what is ghk-cu
Aesthetics, Peptides

What is the GHK-Cu Peptide? Benefits and Applications

what is ghk-cu

What is GHK-Cu?

Everyone wants to look young, but few know about the compound GHK-Cu. It’s regarded as high-interest in the scientific community, due to its regenerative properties. And as you’ll soon find out, GHK-Cu may just be the key ingredient to everlasting youth.

GHK stands for the amino acids glycyl-L-histidyl-L-lysine. It’s a small, naturally-occurring peptide that binds to copper. In the presence of injury, our body produces this compound to accelerate healing and regeneration.

GHK-Cu is present in collagen, the main structural protein of connective tissues in the body. One early study described its role in skin repair. Researchers discovered that GHK promotes the production of cells that make up the extracellular matrix.

These cells consist of collagen, as well as glycosaminoglycans and decorin. Glycosaminoglycans prevent the accumulation of damaged proteins and excessive protein breakdown in the site of tissue injuries.

Besides being a miracle that can reverse aging, it is also known as a gene regulator. On a molecular level, it interacts with specific types of genes and can either activate or deactivate them. As a result, it’s no surprise that it has been studied extensively across laboratories worldwide.

As of today, GHK-Cu has been associated with the following properties:

  • Makes skin more smooth, firm, and clear
  • Decreases depth of wrinkles and reduces fine lines
  • Decreases skin spots and hyperpigmentations
  • Promotes wound healing
  • Protects the skin from the sun
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Promotes hair growth

Peptides for Skin and Hair

One peptide combo even has a botox-like effect! While there are many products available, the Injection & Infusion Clinic of ABQ has focused on the most effective!

If GHK-Cu is something our body naturally produces then why do we still develop wrinkles and fine lines? Why do we still have skin spots and why do we still need sunscreen for UV protection?

The answer to this question is the same problem scientists have spent years trying to solve: age. Children and young adults have especially high GHK-Cu levels. However, as we get older, our GHK-Cu levels decrease.

To put things into perspective, someone at 20 years of age would have approximately 200ng/mL of GHK-Cu. At 60 years of age, this amount goes down to 80ng/mL. As a result, our skin loses its firmness and elasticity as we mature.

medical applications

Cosmetic Application of GHK-Cu

Fibroblasts are cells that produce the extracellular matrix, which make up the main component of connective tissues. The ability of GHK-Cu to modulate collagen synthesis in fibroblasts makes it an ideal component for many skin and hair products.

Even without copper, GHK can increase the number of keratinocytes, which are cells found in the outermost layer of our skin. Additionally, GHK can also
increase the expression of integrin - a protein that strengthens cell adhesion.

In one study, a group of women used a facial cream with GHK-Cu for 12 weeks. After the 12 week timeframe, the participants had firmer skin with less fine lines. The depth of their wrinkles decreased, and the overall clarity of their skin improved.

Besides being used in facial creams, it is also effective as eye cream. In another study, 41 women used a GHK-Cu eye cream for 12 weeks.

Compared to the group that used a placebo containing Vitamin K, the participants that used GHK-Cu eye cream around their eyes had less wrinkles and fine lines. The density and thickness of their skin also improved.

Products that contain GHK-Cu can also improve skin hydration and skin elasticity. Some studies made use of GHK-Cu encapsulated in nano-lipid carriers. Women that applied these products throughout the span of 8 weeks had 31.6% reduction in wrinkle volume, compared to groups that used a different product.

In hair products, GHK-Cu can improve hair follicle size. It is also known to improve hair transplant success because of its role in fibroblast and keratinocyte proliferation.

Peptides for Skin and Hair

GHK-Cu stimulates collagen and increases skin thickness, which decreases fine lines and supports sagging skin. Contact us at 505-445-4300 to order!

ghk cu the injection and infusion clinic of abq

GHK-Cu can Improve
Wound Healing

Your body has a natural way of healing itself over time. However, this healing process does not occur unless there is an inflammatory response, such as a tissue injury. As a result, the skin or tissue that results afterwards may appear different, as in the case with scars.

