tripeptide that has a strong affinity for copper, so it's often called copper peptide or GHK-Cu. It occurs naturally in our blood, urine, and saliva and it is used in our bodies as a wound healer, anti-oxidant, and anti-inflammatory that can stimulate collagen and glycosaminoglycans (or GAGs), which bind water in the skin, increasing hydration.
Glycosaminoglycans are required in our skin for normal collagen structure and function, but too much can lead to wrinkling in photo-damaged skin. Take a look at this adorable shar pei dog - click here and scroll down - for an example of what happens when we have too many glycosaminoglycans in our skin!
But we know that things are that are awesome in our skin don't necessarily do the same things when applied on our skin, so what's the deal with GHK? Studies have shown that application of 2% GHK on patients with diabetic ulcers can show increased wound healing of 60% to 98% and a reduction of infections (1984). Other studies have shown that application of GHK to aging skin can increase the synthesis of collagen in skin's fibroblasts (the structural frame work for animal tissues, critical in wound healing) better than Vitamin C or retinoic acid and can increase synthesis of decorin, a proteoglycan that binds water and regulates water movement in our skin as well as collagen synthesis and wound healing. It also stimulates the synthesis of metalloproteinases (enzymes that break down skin's proteins), which lead to the idea that it helps in skin restructuring and remodelling. In other words, this appears to be one heck of a peptide!
There are a lot of claims about this peptide, but I've only included the ones for which I've found good studies. There are claims that it can increase hair growth, but I haven't seen a lot of evidence for this.
You might find copper peptide listed as palmitoyl GHK or Cu-GHK or just copper peptide. It is listed in Matrixyl 3000 as palmitoyl oligopeptide and we find it there at 100 ppm.
It's suggested that we use copper peptide at about 0.1% in our products, but I'm not really sure in which phase we should use it. I've seen suggestions on how to add it to already made products, so I'm thinking the cool down phase might be a good place for it (click here for more information on when to include our ingredients). I've only seen this sold in one place and it was $10.50 for 2 ml, enough for 120 ml of lotion, so this is a very expensive inclusion as a cosmeceutical. We find this polypeptide in Matrixyl 3000 (more about this in two days), which might be a more economical ingredient for most of us.
Join me tomorrow for more fun with polypeptides!