Retinoic Acid and Copper Peptide acne treatment

Retinoic acid is the acidic version of Vitamin-A. It is approved by the FDA to reverse the appearance of aging skin. It reduces wrinkles, dark spots and also smoothes the skin texture. Retinoic acid also increases the thickness of the epidermis and stimulates the generation of new collagen. The main action of retinoic acid on acne is to unclog the pores and prevent the formation of blackheads and whiteheads. Brand name includes Retin-A™, Avita™, Altinac™, Stieva-A™.

Why do I need to combine Copper Peptide with Retinoic Acid?

Although Retinoic-Acid is very effective in treating acne, the downside of this product is tissue irritation. Side effects vary from redness, temporary or short term peeling of the skin, blistering and increase in sun sensitivity. Retinoic acid cannot be used with other drugs that make your skin more sensitive to the sun. This includes tetracyclines, thiazides, sulfonamides and others. Some users would try to reduce the tissue irritation associated with retinoid use by using topical corticosteroids. It is not advisable to use corticosteroids to alleviate the irritation caused by retinoic acid.

We combine copper peptide with retinoic acid to reduce the irritation caused by retinoic acid. This acne treatment regimen combines the keratolytic/comedolytic properties of retinoic acid with the anti-inflammatory properties of copper peptide. The anti-inflammatory action of copper peptide would reduce the severity of skin flaking and blistering on individuals who are sensitive to retinoic acid.

What about dosage and administration?

You should use retinoic acid cream or gel with strength of 0.025%. We do not recommend using the 0.05% or the 0.1% versions because in one study they are just as effective as the 0.025% cream or gel. So in this case, more is not necessarily better. Bear in mind that the higher the concentration of retinoic acid, the higher is the incidence of tissue irritation.

The best copper peptides on the market comes from Skinbiology or Procyte corporation. We recommend the products from Skinbiology which is owned by Dr. Loren Pickart. If you have a very sensitive skin you should start with “super GHK serum” or “super GHK cream” and then move to “CP Serum” which is the standard product. We do not recommend using “Super CP Serum” or “Super Cop” cream because they contain “hydroxy acids” which would also exfoliate or peel your skin. Retinoic acid and “hydroxy acids” such as salicylic acid and glycolic acid should never be used at the same time because they would cause too much skin peeling.

You can apply the tretinoin cream or gel first on the face and wait at least 1 hour before washing it. Once you have washed your face, you can apply the “copper peptide” serum or cream on your face and leave it overnight. It is best not to apply retinoic acid and copper peptide at the same time so that the copper peptide would be able to have maximum skin penetration.


The anti-inflammatory action of copper-peptide would make this treatment regimen compatible for persons who have sensitive skin.


This treatment combo does not kill acne causing bacteria. By unclogging the pores and preventing the formation of comedo, the bacterial population can be kept to at a minimum level.


“Effects of copper-peptides, vitamin C, or retinoic acid on collagen production” – Dermatology Department at UMDNJ – Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (Abulghani et al 1998).

In vivo nickel contact dermatitis: human model for topical therapeutics. Zhai, Chang, Singh, and Maibach (University of California, San Francisco, USA) Contact Dermatitis Vol. 40, pp. 205-208, 1999

Richter JR, Förström LR, Kiistala UO, Jung EG., Yamanouchi Europe B.V., Medical Department Europe, Leiderdorp, The Netherlands. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 1998 Nov;11(3):227-33.)

Berger R, Rizer R, Barba A, Wilson D, Stewart D, Grossman R, Nighland M, Weiss J., Clin Ther. 2007 Jun;29(6):1086-97) “Published Studies on Tissue and Skin Remodeling Copper-Peptides by Loren Pickart PhD”

Retinoic Acid and Copper Peptide for Acne | Retinoic Acid and Copper Peptide Acne Treatment | Copper Peptide Retinoic Acid Acne Treatment

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