GHK-Cu helps our body to heal faster, by attracting macrophages and mast cells to repair the area of injury. This reduces the amount of free radicals produced in the inflammatory process, which can improve the formation of granular tissue.

GHK-Cu also increases the production of factors that promote blood and nerve vessel growth. Large volumes of blood are an essential component in speeding up the healing process. This is because blood provides the nutrients and oxygen needed by our cells.

As GHK is a gene regulator, it can also inhibit blood vessel growth in the latter parts of the healing process. Without this inhibition, healed skin tissue would be more sensitive to stimuli than usual. This is also why adequately healed skin tissue often lacks sensation. As well, studies have shown that GHK can also promote the growth of nerve cells.

Multiple studies on animals have demonstrated the wound healing properties of GHK-Cu. In scald wounds of mice, administration of GHK-Cu liposomes resulted in better angiogenesis - or blood vessel growth. After application of GHK-Cu, these scalp wounds healed after a minimum of 14 days with minimal scarring.

In thick open wounds of rabbits, application of GHK-Cu resulted in faster reduction of wound size compared to application of zinc oxide and no treatment groups. Researchers noted that neovascularization - or blood vessel growth, performed better for the rabbits in the GHK-Cu group. They correlate this outcome to shorter healing time.


Other Medical Applications

*Unfortunately in 2020, the FDA severely restricted/eliminated the ability to obtain GHK-Cu injectable. Therefore, non-topical applications are not currently accessible.


Acute Lung Injury

Acute lung injury - or ALI, is characterized by severe inflammation that results in tissue injury. If it progresses, ALI can become acute respiratory distress syndrome, which is characterized by hypoxemia, lung edema and difficulty breathing.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the incidence of ALI was 1.5 to 100 per 100,000 person-years (Park et al, 2016). Presently, the prevalence of acute lung injury in severe COVID-19 infectees is 30%. Studies have shown the occurrence of ALI can predict the prognosis of a patient (Li et al., 2020).

The role of GHK-Cu in acute lung injury has only been studied on animals; however, the results are promising. ALI is caused by excessive neutrophil infiltration in the lungs, and GHK-Cu has been found to counteract this harmful effect. In a similar study performed on mice, researchers discovered that GHK-Cu can reduce TNF-α and IL-6 expression, which are both involved with an inflammatory reaction in the lungs (Park et al, 2016).

These early studies give researchers hope. The discovery of these outcomes provides the groundwork for future treatments involving acute lung injury, and acute respiratory distress syndrome.


Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease - or COPD, is a chronic lung disease characterized by bronchitis or airway inflammation, emphysema and asthma. It is a lifelong illness that requires maintenance medications to decrease the frequency of attacks. 

GHK-Cu is a gene regulator that influences the expression of several genes in the human genome. Recent literature has discovered that GHK-Cu can affect the expression of 127 genes in COPD patients. Excessive expression of certain genes can also increase inflammation in COPD, while decreasing the expression of genes that are responsible for repair. GHK-Cu was postulated to reverse this gene expression pattern found in COPD patients, by activating a different pathway. 

Researchers have also performed in vitro experiments with positive results. GHK was added to the lung fibroblasts of COPD patients with impaired repair mechanisms. After treatment with GHK, this function was restored (Pickart & Margolina, 2018).


Cardiovascular Diseases

Fibrinogen is a protein manufactured by the liver. In the presence of tissue injury, it forms a clot to stop bleeding. However, too much fibrinogen can also be a bad thing, as it makes blood more viscous and prone to clotting. This results in an increased risk of cardiovascular complications like heart attacks and strokes. 

GHK has also been shown to suppress IL-6, a protein regulator needed for the production of fibrinogen. This experiment was observed in vitro and in vivo in mice. Overall, outcomes conclude that GHK can suppress the production of too much fibrinogen. (Pickart & Margolina, 2018).



Any compound that increases cell growth also has the potential to become cancerous - except GHK-Cu. In 2010, researchers explored the anti-cancer properties of over 1000 bioactive molecules. Only 2 substances were able to suppress the metastatic genes; one of these was GHK.

