Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Copper and wrinkles

I assume that you, like me, do not wake up looking your best.  So here's interesting news from Korea via Prevention Magazine in cooperation with Bergdorf Goodman. 

That which keeps our skin firm and fresh are two proteins--collagen and elastin--and a substance called hyaluronic acid.  Collagen gives structure to the skin and promotes the foundation in which elastin provides elasticity (e.g. the ability to spring back to smoothness after being smushed all night against the pillow) while hyaluronic acid cushions and moisturizes.  Sun exposure, smoking, dry air, pollution, facial expressions, and sleep positions along with aging hasten the loss of these three substances and the progression of lines to wrinkles to furrows and folds.

Apparently copper oxide can be absorbed by intact skin wherein it facilitates the process of making these structural proteins and stabilizes them within the sub-surface structure.  Korean dermatologists took these copper characteristics and ran with them, theorizing that sleeping on pillowcases made of copper-saturated fibers could reduce wrinkles(1).  61 volunteers were recruited to snooze perchance to lose their bags and sags. They were graded and measured by 'expert graders' as well as with an objective skin wrinkle measuring device called the 3D Image Analysis GFM PRIMOS.

A significant decrease in crow's feet as well as in 3 'roughness parameters' was both observed and measured at 4 and 8 weeks into the study in the copper-pillowcase group but not in the usual bed linen controls.  That translates into shallower wrinkles and better overall appearance! An earlier study (2) noted these same improvements after a mere 2 weeks of nighttime copper exposure.

So here's where comes in.  You can order a coppery pillowcase for $60.  I was so-so on the prospect after reading the news in Prevention and somewhat more interested now that I've read the study.  It does seem like the perfect 'milestone' birthday gift, but I'm unsure if I'm ready to buy one myself.  Let me know if you give it a try!
1) Baek, JH et al.  Reduction of facial wrinkles depth by sleeping on copper oxide containing pillowcases.
2) Borkow, G et al. Improvement of facial skin characteristics using copper oxide containing pillowcases.