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Copper Peptides: Everything You Need to Know

Is Copper Peptide the New Retinol? We Investigate

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We've all heard the of the hydrating benefits of hyaluronic acids, the brightening benefits of vitamin C, and the wrinkle-fighting properties of retinols, but according to some experts, copper peptides could do all of the above and much more.

I know it may feel like there's a new ingredient or optimum skin care routine every week, but there are some brands which always tend to lead innovations and NIOD, aka Non-Invasive Options in Dermal Science, happens to be one of them. The brand name may not be instantly recognisable to you, however it is the original game-changing skincare brand from pioneers DECIEM, who also happen to be the owners of The Ordinary. The first brand to focus on ingredients rather than skin concerns, allowing you to control the ingredients you needed for your exact skin, at a low cost.

NIOD, however has a slightly different agenda and is focused on using breakthrough technologies and innovative delivery systems, to ensure you always get the most out of each product. It prides itself on trying to outperform traditional skincare solutions and is constantly challenging the industry to keep pace. It also doesn't tend to sit on a winning formula, instead it looks to improve the research and develop the ingredient further. This has been the case for copper peptides, which it has been using (and winning awards for) in its serum for years. So why has it continued to research and develop this particular ingredient if it already offers it? I was intrigued as it's quite unusual for beauty brands to not look for the next big ingredient but reformulate current products. However, there's been an uptick of 70 percent in searches for peptides in skincare over the last three months, according to Google Trends, so maybe these powerful amino acids aren't just a beauty buzzword and we shouldn't be sitting on copper peptides either?

Coined as the ultimate in skin health, and known as botox in a bottle by skin experts, I decided to look into exactly what are copper peptides and and what makes them so interesting in terms of skincare. Read on to find out.

What Are Copper Peptides?

Peptides are the building blocks of essential proteins within our skin and maintain a healthy complexion, known as amino acids. When combined with copper ions, a naturally occurring complex (found in saliva and urine) it has been found to help promote the fat and function of cells. The regenerating properties have made copper peptides popular in terms of skincare as they promote cell renewal. Although currently going through a bit of a renaissance, copper peptides were first identified for their skin regeneration properties in the 1970s. Since then copper peptides have evolved and can be found in a variety of advanced skincare formulations.

How Do Copper Peptides Work?

Copper peptides work by penetrating the top layer of skin, they then rebalance the cells and help them to communicate better. This decreases as skin ages, so the idea is that the copper peptides in skincare replenish the lost resources and therefore reverse the signs of aging. The new formulas by NIOD features a high (1% of each) concentration of these peptides compared to the original formulation, or other copper peptide skincare on the market. Because of properties of the copper peptide is allows for a targeted treatment depending on your skin's needs and results will differ from person to person, depending on specific concerns. Just some of the visible benefits, found in clinical studies, have been improved textural damage, even skin tone, minimised pores and a boost in youthful radiance.

How to Incorporate Copper Peptides Into Your Skincare Routine

Skincare which contains copper peptides can be used either in the morning or evening after cleansing, however it should not be used at the same time as vitamin c or retinol, so should be added into your skincare regime accordingly. The reason these shouldn't be used at the same time is because it can undermine the effectiveness or cause the skin barrier to become too sensitive.

If you're looking to invest in the new NIOD Copper Amino Isolate Serum 3 1:1 (£42), it contains copper tripeptide GHK-Cu and pure undiluted tripetide-1, which are both skin-supporting peptides found naturally in human plasma. It is a lightweight, water-like texture which can be quickly absorbed into the skin and used either day or night after cleansing.

If you're concerned that an intense formula like NIOD will irritate skin, you could consider Nip + Fab Peptide Fix Finishing Oil 2% (£29.95), a bi-phase formula which combines powerful peptides with key skin-perfecting actives. Designed to rejuvenate and revitalize your complexion, it harnesses the power of clinically proven synthetic peptides, hundreds of naturally-occurring oil-based peptides and copper peptides (which is what makes it blue!), which all work tirelessly to signal the skin to ramp up collagen production, the essential protein responsible for maintaining skin's elasticity and plumpness. Moreover, its light and non-greasy texture means it doesn't feel thick or uncomfortable on your skin, making it the perfect last step in any skincare routine.

What to Consider When Using Copper Peptides

If you are regularly using exfoliating products or skincare which contains AHAs it may be best to take a break when using copper peptides, as it can weaken the skin barrier and lead to redness, irritation, and sensitivity. Instead it may be best to alternate your skincare throughout the week and give your skin a few days to recover from exfoliating treatments before using a copper peptide skincare product.

Where Can You Buy Copper Peptides Skincare?

NIOD Copper Amino Isolate Serum 3 1:1 is available from NIOD and Cult Beauty, Nip + Fab Peptide Fix Finishing Oil 2% is available from Nip + Fab

Lauren Ezekiel is an associate editor at POPSUGAR UK, where she writes about all things beauty and wellness. With a degree in journalism and 12 years' experience as a beauty editor at a leading Sunday supplement, she is obsessed with skincare, hair and makeup, and is often found offering advice to innocent bystanders. Her work has been published in Grazia, OK, Health and Beauty, The Sun, ASDA, Dare and Metro.

Image Source: Getty / Iana Kunitsa
NIOD Copper Amino Isolate Serum 3 1:1
NIOD Copper Amino Isolate Serum 3 1:1
Buy Now
Nip + Fab Peptide Fix Finishing Oil 2%
Nip + Fab Peptide Fix Finishing Oil 2%
Buy Now
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