Product Catalog / Copper Peptide (GHK)
Copper Peptide (GHK)

Copper Peptide Texture Detail
Copper Peptide (GHK)
Size: 2 Milliliters

Price: $10.50      In Stock
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Skin Type Combination     Dry Skin     Normal Skin     Oily Skin    
Body Part Body     Face    
Sex Male     Female    
Ingredient Type Biotech Peptide     Peptide    
Need/Issue Anti-Aging     Bacterial/Virus/Fungal Prevention     Increase Collagen Synthesis     Wounds/Healing    
Solubility Recipe Cream     Recipe Liquid (Water)    
Product Style Do It Yourself    
Age 20s/30s     40s/50s     60+    

In human serum, copper spontaneously binds to glycyl-histidyl-lysine (GHK), a tripeptide complex that has high affinity for the copper (II) ion. This complex has been shown to accelerate wound healing.

We sell most of our actives as pure powders, but copper peptide must be used at very low concentrations to have beneficial activity (too much may lead to protein breakdown). In order to achieve optimal concentrations in the final product, we have created this 0.1% solution to be added to creams and lotions. The solution is easy to handle but sufficiently concentrated to keep the texture of the cream unchanged.

The final color of the cream will have just a hint of blue from the copper.

These peptides should not be added to products containing Vitamin C in any form (MAP, Ascorbic Acid, etc.).

Copper ion (Cu++) has affinity for proteins, a property that is the basis for a traditional method to measure protein concentration. The N-terminal sequence of human albumin (Asp-Ala-His-Lys) is the site for the transport of copper ion in the bloodstream. Tight binding also occurs when histidine is in position 2, like in the naturally occurring copper (II) complex of Gly-His-Lys.

The peptide Gly-His-Lys, bound or unbound to copper, has been used in skin care as an anti-aging active. Because of the widespread use of these formulations, I thought it would be interesting to go back to the original papers (1988-1992) that started this practice and re-evaluate the evidence.

When added to a culture of human fibroblasts, Gly-His-Lys-copper induced a specific, concentration-dependent stimulation of collagen synthesis (Maquart et al. 1988). The concentrations studied were between picomolar and nanomolar (when moles are expressed in grams per volume, the numbers are given in parts per million). A later study (Wegrowski et al. 1992) showed a dose-dependent, biphasic stimulation of glycosaminoglycan synthesis (heparan sulfate and dermatan sulfate), in cultures of human skin fibroblasts. “Biphasic” means that the effect was stimulatory at very low concentrations, decreasing towards control levels at higher (but still pretty low) concentrations. The very low concentrations used were chosen because they were at order of magnitude similar to those measured in vivo.

It is interesting that the studies on cell cultures (1988, 1992) dealt with experiments on the effect of copper peptide at concentrations in the order of picomolar (-10M), finding that higher concentrations (still minute, like 10-8M) were not beneficial. Moreover, at higher concentrations, copper peptide seems to promote protein breakdown (Allen 2001). For unknown reasons, clinical studies used much higher concentrations, e.g. 0.4%. Not surprisingly, copper peptide at those high concentrations did not help with healing (Bishop et al. 1992).

Looking back at these studies, it is clear (at least to me) that copper peptide should not be used at high concentrations. In popular parlance, skin laxity and other bad results attributed to the use of copper peptide have been called “the uglies”.

To achieve the perfect concentration and protect the structure of the copper peptide, the active is shipped to you in a solution containing distilled water, glycerol, and preservatives. Please keep refrigerated until added to your cream.

Each tube (2 mL) is enough for about 4 fl oz of cream, serum, or gel. Use in your favorite cream or add to our Canvas Base Cream, European Cream, or our Sea Kelp Coral.

We can alter the concentration of the solution upon request for wholesale orders. Pure peptide is also available to wholesale customers, contact us for information.

These peptides should not be added to products containing Vitamin C in any form (MAP, Ascorbic Acid, etc.)

Maquart, Francois Xavier; Pickart, Loren; Laurent, Maryvonne; Gillery, Philippe; Monboisse, Jean Claude; Borel, Jacques Paul. (1988) Stimulation of collagen synthesis in fibroblast cultures by the tripeptide-copper complex glycyl-L-histidyl-L-lysine-copper(2+). FEBS Lett. 238:343-6.

Wegrowski, Y, Maquart, FX; Borel, JP (1992) Stimulation of sulfated glycosaminoglycan synthesis by the tripeptide-copper complex glycyl-L-histidyl—Lysine-Cu2+ Life Sciences, 51 : 1049-1056

Bishop, JB; Phillips, LG; Mustoe, TA; VanderZee, AJ; Wiersema, L; Roach, DE; Heggers, JP; Hill Jr, DP et al (1992). "A prospective randomized evaluator-blinded trial of two potential wound healing agents for the treatment of venous stasis ulcers". J Vasc Surg 16 (2): 251–257

Allen, G. (2001) Specific protein degradation by copper(II) ions. In: Probing of proteins by metal ions and their low molecular weight complexes. Book Series: Metal ions in Biological systems. Volume: 38, pp. 197-212

Distilled water, glycerin, copper tripeptide-1, diazolidinyl urea, methylparaben, propylparaben, propylene glycol

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Customer Reviews

  • Author: Christina
    I had put off trying this because it seemed like a big step for my skin. (43yrs) But I met a lady in her 60s who uses Copper peptide and I was inspired to try it since I thought she was in her 40s and she had outstanding, firm skin.

    The Copper peptide (with coQ10) added to my own cream made a huge difference in firmness within a few days. Not expecting fast results so I kept looking at my skin with a skeptical eye, but it continues to impress me. And super easy to apply and get on with my day.