:1} by {Niod} to your stash. Innovative and efficient, it works with your skin - adapting and caring for its ever-changing needs by penetrating the dermis to find cell imbalances and encouraging them to communicate better.

It's also the 'lead story' in {Omorovicza's} phenomenal {Copper Peel} - a two-phased {exfoliant-mask} that works wonders in moments; refining uneven skin texture and re-energising your sluggish skin cells while controlling and balancing sebum production to combat congestion and leave your face feeling serene.

{Oskia's} {Citylife Cleansing Concentrate} cleanses skin while battling the harmful effects of, well, city life. Using malachite - a copper-rich gemstone - to detoxify and ward against oxidative stress, the clever foaming formula leaves skin pH balanced, feeling fresh, free from pollutants and free from impurities. Ideal for stressed complexions in need of some major help!

Verity Douglas
Writer and expert
View Verity Douglas's profile
Cult Beauty’s Content Editor and a Cult Beauty OG, Verity loves nothing more than the marriage of language and lip balm. A quintessential Libran, she’s a self-professed magpie for luxury ‘must-haves' and always pursuing the new and the niche — from the boujee-est skin care to cutting-edge tech. Balancing an urge to stop the clock with her desire to embrace the ageing process (and set a positive example for her daughter), Verity's a retinol obsessive and will gladly share her thoughts about the time-defying gadgets, masks and treatments worth the splurge...