I recently tested the 7 Night Molecular Repair Treatment ($75) by Osmotics Cosmeceuticals and was so impressed with the results that I’m kicking myself for not having used blue copper 5 sooner. The Molecular Repair Treatment is formulated to be a more intensive or concentrated version of the Blue Copper 5 Firming Elasticity Repair moisturizing cream ($58) I did compare the two ingredients lists, noting that copper PCA is indeed a bit higher in the Molecular Repair Treatment’s formulation.

The treatment consists of seven ampoules, which are meant to be used for seven consecutive nights in order to expedite the restorative benefits of blue copper 5 (a 5 chain copper peptide). The Molecular Repair Treatment is ideally meant to be used post aggressive dermal procedures, such as microdermabrasion or peels. However, it’s also beneficial if one has been exposed to harsh environmental conditions that trigger skin stressors resulting in irritation, increased sensitivity, dehydration or fatigue.

I was fortunate to have the ampoules at my disposal after coming off a few weeks of somewhat aggressive skin therapy. As luck would have it, only a couple of months before the upcoming holiday season (which includes my birthday), I started experiencing random breakouts. To add to my skin woes, I also experienced more than few external stressors in a rather short time frame. Sleeping on a friend’s couch in Brooklyn for a week due to loss of power/water in my apartment post an uncommon superstorm in NYC didn’t help matters. As such, I hadn’t maintained my normal skinare regimen – unbelievably, I forgot to even pack eye cream (my passport seemed more important at the time). External skin conditions are often a manifestation of what’s going on inside the body; thus, the stress, lack of sleep and poor nutrition had wreaked havoc on my skin.

Along with ensuring that I resumed healthy habits, my intensive short-term regimen included a potent retinoid to rejuvenate my skin and address the untimely breakouts. The retinoid use, along with the ampoules and some other treatments, initially made my skin very dry, flaky and often red from irritation. (I really don’t recommend this approach and I would have preferred to have avoided it altogether so please don’t try this at home.). Fortunately, my editor had sent me the powerful Blue Copper 5 ampoules, which immediately helped to restore my skin; within minutes of application, I noted a marked reduction in redness (from skin inflammation; I don’t think this will work for broken capillaries). I was genuinely impressed with how quickly this product repaired my skin with a few days. I didn’t even need to use it for the full seven nights! Further, each ampoule contains enough serum for at least 2-3 nightly treatments, thus the box will easily last for 2 weeks (I put the open ampoule with unused serum in a zip lock bag to maintain product integrity).

As Marta noted in her review of Molecular Repair Treatment, copper peptides promote the degradation of abnormally large cross-linked collagen (the one found in scars and, to a lesser degree, in wrinkles). They also stimulate the production of “regular” collagen found in normal skin. The use of copper peptides was originally developed in the medical industry when it was found that the copper peptides helped in the healing of serious wounds to the skin, such as burns. Moreover, copper works quickly. The ingredient helps to firm, smooth, and softens skin, doing it in less time than most other anti-aging skin care products. It’s important to note that I don’t think the serum would have been as effective were my skin not already somewhat compromised. In this case, the worse condition your skin is in, the more noticeable the product results will be.

This serum is best used at night as it contains retinyl palmitate, which breaks down in sunlight. Another reason to use this at night is that my daytime antioxidant, which contains vitamin C, would counteract the effectiveness of copper peptides. Ascorbic acid tends to degrade the cupric ions in copper. And despite the instructions to use the serum alone, I began to apply it over the retinoid, which helped to me bypass the usual dryness and peeling associated with retinoid use (I would suggest waiting a half hour after applying the retinoid first). My subsequent research revealed that copper peptides not only reduce or eliminate the irritation caused by retionids, the ingredient helps maximize treatment benefits. However, I would recommend using this only at the start of retinoid/retinol treatment as your skin will eventually acclimate to the vitamin A derivative.

The high concentration of copper peptides (not to mention the cost) renders Molecular Repair Treatment best for cyclical use. It’s advisable to take a break from copper peptides as they are excellent for breaking down scar tissue, but constant use will not necessarily give your skin time to rebuild healthy tissue in its place. I plan to use it for a few days every other month, or before an important event or when traveling. Sudden climate changes or extensive travel can often throw my skin off balance and the tiny ampoules are ideal travel companions to rescue fatigued, dehydrated skin after deplaning from a long flight.

I did note a customer review with reported irritation and burning as a result of using this serum, which surprised me considering that the founder of Osmotics developed the line due to her own skin sensitivity. Further, Good Guide reported no health concerns on copper PCA and the EWG found the ingredient to be an extremely low health concern. However, there are findings that in rare instances, copper peptides may cause skin damage in some cases of overuse or unusual sensitivity (it happens – I’m allergic to the antioxidant idebenone). Further, as Marta previously noted, the line contains silicones and preservatives, which can cause irritation and generally shunned by purists.

Overall, I am extremely pleased with the effectiveness of Osmotics Blue Copper 5 Molecular Repair Treatment and am thrilled to have found a reliable product for skin emergencies. Along with copper peptides, the serum contains a bevy of skin beneficial ingredients including Matrixyl 3000, hyaluronic acid and the antioxidant carnosine.  Hopefully, I won’t be experiencing many emergencies in the future (I have saved my unused ampoules for future skin maintenance).

I recently had dinner with the same friend who had generously taken me in to her Brooklyn home after the superstorm disaster that hit the East Coast. She had commented that I no longer looked like a “Wall Street refugee” – a moniker she fondly used when she introduced me as her unexpected house guest who was “slumming it in Brooklyn” since there was no power, water or cell phone service available on the supposedly venerable street where I reside downtown. I told her about my short-term skincare regimen; however, an intensive blue copper 5 treatment was largely responsible for my skin recovery. Impressed by my speedy skin transformation, she asked me where she could find the product.

Ingredients: Purified Water, Cyclomethicone, Caprylic/Triglyceride, Butylene Glycol, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl-Tetrapeptide-7, Sodium Hyaluronate, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Hydrolyzed Ceratonia Siliqua Seed Extract, Glycerine, Dimethicone, Cetyl Stearyl Alcohol, Copper PCA, Sodium PCA, Saccharomyces/Copper Ferment, Phenoxyethenol, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A), Panthenol (Vitamin B-5), Carnosine, Acrylates Copolymer, Allantoin, Lavendula Angustifolia (Lavender) Extract, Polysorbate 20, Polyacrylamide, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Laureth-7, Diazolidinyl Urea, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Potassium Sorbate, Carbomer, Tromethamine