The copper peptide GHK-Cu is a naturally occuring copper complex of a glycyl-L-histidyl-L-lysine peptide. Since it has three amino acids it is called tripeptide. The GHK-Cu tripeptide has strong affinity for copper (II) and was first isolated from human plasma. It can be found also in saliva and urine.
Copper peptide GHK-Cu is widely used in anti-aging cosmetics (INCI name: Copper tripeptide-1). Several controlled facial studies confirmed anti-aging, firming and anti-wrinkle activity of copper peptide GHK-Cu.
Abdulghani et al. established that facial cream containing GHK-Cu increased collagen in photoaged skin of 20 female volunteers, performing better than vitamin C and retinoic acid.
Leyden et al. conducted 12 weeks facial study of GHK-Cu containing face and eye cream, reporting significant improvement of skin laxity, clarity and appearance, reduced fine lines and the depths of wrinkles and increased skin density and thickness comparing to placebo. GHK-Cu eye cream performed better than vitamin K cream.
Finkley et al. conducted 12 week facial study on 67 women and reported that GHK-Cu cream applied twice daily improved aged skin appearance, increased thickness, reduced wrinkles and strongly stimulated dermal keratinocyte proliferation as determined by histological analysis of biopsies. The same study found copper peptide GHK-Cu to be non-toxic and non-irritating.
Copper peptide GHK-Cu and its analogues were found to strongly stimulate hair growth. The efficiency of synthetic analog of GHK-Cu was similar to that of 5% minoxidil. A commercial product GraftCyte was clinically proven to improve hair transplantation outcome. Another hair product that contains copper-peptide GHK-Cu is Tricomin.
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