Copper peptides and peptides in general.

Thank you for asking!  I picked up about 15 different products on our retail shelves at our clinic the other day, and guess what?  Over half of them had a peptide somewhere in the formulation in widely varying concentrations.  And there were at least 10 different peptides used.

On this particular peptide GHK-Cu, it’s clearly well researched but results in skincare have been disappointing over the past 5 years.  It’s a tripeptide that utilizes copper (Cu) but is best delivered in nano sized liposomes. Liposomes are microsopic fat globes with a filling inside.  Perhaps it’s difficult to keep these stable? If anyone reading knows of one they think is effective, please share here or on Instagram with us.

What are peptides?

There are 20 different amino acids that make up all proteins and peptides. Over 50 amino acids and it’s called a protein.  Under 50 and it’s called a peptide.  There are dozens of different peptides used in skincare products.  The main categories are carrier peptides, neurotransmitter inhibitor peptides, structural or keratin peptides, and enzyme inhibitor peptides.  These all have various jobs in skin.  It’s complicated!

It’s fine to try skincare products with peptides, they won’t hurt you. In addition, they rarely cause allergies. Besides that, there’s very little proven science in actual humans over time.  The research is done often in a petri dish.

The bottom line:

In my opinion, it makes sense to use them combined with other actives rather than as a stand alone product. Because then we will eventually have more science and know which ones truly do the most for skin.  I’m using them this way in our MadisonMD Skincare line (in the shop), until there is more consensus.

Hope this helps,

Dr. Brandith Irwin



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