What is colloidal copper?

Colloidal copper is a popular health supplement. It’s similar to colloidal silver, which is also widely used for wellness and medical purposes.

To make colloidal copper supplements, microscopic molecules of copper are suspended in purified water. When purchased, it comes in a liquid, extract-like form that can be taken orally. It may also be used in other products.

According to the companies that sell colloidal copper, it’s more digestible than other forms of copper. Supposedly, this makes the health benefits from copper much more effective.

Is there any science behind the health claims?

There are many health claims for what colloidal copper can do.

Claimed benefits of colloidal copper include:

  • treats wounds, infections, and burns
  • supports cardiovascular health
  • prevents osteoporosis
  • helps the nervous system function
  • acts as an antioxidant that supports human immunity
  • stimulates collagen and elastin
  • reduces wrinkles, discoloration, and age-related skin conditions

Some studies do show that copper is good for skin as a basic nutrient:

  • A 2014 review referenced many studies connecting copper to great skin health. This includes wrinkle reduction, better elasticity, and healing wounds and skin issues, like athlete’s foot.
  • The review also referenced a 2009 study as still being valid for copper and skin. In this study, copper reduced the risks of bacterial and fungal infections in diabetics. It also helped chronic ulcers.
  • A 2015 study further found that copper dressings could increase collagen levels in skin. However, this study was performed on animals. This study may support using copper for youthful skin appearance and proper wound-healing ability.

However, there aren’t any studies showing that colloidal copper is any better than other copper products.

Still, colloidal copper contains ample copper amounts and can certainly be used for skin care.

How do you use colloidal copper for skin care?

How you use colloidal copper for skin depends on the type of product you purchase. It may come in a liquid form or in a spray or mixed in with another product.

Colloidal copper is usually applied topically but may be taken internally. Some people who use it may even do both for optimum benefit.

Instructions for using colloidal copper vary from product to product. Make sure to read the label for directions and safest use. Also make sure to get your product from companies with good reputations.

Below are typical products you may encounter:

  • colloidal copper liquid extract
  • colloidal copper toner spray
  • colloidal copper cream
  • colloidal copper lotion
  • colloidal copper soaps

Does colloidal copper have side effects?

Copper is typically a safe mineral supplement. This applies to its use in colloidal copper liquid extract form, too.

If used topically, you have very little to worry about. A 2009 study on copper states that skin reactions and toxicity risk is extremely low.

Nevertheless, be sparing and cautious with topical use. Currently, there are no studies evaluating how much colloidal copper is topically safe for skin. Many drugs are absorbed well through the skin.

There are also no studies on how safe topical copper is combined with internal copper.

Internally, however, there may be some risks:

  • Make sure not to exceed 10 milligrams (mg) of copper ingestion per day.
  • If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, don’t take copper supplements and don’t apply topically unless your doctor is treating a copper deficiency.
  • Children shouldn’t take copper internally.

Stop taking copper supplements immediately if you experience:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • abdominal pain
  • fever
  • heart issues
  • low blood pressure
  • bloody diarrhea

See a doctor immediately if you have any of these symptoms. These may be signs of taking too much copper, which damages the liver and kidneys.

People who have liver or kidney issues should never take copper or other supplements without discussing them first with their doctor. It’s always best to take lower doses.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t consider supplements to be drugs, and they aren’t monitored as closely as medications or food. Do your research on brands of supplements for reputation, quality, and purity. Choose products manufactured in the United States.

Read labels on your colloidal copper supplements closely. Most minerals you need are already in a multivitamin. Make sure there’s a way to know how much you’re taking when using extracts internally.

The bottom line

Colloidal copper is a great copper supplement option, especially if it comes from a quality company with a good reputation.

For skin care and beauty, colloidal copper may be helpful. There are many product options to choose from and buy, like liquids, sprays, and creams.

Copper may help get rid of wrinkles and restore more youthful skin, studies suggest. External use may be best, though internal use could help, too.

If used carefully and in the right amounts, colloidal copper is a perfectly safe, potentially effective, and mostly natural way to improve skin appearance.

However, there are no studies showing colloidal copper is superior to other copper-containing products. More studies are needed. Nevertheless, it’s a useful option to explore.