Copper is one of nine minerals that are recognized as essential nutrients for humans, as it plays a crucial role in different physiological normal processes in all human tissues as well as in the skin.
The body of a 70-kg healthy individual has approximately:
- 110 mg of copper,
- 50% of which is found in the bones and muscles,
- 15% in the skin,
- 15% in the bone marrow,
- 10% in the liver and
- 8% in the brain.
How Can Copper Benefit Your Skin Health?
Thousands of years ago the ancient Greeks and Egyptians understood the healing properties of the essential mineral. Copper has been used to effectively treat skin conditions and heal everything from infections to inflammation.
- The ancient Chinese culture (~3000 B.C. TO 1100 A.D.), who used copper (sulfate or sulfide) for topical treatment of skin and eye diseases
- The Mayan, Aztec, and Inca cultures (~600 B.C. TO 1500 A.D.), who used gauzes soaked in a copper sulfate solution to ‘‘disinfect’’ surgical wounds
- The ancient Roman culture (~600 B.C. TO 476 A.D.), who used various copper compounds for the treatment of eye and skin diseases, and generally wound treatment;
- In African countries, copper sulfate is widely used for healing sores and skin diseases.
Trace elements such as copper, zinc, iron, manganese, magnesium, and calcium are essential in very small concentrations for the survival of all life forms. Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu - from Latin: cuprum, and the atomic number of 29. It is a soft, malleable, and ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity.
Copper in combination with zinc plays a role in superoxide dismutase activity and the removal of oxygen free radicals. It is, therefore, a key component in the protective mechanism against free radical damage. It has anti-inflammatory activities and essential for the condition of the skin by repairing and maintaining connective tissue. Modulates melanin synthesis and stimulates the maturation of collagen.
Clinical studies show that the use of textile consumer and medical device products, embedded with microscopic copper oxide particles, improves the well-being of the skin.
These include studies showing
- Cure of athlete’s foot infections and improvement in skin elasticity, especially important for individuals suffering from diabetes;
- Reduction of facial fine line and wrinkles; and
- Enhancement of wound healing; by copper oxide embedded socks, pillowcases, and wound dressings, respectively.
With age, the skin undergoes changes, becoming wrinkled and rigid, losing its firmness, elasticity, tone, texture, thickness, flexibility and moisture content, during the aging process, there is a reduction of elastin and collagen production by dermal fibroblasts, along with the breakdown of the collagen and elastin fibers.
These events, accelerate by inflammation and oxidative stress in photoaged skin and are controlled chiefly via the mitogen-activated protein kinase.
In the skin, copper:
- Stimulates dermal fibroblasts proliferation (fibroblasts produce collagen).
- Upregulates collagen (types I, II, and V) and elastin fiber components production by fibroblasts.
- Stimulates Heat shock protein-47 - essential to collagen formation.
- Serves as a cofactor of Lysyl oxidase needed for efficient dermal extracellular matrix protein cross-linking.
- Stabilizes the skin dermal extracellular matrix once formed, as increased cross-linking of collagen and elastin matrices occurs in a copper dose-dependent manner.
- Serves as a cofactor of superoxide dismutase, an antioxidant enzyme present in the skin, important for protection against free radicals.
- Inhibits cellular oxidative effects such as membrane damage and lipid peroxidation.
- Serves as a cofactor of tyrosinase, a melanin biosynthesis essential enzyme responsible for skin pigmentation.
- Cu-GHK is a peptide found in human serum which strongly binds to copper, this increases protein synthesis of collagen and elastin. This peptide has been found to improve wound healing.
- Copper is essential to wound healing, as it promotes the formation of new blood vessels and skin dermal extracellular matrix formation and stabilization.
Cell Affinity Coactive Serum offers 9 sources of multitasking copper from Certified Organic: Nettle, Sea Buckthorn, Jojoba, Pomegranate, Sunflower, Turmeric, Rosemary, Hemp, and Acai Berry. These botanicals deliver bioavailable copper to your skin to aid in the production of collagen and elastin, protection against environmental damage and support the health of your skin.
Until next time..
Be human, be kind, be you.
/ REFERENCES /
Using Copper to Improve the Well-Being of the Skin Gadi Borkow
Ekiguchi A, Imada M, philips N, Samuel p, Siomyk H, parakandi H, Gopal S, Shahin H. Improved cell metabolism and strength-ening of the extracellular matrix by nicotinamide, and copper for anti-skin aging. Skin Aging New Research ebook Nova Science. 2013:43–58.