Copper Peptides Are Skincare’s Buzziest Ingredient—Here’s What You Need to Know

written by LAUREN HARANO

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copper peptides skin benefits"
copper peptides skin benefits
Graphics by: Aryana Johnson
Graphics by: Aryana Johnson

In the constantly evolving world of skincare, it seems there’s always a new ingredient making waves. One specific ingredient that’s been gaining attention for its skincare benefits is copper peptides. But what exactly are copper peptides, and why are they causing such a stir in the beauty industry? We tapped Dr. Geeta Yadav, board-certified dermatologist and founder of FACET Dermatology, to learn more about what they are, how they work, and what potential benefits they offer to the skin. Whether you’re new to skincare or a self-proclaimed beauty buff, here’s your guide to everything you need to know about copper peptides.

Dr. Geeta Yadav

Dr. Geeta Yadav is a board-certified dermatologist and the founder of FACET Dermatology in Toronto. She’s been featured in the New York Times, Allure, and more.

First, What Is a Copper Peptide?

Simply put, copper peptides are small protein fragments that contain copper ions bound to peptides. As Dr. Yadav explains it, “Copper peptides are molecules that combine peptides (short chains of amino acids) and copper ions. They’re actually found naturally within the skin and are important to your skin’s regenerative properties, but our reserves of copper peptides deplete with age.” (Because of course they do. Cue the eye roll.)

Source: @taraleydon

What Benefits Do Copper Peptides Have for the Skin?

Since copper peptides are not a very well-known skincare ingredient (yet), it just might surprise you how many benefits they have. First and foremost, they stimulate collagen production, which improves skin firmness and elasticity overall, ultimately reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. They also have antioxidant properties, which protect the skin from environmental damage and premature aging caused by free radicals. Not to mention, they aid in wound healing, promote a faster recovery, and reduce inflammation, making them effective for addressing scars, skin damage, and dark spots.

“Comprehensively, copper peptides can help protect skin damage while helping to treat existing damage for firmer, tauter, smoother, and more hydrated skin that’s less prone to irritation,” says Dr. Yadav.

Who Should Add Skincare Products with Copper Peptides Into Their Routine?

One of our favorite things about copper peptides is that, since they’re safe for all skin types, anyone can add them to their skincare routine. “Due to all its benefits, there’s something for everyone,” says Dr. Yadav. “Copper peptides can help boost hydration levels in dry skin, reduce inflammation in acne-prone skin, and help address signs of aging in mature skin.” Need we say more?

What Are the Best Skincare Products With Copper Peptides?

When it comes to skincare products containing copper peptides, there are a few that stand out as especially impressive.

Derma E
Stem Cell Eye Lifting Treatment with Copper Peptides

Treat your undereyes to something special with this Derma E favorite. Infused with stem cells derived from apples and Argan oil, along with copper peptides, this eye treatment works to visibly lift, firm, and soothe the skin around the eyes. Plus, a little goes a long way, so it lasts longer than you might think.

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Live Tinted
Rays Copper Peptide Eye Masks

Made with copper peptides, these eye masks work to hydrate, firm, and rejuvenate the skin. With their soothing and cooling properties, these masks provide an instant boost of hydration, leaving the under-eye area looking refreshed and way less puffy. Perfect as a quick pick-me-up before a special event, these masks will soon become your new go-to.

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The Ordinary
Multi-Peptide + Copper Peptides 1% Serum

“Though this product is more expensive than usual for this brand, the formula is absolutely packed with potent ingredients. It includes many forms of peptides (including copper peptides), a variety of amino acids (including Argireline, which functions similarly to Botox, albeit in a much more subdued way), and multiple forms of hyaluronic acid to promote plump, juicy, smooth, firm, and resilient skin.” – Dr. Yadav

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Advanced Snail Mucin Gel Cleanser

The fan-favorite brand COSRX has another product (besides its snail mucin essence) that’s worth investing in. This gel cleanser effectively removes impurities and makeup without stripping the skin of its natural moisture. Thanks to the addition of copper peptides, it also makes skin softer, smoother, and more plump. Ideal for all skin types, it helps to maintain the skin’s pH balance, too.

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Squalane + Hyaluronic Acid Copper Peptide Rapid Plumping Serum

“I like that in addition to copper peptides, this formula contains squalane, a plant-derived ingredient that functions similarly to our skin’s natural sebum, making it compatible with pretty much all skin types. It also contains hyaluronic acid and polyglutamic acid for extra hydrating and plumping benefits.” – Dr. Yadav

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