On top of not having cancer-related symptoms, GHK can downregulate RNA synthesis in patients with cancer. 70% of genes that are overexpressed have been shown to return to normal after treatment. Based on these outcomes, it appears that GHK isn’t just randomly suppressing and upregulating genes. In fact, it may actually reset the activity of these specific genes, allowing them to act the way they’re supposed to.

More specific studies explored GHK’s role in apoptosis - or cell death. Most cancer treatments work by causing cells to die. This prevents cell division, which also prevents tumor growth and spread. In vitro studies show that 24-hour treatment with GHK increases apoptosis by up to 3.3 times in neuroblastoma cells. It also negatively affects the viability and proliferation of malignant cells, which is good news for cancer patients.

Aside from playing a role in medical conditions, there are also other uses for this miracle compound. With animal studies, GHK-Cu has shown to have anti-pain, anti-anxiety, and anti-aggression properties. By administering specific doses through the skin, GHK-Cu can reduce anxiety and pain. These outcomes are speculated to be because of GHK’s ability to regulate genes. Of these genes, 7 of them are involved in pain modulation. (Pickart & Margolina, 2018).

In the future, these properties may be studied further by researchers and trial experiments. Once we have a deeper understanding of GHK-Cu, it may not be long before it is used as an active ingredient in different types of medications. 

Administration of GHK-Cu

As GHK-Cu can penetrate through the outer layers of the skin, topical application is ideal for facial and eye creams. Incorporating GHK-Cu in nano-sized liposomes may also further increase concentration levels in affected areas. 

Aside from cosmetic use, people that undergo dermatological procedures, such as laser treatment or chemical peels, can also use GHK-Cu to quicken wound healing.

With regards to safety, GHK-Cu is well-established in sunscreens, facial creams, serums and anti-wrinkle formulations. GHK-Cu has a wide variety of applications. It’s safe, effective, and most importantly, inexpensive.

GHK-Cu topical works wonders for those that are struggling with fine lines, wrinkles, or hyperpigmentation. It acts directly on fibroblasts to repair damaged tissue and keep it looking healthy.

Additionally, GHK-Cu restores lost proteins and components to help you return to your youthful self! Call us to get yours today!

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3 Impressive Anti-Aging Therapies You Need to Know Right Now


Worried about premature skin aging?

Coco Chanel once said, “Nature gives you the face you have at twenty; 
it is up to you to merit the face you have at fifty.”

Let’s face it. For thousands of years, men and women have pursued the fountain of youth. Anti-aging therapies have come a long way!

In this article, we will explore our top 3 impressive anti-aging therapies that every woman needs to know about along with each other their own:

  • Benefits
  • Efficacy & Safety
  • Side Effects
  • Procedure
  • and more!

The Anti-Aging Evolution

You’re not the only one who’s interested in maintaining your youthful glow. Let’s track down famous people with their anti-aging rituals and quests.

  • Cleopatra, Egyptian queen: She bathed in sour donkey’s milk squeezed from 7,000 donkeys. She probably got it right since milk contains alpha-hydroxy or lactic acid. This peels-off skin, leaving it smooth and blemish-free. She also used crocodile dung to enhance her complexion. Ew!

  • Galen, the Greek physician: He invented the cold cream. It forms an emulsion of beeswax, water, olive oil, and scents. It smooths the skin and removes impurities.

  • Juan Ponce de León, Spanish conquistador: He journeyed far and wide in search of the eternal fountain of youth, literally. His efforts weren’t entirely futile since he stumbled upon Florida...although not exactly anti-aging.

  • Elizabeth I, Queen of England: Her royal highness used Venetian ceruse as a skin-whitener. It’s composed of white lead and vinegar. Unfortunately, lead causes  greying skin and wrinkles. To help hide these adverse effects, Elizabethan women glazed their faces with raw eggs.

  • Margaret Kroesen: Sometime in 1889, her daughter’s frown lines inspired her to develop a wrinkle smoothing-patch. Frownies, as it was called, helped smooth the skin.

The Anti-Aging Revolution

By the 20th century, the beauty and cosmetics industry started manufacturing a wide array of anti-aging products. These are cosmetic hormone creams, albumin wrinkle smoother, retinol or Retin-A, Botox, vitamin C serum, hydraulic acid, moisturizers, and sunscreens.

