No doubt you have seen topical skincare products which contain collagen—presumably to promote collagen production in your skin. Nice idea, but it doesn’t work that way. In fact, topically, collagen is not able to penetrate the skin due to its high molecular weight.[i] So the value of including collagen in a topical skin-care product is questionable at best. A better option is copper peptides.
Copper’s role in the skin
Copper is involved in numerous physiological and metabolic processes critical for the appropriate functioning of almost all tissues in the human body. In the skin, copper is involved in the synthesis and stabilization of extracellular matrix skin proteins, including collagen. In research, the use of tiny copper particles topically has been able to improve the well-being of the skin, including an improvement in the appearance of skin elasticity, as well as facial fine lines and wrinkles.
Peptides’ role in the skin
Various amino peptides are able to function as a complex with copper for the benefit of skin. In and of itself, amino peptides can have a positive impact on collagen synthesis and has been found to tighten loose skin and improve elasticity, skin density, and firmness, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, reduce photodamage, and hyperpigmentation.
Copper peptides’ role in the skin
Copper peptides are one of the most well-studies peptides. Not only have they been shown to have excellent penetration of the skin, but the peptide prevents the copper from oxidizing—an excellent benefit. In addition, but they have also been shown to plays a role in the extracellular matrix, acting as signal and carrier peptide, promoting the appearance of collagen, elastin, proteoglycan, and glycosaminoglycan synthesis, and even acting as an antioxidant. In cosmetic applications, copper peptides are used in anti-aging, anti-wrinkle, after-sun, skin renewal, and skin moisturize products. Research using copper peptides in-vitro (cell lines in a laboratory) showed that they stimulated cellular regulatory molecules and regenerates skin and other tissues. Likewise, stem cells treated with copper peptides regenerated and expressed more stem cell markers.
Another human study compared creams containing copper peptides, vitamin C, melatonin or tretinoin (a medication used to treat acne and sun-damaged skin) in 10 healthy subjects. Results showed a significant increase the appearance of procollagen in 7 of 10 volunteers treated with copper peptides, 5 of 10 treated with vitamin C, 5 of 10 treated with melatonin, and 4 of 10 volunteers treated with tretinoin.
If your want the look of collagen-rich skin, don’t use topical collagen products. Instead, use collagen peptides which will not only help you achieve that goal, but also help promote younger looking skin.