Peptides > GHK (GHK-Cu)(Topical)

GHK (GHK-Cu)(Topical)

GHK-Cu, the copper tripeptide, is one of the most extensively studied peptides and is a naturally occurring peptide in human plasma. Its levels significantly decrease with age. In cosmetic applications, GHK-Cu is utilized in various products, including anti-aging, anti-wrinkle, after-sun care, skin renewal, skin moisturizers, and hair growth stimulants.

In vitro research has demonstrated that carrier peptides like GHK-Cu can deliver copper to the skin, thereby activating enzymatic pathways involved in wound healing. The desired in vivo effect of GHK-Cu is to enhance the skin’s texture, thickness, and firmness by promoting increased collagen production. GHK-Cu has been proven to stimulate the production of collagen and decorin, thereby improving wound healing and tissue regeneration. Furthermore, it has been established that GHK-Cu enhances the condition of aging skin and hair while also exhibiting antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

This PRODUCT IS INTENDED AS A RESEARCH CHEMICAL ONLY. This designation allows the use of research chemicals strictly for in vitro testing and laboratory experimentation only. All product information available on this website is for educational purposes only. Bodily introduction of any kind into humans or animals is strictly forbidden by law. This product should only be handled by licensed, qualified professionals. This product is not a drug, food, or cosmetic and may not be misbranded, misused or mislabled as a drug, food or cosmetic.


1. GHK (GHK-Cu) Copper Peptide


2. GHK-Cu Human Trials


3. Cosmetic Use


4. Current Research

GHK (GHK-Cu) Copper Peptide (Twist Off Cap)

GHK-Cu, also known as Copper Peptide, is a naturally occurring tri-peptide in the human body. Its presence in plasma is approximately 200 ng/ml at the age of 20 but diminishes to 80 ng/ml by the age of 60. Numerous scientific studies conducted in research laboratories worldwide have demonstrated that this tri-peptide, GHK-Cu, exhibits a wide range of biological effects. These include promoting wound healing, attracting immune cells, providing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, stimulating the synthesis of collagen and glycosaminoglycans in skin fibroblasts, and facilitating the growth of blood vessels. Recent research has also highlighted its significant role in stem cell biology and its potential in anti-tumor defense mechanisms.

Given its importance in skin biology, GHK-Cu is widely utilized in cosmetics for its reparative and anti-aging properties. Notably, the levels of GHK naturally decrease as individuals age.

Reference: Pickart L. “The human tri-peptide GHK and tissue remodeling.” Journal of Biomaterials Science. Polymer Edition. 2008; 19(8):969-988. Peptide Sequence: Gly-His-Lys(Cu2+)

GHK-Cu Human Trials

A 2% GHK gel displayed highly promising results in the treatment of 120 diabetic patients. It notably increased the rate of ulcer closure from 60.8% to an impressive 98.5%, while concurrently reducing the rate of infection from 34% to a mere 7%.

Reference: Mulder DPM, Gerit D.; Patt PhD, Leonard M.; Sanders DPM, Lee; et al. (1994). “Enhanced healing of ulcers in patients with diabetes by topical treatment of glycyl-l-histidyl-l-lysine.” Wound Repair Regen 2(4): 259ÔÇô269. doi:10.1046/j.1524-475X.1994.20406.x.

Cosmetic Use

Copper peptide GHK-Cu, known by its INCI name as Copper tripeptide-1, is widely employed in anti-aging cosmetics. Several controlled facial studies have provided compelling evidence of its effectiveness in delivering anti-aging, firming, and anti-wrinkle benefits.

Abdulghani et al. conducted research demonstrating that a facial cream containing GHK-Cu increased collagen levels in the photoaged skin of 20 female participants. Importantly, it outperformed both vitamin C and retinoic acid in this regard.

Leyden et al. conducted a 12-week facial study involving GHK-Cu-containing face and eye creams. Their findings revealed significant improvements in skin laxity, clarity, and overall appearance, along with reductions in fine lines and wrinkles. Skin density and thickness also increased when compared to a placebo, and the GHK-Cu eye cream exhibited superior performance compared to a vitamin K cream.