You apply these products on your skin. Although these products do help, skin aging goes deeper than the outer layer of skin. Some skin wrinkles, scars, or stretch marks need more than the regular application of anti-aging products for long-term effects.



step 1

Microneedling and its Benefits

Microneedling, also called dermarolling, was first described in 1995 as percutaneous collagen induction. A trained healthcare provider uses a microneedle device in this minimally invasive procedure.

Fine needles run over your skin creating pinpricks. The pinholes stimulate wound healing and the production of collagen and elastin. This minimizes acne scars, fine lines, and photo-aging.

It’s perfect for scar revision, skin revitalization, texture improvement, stretch marks, body scars, and thinning hair. The pinholes on the skin also become a way for introducing skin-care products...like the peptide GHK-Cu.


Microneedling is Effective and Safe

Yes, microneedling is an effective and safe therapeutic option for various skin conditions . This was concluded by researchers who conducted a comprehensive review of microneedling.

They looked into PubMed, Medline, and ScienceDirect studies to support this claim. These studies included people as study subjects who have undergone random trials.

Based on their review, microneedling resolved skin problems such as acne, excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis), hair loss (alopecia), scars, gray or brown patches (melasma), and overexposure to UV light (photodamage).

Book a FREE Microneedling Consult!

Perfect for Fine Lines, Acne Scars, Photo-Aging, Scar Revision, Skin Revitalization, Texture Improvement, Stretch Marks / Body Scars, and Thinning Hair! For inquiries, call 505-445-4300 or book a FREE consult here!


Microneedling: Side Effects

You may experience minor discomfort as the microneedle works on your skin. Before the therapy though, a mild topical anesthetic is applied over your skin.

Since your skin has pinholes, you may unintentionally apply products that contain toxic substances. These substances get into the pinholes of your skin. It then causes harmful reactions once absorbed by your body.

So, you have to make sure the products you’re using are approved by your healthcare provider. Patients experience mild redness for about 24hours, which is much more manageable than the downtime experience with laser frequency and laser ablation.


Microneedling: The Procedure

Results are noted after one session, but maximum improvement occurs with four sessions, which are spaced four to six weeks apart. This downtime allows for skin repair and growth.

According to the study result of Ablon, microneedling therapy showed an improvement in lines, wrinkles, skin laxity, and texture after 90-150 days from the first session.


Microneedling: Effective means for peptide delivery

Peptides such as GHK-Cu stimulate collagen production and are beneficial for the appearance and health of the skin. Microneedling enhances skin penetration and offers an effective means to deliver peptides under the surface of the skin.


GHK-Cu (copper peptide)

Discovered in 1973, GHK-Cu or glycyl-L-histidyl-L-lysine is a naturally occurring copper tripeptide. It can be found in your plasma, saliva, and urine. It aids in metabolism, promotes wound healing, and prevents liver damage.

GHK-Cu benefits your skin in many ways. Its antiaging property reduces your fine lines and deep wrinkles. It also smoothens, tightens, and clears your skin. Its other positive effects include reducing skin spots or blemishes as it protects you from harmful UV radiation. GHK-Cu is not only good for your skin but your hair, too. It promotes the growth and thickness of your hair.

GHK-Cu is effective and safe

  • Yes, GHK-Cu is safe as it repairs, regenerates, and protects the skin (Pickart and Margolina, 2018). This is based on a study they conducted to determine the regenerative and protective action of GHK-Cu on the skin. 
  • Its effects are anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. It serves as a response signal or protects your tissue after you suffer a skin injury. Its anti-inflammatory effect controls oxidative stress which can further damage your tissues that contributes to aging.
  • GHK-Cu is most abundant during childhood and declines with age. As you grow older, there is thus increased risk for tissue destruction, inflammation, and even cancer.
  • GHK-Cu has also been widely used in cosmetics with its anti-aging and reparative effects. Studies have been conducted to confirm its efficacy:

