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Are Copper Skincare Products Right For You? | Skin Actives

Are Copper Skincare Products Right For You? | Skin Actives

Posted by Dr. Hannah Sivak and Susan Katz on Sep 18th 2020

Copper is present in our water and air and we need copper for good health. We have very important enzymes that depend on copper for activity such as cytochrome oxidase, copper/zinc superoxide dismutase, tyrosinase and more. Copper is important to these enzymes because of its capacity to take and donate electrons. Tyrosinase, for example, is needed to make melanin, the skin and hair pigment. For people who are trying to lighten their skin, or reduce melasma, they will probably use products containing inhibitors of tyrosinase like some polyphenols, substrate analogues, free radical scavengers, and copper chelators.  

For adequate levels, we only need a small amount of copper for our body to be healthy.  Too much can be toxic.

What About Copper in Skincare Products?

You don’t need copper to be at toxic levels throughout your body to develop problems with your skin. These days, many skin care products include too much copper. The problem here is that excess copper in skin care products aggravates an existing problem: the presence of copper in polluted air and the presence of ROS* already cause skin aging (this is why you see so many antioxidants in Skin Actives anti aging products).  At high concentrations copper is known to produce oxidative damage to biological systems, including peroxidation of lipids and macromolecules that are vital to our skin health.

The same reason why some of our enzymes use copper is why this metal can cause damage: the oxidation potential of copper may be responsible for some of its toxicity. And yet, some “fashionable” skin care serums offer 1% copper peptides in them! 

At Skin Actives, our products contain actives that are scientifically proven to be safe and effective on your skin.  If you look at the ingredient list of any of our products, you will not see copper peptide included but you will see many antioxidants. 

Who Can Benefit From Copper Peptides In Skincare Products?

Products containing copper peptides can be used for uneven skin tone and discoloration. It can also reduce scarring and promote healing. But it is definitely not an ingredient that should be used for a long period of time.  

Skin Actives Copper Products


We offer Copper Peptides as a DIY ingredient to add to your favorite base cream for short term benefits. But be careful not to add too much or you just may damage your skin. Copper peptides are known to support collagen production, but there are other active ingredients that do a better job of that, like Apocynin.

Copper Tetrapeptide is a solution in which we add palmitoyl tetrapeptide to the standard copper peptide solution, resulting in less copper peptide in the tetrapeptide solution. We recommend using the solution at a little less than 2%.  Too much can still be dangerous to your skin so follow instructions on the website. 

If trying to mix your own is a little intimidating, try our Restoration Cream. It's perfect to use after aesthetic treatments or when you have damaged skin. With a blend of soothing lipids, collagen and hyaluronic acid and EGF, in addition to copper tetrapeptide, your skin will thank you.

It may seem like we are trying to talk you out of buying products that contain copper and that’s because we are.  We want your skin to be healthy and glowing and we know copper is not the answer.  We have many other great products for that. But if you do need them, we have a 10% off sale on copper products for a limited time.  Make sure you take advantage of all of the resources we have available on our website or contact us if you have any questions.