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Quel rôle joue le cuivre sur les systèmes enzymatiques ?

What role does copper play in enzymatic systems?

Published February 20, 2024, by Maylis, Chemical Engineer — 2 min read

Copper plays a role in a large number of enzymatic systems. In regards to skin and hair, its action is relevant at three levels.

  • Copper is the cofactor of Superoxide Dismutase, a potent antioxidant enzyme that helps combat free radicals, these unstable molecules that contribute to the formation of premature wrinkles and fine lines on the skin and weaken hair fibers. Due to this anti-radical activity, copper also inhibits cellular oxidative effects such as membrane damage and lipid peroxidation.

  • Copper is also the cofactor of tyrosinase, an enzyme essential for the synthesis of melanin. It thus helps to prepare, activate, and prolong tanning but in no way does it serve as sun protection!

  • Copper activates lysyl oxidase, an enzyme necessary for the effective cross-linking of extracellular matrix proteins (collagen, elastin) that make up the dermis, the deep layer of the skin. As a reminder, skin aging is partly due to a reduction in the production of collagen and elastin by dermal fibroblasts, as well as a degradation of the fibers of these proteins, which results in wrinkled skin that has lost its firmness and elasticity. Therefore, the topical application of copper promotes the synthesis of collagen and elastin, working towards a firmer and more elastic skin.


  • Borkow G. Using copper to improve the well-being of the skinCurr Chem Biol. (2014).

  • Hyun Keol Pyo & al., The effect of tripeptide-copper complex on human hair growth in vitro, Arch Pharm Res, (2007).


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