There is a surefire way to tell if a new skincare product is working or not: your little brother AND your father independently exclaim: “Your skin looks great!”

This is the reaction I got last weekend after a month of using the NCN Pro Skin Care GHK-Cu Copper Peptide With EGF Formula ($65). And it’s true: my skin is smoother, firmer, and brighter – to the point where I have even considered going without foundation for the first time in years. At 46, I have been told I look young but now I actually believe it.

These results surprised me. I wasn’t sure this thin, watery, scentless blue liquid was even doing anything for the first three weeks. I applied the GHK-Cu serum twice a day every day immediately after washing my face and before moisturizer – typically BIAO Beauty Rejuvenating Night Cream ($25), often layered with argan oil or Mad Hippie Antioxidant Oil ($24.99 in the shop). One thing I wasn’t crazy about was the runny texture which made it somewhat difficult to apply. I held off on using any other serums or treatments for the entire test period though I’m curious to try an exfoliant or other treatment alongside the copper peptide mixture using the methods described on the NCN website. There are even claims that adding 1,000 mg. of vitamin C and 1,000 mg. of MSM will increase efficacy, something else I’d like to try. I did not experience any skin reactions or sensitivity at all while using this product and have more than two-thirds of the 2-ounce bottle remaining after this trial period.

The list of touted benefits is long. Interestingly, this formula truly seems appropriate for all skin types – dry to oily. At 46 with combo skin, my main concern is treating the hyperpigmentation that resulted from years of sunbathing and working as a lifeguard, so I was pleased to see dark spot reduction on the list. However, it was the firming and brightening I noticed the most. I’m guessing this is the result of an increase in collagen. GHK-cu copper peptide has been the subject of numerous clinical studies with far-ranging results, including anti-inflammatory activity, DNA repair, nerve regeneration, prevention of colon cancer, and of course skin improvement. One study showed better results for increasing collagen levels from copper peptide than vitamin C and retinoic acid. Maybe more time would have worked better on my dark spots?

I’m definitely willing to give this GHK-Cu Copper Peptide With EGF serum more time on my bathroom shelf. I’m also very curious to try more products from NCN Pro Skin Care. I’m not an expert (nor connected to the brand in any way), but the entire line seems well formulated with high concentrations of active ingredients at affordable price points.

Now let’s see if I can impress my mother!

Ingredients: Purified Water, Aloe Extract, GHK-Cu Copper Tripeptide, Licorice, Collagen, Sea Kelp Bioferment, Bifida Ferment Lysate, Beta-Glucan, EGF (Epidermal Growth Factor), Leuconostoc/Radish Root (natural preservative)