The new anti-ageing ingredient missing from your skin care routine

Power up your skin with this ingredient

Our quest to achieve healthy-looking skin that boasts a smooth texture, a glowing appearance and firmness continues. Over the last couple of months, we’ve looked at at-home LED light therapy, serums that are filled with a plethora of skin-loving ingredients like Pro-Xylane and encapsulated retinol, and even dermal rollers that create tiny punctures in the skin to encourage collagen production.

As for our newest fixation? Copper peptides, which are rumoured to be the next hottest anti-ageing ingredient on the market.

Two skin care experts - Cassandra Hilton, founder and Creative Director for Ocinium, and Sylvie Hutchings, founder of SCOUT Cosmetics - share their expertise on what copper peptides are, and why you should introduce the ingredient into your skin care routine.

First of all, what are peptides?

Known as a leading anti-ageing ingredient, peptides are naturally found in our bodies. “Peptides are chains of amino acids, with a combination of glycine, proline and hydroxyproline that work in unison to produce collagen proteins,” says Hutchings. “Peptides are fantastic because they can be used at any stage of the day and do not have any indication of causing problems with skin. Peptides work by telling the body to produce more collagen, and because the body is producing it, it has longer- lasting effects onto the skin.”

What about copper peptides?

Hilton shares the following: “Copper peptides are a naturally-occuring tripeptide found in plasma, saliva and urine, but decline with age. The element copper combines with the amino acid glycine-histidine-lysine to form copper tripeptide.”

What are the benefits of using copper peptides?

Looking for a skin care ingredient that will offer anti-ageing properties? You’ve come to the right place. “Copper peptide activates a wide range of skin functions, including wound healing, anti-inflammatory response, antioxidant immune function, collagen synthesis and pro-collagen support. Its unique feature is the ability to stimulate the breakdown of unhealthy collagen that forms in scar tissue to then stimulate healthy collagen for wound healing. It is widely used in reparative skin care, anti-ageing and in improving hair growth,” says Hilton.

Are there any side effects when using copper peptides?

There aren’t that many side effects of copper peptides, however Hilton warns the following: “There is a possibility that excessive use of copper peptide can result in free radical damage and collagen breakdown, therefore accelerating collagen degradation and ageing.”

The solution? As with any other active ingredient, “start with use every other day until skin sensitivity is determined,” advises Hilton.

Are copper peptides usually featured on their own in skin care formulas?

“Copper peptides are often used in combination with tretinoin (retin-A) to reduce skin inflammation after cosmetic procedures such as chemical peels, laser and dermabrasion,” explains Hilton.

If you’re looking to try a product with copper peptides, check out our favourites:

Kiehl’s Powerful Wrinkle & Pore Reducing Cream: This moisturiser is filled with copper peptides and calcium that aim to improve the quality of skin including pore size and texture.
Alpha-H Vitamin B: Rich in copper tripeptides and chia seed, this product works to even out your skin tone, improve elasticity and strengthen the skin’s barrier to improve moisture retention.
Drunk Elephant Shaba Complex Eye Serum: Address fine lines around your peepers and increase firmness with this extra-nourishing eye cream that’s powered by rejuvenating copper peptide, firming black tea ferment and smoothing niacinamide.

Kiehl’s Powerful Wrinkle & Pore Reducing Cream

Alpha-H Vitamin B

Drunk Elephant Shaba Complex Eye Serum

We’re equally as obsessed with the anti-ageing benefits of encapsulated retinol. Here’s why you need to try this ingredient, too.

Have you used copper peptide-enriched products before? What’s your favourite? Let us know in the comments below.

Main image credit: @cindycrawford

Iantha is BEAUTYcrew's Beauty Editor, and has been part of the team since the site launched in 2016. Besides pinot noir, she has a healthy obsession with fake tan smell, wispy false lashes and CND Shellac in the shade Romantique. Her words and styling can also be found in previous issues of SHOP Til You Drop, Cosmopolitan and Women’s Health.