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What Do Caffeine & Copper Have in Common?


A super skin boost! Caffeine & copper peptides that is, just what the esthetician ordered for revealing glowing spring skin.


Caffeine is a popular active ingredient in many skin care products these days, and it can provide some skin care benefits, but beware of any big promises you read about. Think “boost” not “build.” Like a cup of coffee gives you a temporary boost of energy, the caffeine in skincare products can do the same for the skin.


Caffeine is an antioxidant. Antioxidants help protect skin from damage caused by free radicals, which are molecules that break down collagen and contribute to the signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles. It is also a vasoconstrictor (constricts or tightens blood vessels), reducing blood flow to the skin, which temporarily makes the skin look brighter, smoother, and more even toned. Its ability to constrict blood vessels helps temporarily reduce discoloration in the skin and minimize the appearance of dark circles and under-eye puffiness.


When applied topically, caffeine has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce redness and irritation from sun exposure. Caffeine body scrubs are a popular choice for clients looking to reduce the appearance of cellulite and stretch marks because it stimulates enzymes and breaks down fats. This dehydrates fat cells for a short period of time which then lessens the “dimpling” appearance that is characteristic of cellulite.

So, think smoother, firmer, and even-tone and texture (temporarily!) when you think of caffeine.


Copper Peptides

Copper peptides are often found in skincare products that advertise “a natural alternative to botox” due to their ability to promote collagen and elastin production.

They are a tri-peptide complex consisting of amino acids and are found in serums, eye creams, face masks and lip balms. Copper peptides are most often listed on ingredient labels as either GHK-Cu, copper lysinate, copper prolinate, copper gluconate, copper amino or copper tripeptide.

There are numerous studies on copper peptides so their effects on the skin are highly evidence-based. These studies show they effectively stimulate collagen and elastin production as well as increase cell turnover. The difference between copper peptides and other peptides is that like caffeine, they are anti-inflammatory and wound healing. They work to increase antioxidant activity and protect the skin from free-radical damage while allowing for the regeneration of new, healthy tissue. Another benefit is they can help with blemish prone or problematic skin conditions by normalizing the bacterial concentration on the skin. They are a major skin boost, improving skin density and firmness, repairing sun damage, and helping to reduce the appearance of fine lines, pores, and lax (sagging) skin.


Note: Avoid using products together that contain copper peptides, Vitamin C, retinoids or chemical exfoliants as skin irritation may occur.