    • GHK-Cu topical cream did better than retinoic acid and vitamin C in boosting the collagen of 20 women who had photodamaged skin. 
    • GHK-Cu facial cream improved the skin appearance, clarity, and tautness of 71 women who participated in a 12-week study. Compared with placebo cream, the researchers noted that GHK-Cu increased skin thickness and density. It also lessened the depth of wrinkles and fine lines. 
    • GHK-Cu eye cream did better than vitamin K in reducing wrinkles and lines, increased thickness and density of the skin, and improved its appearance.
    • GHK-Cu cream stimulated the reproduction of the cells of the outer layer of the skin. Based on the same study, it also improved the skin’s density, appearance, and thickness.

No adverse effects

  • GHK-Cu was found to be non-irritating and non-toxic in at least three separate experiments. It has no adverse effects and can be incorporated in creams, dermal patches, foams, liposomes, microneedles, or subcutaneous injections.


Two other cosmeceutical peptides

  • Argireline® peptide: Argireline (Arg) is a brand name of acetyl hexapeptide-3 or acetyl hexapeptide-8. Arg, a neurotransmitter, reduces the movement of your muscles to prevent the formation of wrinkles.

    It reduces your expression or fine lines, stimulates the production of collagen, and promotes moisture of your skin. It’s like botulinum toxin (Botox) with its wrinkle-smoothing effect.

    A study mentioned that Arg is safer than Botox with an efficacy rate of 48% with twice a day usage for four weeks. The researchers’ study revealed Arg3 was most effective among other Arg peptides they tested (Lim et al., 2018). There’re still no known side effects of Arg. Thus, it is safe for you.
  • Leuphasyl® peptide: Leuphasyl is a brand name of pentapeptide-3. It modulates the release of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter, which reduces the contraction of muscles.

    This peptide goes hand-in-hand with Arg and other peptides. Its benefits are like Arg, with focus on your forehead and around your eyes.

    It’s less effective than Botox, but it has no side effects (Dragomirescu et al., 2014). Thus, it is also safe for you.

Glutathione (GSH)

Glutathione & Its Benefits

GSH, dubbed the “master antioxidant”, is a tripeptide of cysteine, glycine, and glutamic acid. It’s a naturally occurring substance produced in the liver. It’s also found in meats, vegetables, and fruits.

It has been known to allegedly treat some diseases. To name a few, these are cataracts, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and osteoarthritis. In general, GSH promotes longevity, protects the body from toxins, and maintains health (Pizzorno, 2014).

Glutathione Is effective for anti-aging

GSH is widely used for skin-lightening as it lessens age spots and dark marks. And, it lessens the pigmentation (melanin) in your skin.

Research suggests  you take it with vitamin C of equal or twice the dosage for best results (Priyadarshini, 2015). We find that glutathione improves the skin’s glow.  As an antioxidant, GSH cleanses the liver and kidneys of toxins for a healthier and refreshed-looking skin. 

GSH has also been shown to improve skin elasticity and helps reduce wrinkles or fine lines (Weschawalit et al., 2017). Collagen synthesis is likewise enhanced by GSH (Shan et al., 1994).

It works by regulating the transforming growth factor (TGF), which stimulates the production of collagen (Liu et al., 2004). 


GSH can be taken in three routes; by mouth, nasal spray, or IV. For optimal results, GSH IV infusion is recommended.

Glutathione: Side Effects

GSH intravenous (IV) has no known significant side effects. GSH IV was observed to have no potential adverse reactions and its short half-life indicated limited duration of its effectiveness. (Fukagawa et al., 1996).

It was observed to be safe and tolerated by people with Parkinson’s disease in a study conducted at the University of South Florida (Hauser et al., 2009).

The study by Hauser was validated by a related study as a person did not notice any adverse effects during GSH IV infusion (Otto et al., 2018)

A review of related literature pointed out that GSH had no or minimal adverse effects, but further studies were suggested to assess its safety (Davids et al., 2017).

Ready to get the drip?

Microneedling, GHK-Cu, and Glutathione are only some of anti-aging therapies available in our clinic. For inquiries, call 505-445-4300 or email us at info@infusionclinicabq.com today!

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