From ancient Egypt to Ayurveda beauty brands, copper is making a resurgence for wellness and cosmetic brands alike
Copper has been used since antiquity, but is making a wellness comeback (Image via Cosmetics Business)
For all its tough exterior, copper is one of nature's most nurturing creations. Rich in antimicrobial properties, the precious metal can soothe spot-prone complexions, and combined with GHK peptides, it can accelerate skin repair. Perhaps unsurprisingly, then, it has long been prized for its beautifying and wellness properties.
It is listed in recipes for skin remedies that were inscribed on papyrus scrolls by ancient Egyptians around 2600 BC. Ayurvedic practitioners regularly embrace the reddish-golden metal to reduce inflammation. And women in Augustan age-Rome reportedly used it to clear blemishes and wrinkles.
In recent years, despite scientific advancement in skin care and wellness, copper has not only maintained but increased prominence in consumer regimes. Google searches for 'copper skin care' increased by 55% in the past six months and marketing power player Wunderman Thompson has forecasted that precious metals will be among the top trending wellness ingredients of 2022.
But in India, the use of copper in wellness routines has been a mainstay for generations. Dr Shweta Netke, Senior Ayurveda Consultant for luxury beauty brand Forest Essentials, says that throughout the subcontinent, consumers drink water that has sat overnight in a copper cup to support the gut, reduce inflammation and boost overall wellbeing.
Copper has been incorporated throughout the Estée Lauder-backed brand's skin, hair and body care lines by using copper vessels to heat and store the products. The theory is that the benefits from the copper will infuse with the formulation.
"Everybody is trying to focus more on a holistic approach of wellbeing and everybody is trying to change their way of living, to go back to their roots," says Dr Netka. "That is where Ayurveda and copper can play an important role."
And as consumers increasingly seek out wellness practices and products – the US$1.5 trillion market is forecasted...
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