In 1997, Osmotics introduced the first anti-aging product featuring copper peptide, a clinically supported technology used in wound healing. Backed by some data, copper is meant to increase firmness, elasticity and radiance. Its healing benefits, by extension, have led to claims of an anti-aging impact. This innovation has created a whole industry and, nowadays, copper is a must-have in many skin and hair care products.

Now, Osmotics has introduced a next generation of copper, Blue Copper 5.  Earlier copper products were based on a double-chain peptide and these new Penta-Peptide (“five” chain) molecules are meant to maximize the absorption and effectiveness of copper. Osmotics’ Blue Copper 5 won Allure Editor’s Choice of the Year award.

How exciting for a man to have access to this up-to-date skin care technology! Even better, it is great for self-conscious and un-reconstructed males that it can be done under the guise of a mere aftershave. This is a double whammy. One, any man would want a product that heals after shaving; most aftershaves focus on smoothing, cooling or numbing the skin, each a different way to circumvent but not address the aggression that has just taken place. If copper heals, then it does what is needed. Two, if, by the bye, I get to shave a few years off my face, who is to complain?

Osmotics aftershave is very light and liquid , requiring care not to over spill from the tube or splash around the sink. Likewise, spreading it on the shaved areas is almost too easy and it is unclear that enough has been applied and that it is absorbed properly. It is nearly fragrance free which is a plus in my mind.

Only a few minutes later, you get loud and clear confirmation that the product has indeed been applied properly!! The face starts to pull and tighten in a very noticeable way, almost like if the skin was drying out at accelerated speed. I would not use the word painful of course, but certainly it can become quite uncomfortable quite quickly.

What puzzles me, as I am not a chemist, is that, whatever the marketing hype, so little of this product appears to actually be copper-based. Saccharomyces lysate copper ferment is a group of fungi that ferment sugars and a source of beta-glucan, which is a good antioxidant. Live yeast-cell derivatives have been shown to stimulate wound healing, but much of what is known about yeast’s effects for skin is theoretical, and concerns yeast’s tissue-repair and protective properties. Towards the end of the ingredients list there is copper CPA (assumed to be pyrrolidone carboxylic acid or L-PCA, a physiological component of the epidermis. Its stringency effect is only on the skin surface - sebum level is reduced by 0.5% via pore size reduction).

A number of botanical extracts (sunflower, jojoba, comfrey and chamomile) work as skin conditioners and have anti-irritant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. For instance bisabolol, because of its high panthenol concentration, can effectively stimulate and promote the skin’s healing process. For hundreds of years, people have used it for medicinal practices as it enhances the appearance of dehydrated or damaged skin by reducing dry flaking and restoring suppleness to the skin. Many of the other ingredients are predictable and go towards the texture of the cream rather than its effectiveness.

The use of Polyacrylamide as the main ingredient may be the source of some worries (please read TIA’s post on What Is It: Aquamid and Is It Safe?), but may also explain this dryness feeling as it is highly water absorbent (as well as the dryness of PPG 2 Myristyl Ether Propionate). The list finishes with no fewer than four parabens. As you know, they are not our favourite ingredients here at Truth in Aging as they are reported to mimic estrogen and thus may be carcinogenic, but, being last on the list, one hopes quantities are minimal.

I would be tempted by the following hypothesis: what works in this aftershave is a collection pretty classic botanical extracts but the cream composition leads to an uncomfortable face. As far as the famed Blue Copper 5…If it is there, where is it? In what quantity?

The real and final question is always: “does this aftershave work”? I would expect two tests: is the skin still irritated from the shave, is the cream curing the wounds? Is the skin soothed, is it relaxed and comfortable? On the first, I must acknowledge that few razor burn marks are left and as such I would give this product a pass (perhaps this impact is due to the good lubricant in the shaving cream rather than the restorative qualities of the aftershave). On the second, the feeling of dryness and unnatural tautness of the skin is simply unacceptable and as I finish this review I have nothing more urgent on my mind than to rush back to the bathroom and apply the fourth step in the Osmotics regimen, the moisturizer in the hope of stopping this burning feeling on my face! More to come.


Water, , C13-14 Isoparaffin, Laureth-7, Butylene Glycol, Saccharomyces/ Copper Ferment, Isopropyl Palmitate, PPG-2 Myristyl Ether Propionate, Helianthus Annuus (Hybrid Sunflower) Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Allantoin, Sodium Lactate, Copper PCA, Sodium PCA, Sorbitol, Proline, Polysorbate 20, Isopropylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Butylparaben, Fragrance, Propylene Glycol, Diazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Propylparaben.