Finkley et al. conducted a 12-week facial study involving 67 women. Their results indicated that GHK-Cu cream, applied twice daily, enhanced the appearance of aged skin, increased skin thickness, reduced wrinkles, and notably stimulated the proliferation of dermal keratinocytes, as confirmed by histological analysis of biopsies. Importantly, this study found GHK-Cu to be non-toxic and non-irritating.

These facial studies collectively demonstrate the remarkable potential of GHK-Cu in addressing various aspects of skin aging and rejuvenation, while also highlighting its safety profile.

Hair growth benefits

Copper peptide GHK-Cu and its analogues have demonstrated a strong ability to stimulate hair growth. In fact, the efficacy of a synthetic analogue of GHK-Cu was found to be comparable to that of 5% minoxidil, a widely used hair growth treatment.


  1. Abdulghani, AA, Sherr S, Shirin S, Solodkina G, Tapia EM, Gottlieb AB. “Effects of topical creams containing vitamin C, a copper-binding peptide cream and melatonin compared with tretinoin on the ultrastructure of normal skin – A pilot clinical, histologic, and ultrastructural study.” Disease Manag Clin Outcomes. 1998;1:136-141.

  2. Leyden J, Stephens T, Finkey MB, Appa Y, Barkovic S. “Skin Care Benefits of Copper Peptide Containing Facial Cream.” American Academy of Dermatology Meeting, February 2002, Abstract P68, P69.

  3. Finkley MB, Appa Y, Bhandarkar S. “Copper Peptide and Skin.” Cosmeceuticals and Active Cosmetics, 2nd Edition, P. Eisner and H.I. Maibach (Eds.) Marcel Dekker, New York. 2005:549-563.

Current Research

Fibroblasts’ Friend: Recent studies have unveiled intriguing insights into GHK-Cu, the copper-peptide. Pollard et al.’s research highlighted its ability to restore damaged human fibroblasts, particularly those affected by radiation treatment. This remarkable property accelerates the healing and regenerative processes.

Nerve Regeneration Booster: In 2005, Ahmed et al. made a significant discovery, showcasing GHK’s role in promoting nerve regeneration. By utilizing collagen tubes infused with peptides, they observed heightened nerve growth factor production, increased integrin expression, and accelerated myelinated nerve fiber regeneration.

Stem Cell Stimulation: A group of researchers from Seoul National University in 2009 demonstrated GHK-Cu’s prowess in stimulating keratinocyte proliferation and enhancing integrin and p63 protein expression in epidermal stem cells. The activation of p63, a key stem cell marker and anti-senescence protein, indicated GHK-Cu’s ability to reinvigorate epidermal stem cells, boosting their tissue repair capabilities.

Anti-Cancer Potential: In 2010, Hong Y. et al. from the Department of Colorectal Surgery at Singapore General Hospital shed light on GHK-Cu’s potential to reverse the expression of specific genes linked to the metastatic spread of colon cancer. Even at low concentrations, GHK-Cu exhibited its effectiveness.

Disclaimer: All articles and product information provided on this website serve informational and educational purposes exclusively. The products offered here are intended for in-vitro studies, conducted outside the body. They are not medications or drugs and have not received FDA approval for the prevention, treatment, or cure of any medical conditions. The introduction of these products into humans or animals is strictly prohibited by law.

Article Author

The above literature was researched, edited and organized by Dr. Logan, M.D. Dr. Logan holds a doctorate degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and a B.S. in molecular biology.


The product information featured on this website pertains exclusively to in-vitro studies. In-vitro studies, also known as ‘in glass’ studies, are conducted outside of living organisms. It’s important to emphasize that these products do not constitute medicines or drugs and have not received FDA approval for the prevention, treatment, or cure of any medical conditions, ailments, or diseases. It is crucial to note that the introduction of these products into the bodies of humans or animals is strictly prohibited by law.