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

Power up your skin with this ingredient

Beauty Crew Beauty Editor / October 19 2022

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, new-age moisturisers like injectable hyaluronic acid and profhilo, and even the viral skin cycling routine has caught our eye.

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.

The best copper peptide products to buy

We recommend:

The Ordinary Buffet + Copper Peptides 1% ($50.30 at Adore Beauty); Medik8 Copper PCA Peptides ($158 at Adore Beauty); and NIOD Copper Amino Isolate Serum 3 1:1 ($135 at Adore Beauty).

The Ordinary Buffet + Copper Peptides 1%

Medik8 Copper PCA Peptides

NIOD Copper Amino Isolate Serum 3 1:1

Cosmedix Opti Crystal-Liquid Crystal Eye Serum ($180 at Adore Beauty); BIOSSANCE Squalane + Copper Peptide Rapid Plumping Serum ($108 at Sephora); and SKIN PHYSICS Copper Peptides+ Advanced Age Defence Serum ($39.95 at SKIN PHYSICS).

Cosmedix Opti Crystal- Liquid Crystal Eye Serum

BIOSSANCE Squalane + Copper Peptide Rapid Plumping Serum

Skin Physics Copper Peptides+ Advanced Age Defence Serum

There's no better play mate for copper peptides than retinol. These are the best retinol serums for resurfacing a rejuvenated complexion.

Main image: @haileybieber

Iantha is BEAUTYcrew's Beauty Editor, and has been part of the team since the site launched in 2016. Besides pinky-nude nail polish and wispy false lashes, she has a healthy obsession with face masks and skin care ingredients. Her previous work can be found in Virgin Australia Voyeur, Women's Health, and SHOP Til You Drop.