Thanks for posting your questions! We are sure Dr. Pickart will post his thoughts on how this could be used in practical application.
But actually you'll find some excellent information at: GHK and Sun Science (suntanscience.com)
On Dr. Pickart's page outlining his Patent: Compositions & Methods for Suntanning and Protection, just look at the Examples I-IX. That is where Dr. Pickart mentions how he think GHK can be used to accomplish some great effects for the skin.
Composition and Methods for Suntanning & Protection - PATENT
Abstract: Compositions of peptones and ionic metals stimulate melanogenic activity in the skin while simultaneously protecting the skin from damage due to ultraviolet light. The compositions are useful in skin tanning and increasing pigmentation, and in healing skin damaged from exposure to ultraviolet light.
United States Patent 5,698,184 Pickart
Continue Reading at: http://suntanscience.com/patents.php
Improving Suntanning and Reducing Skin Peeling
This patent contains methods for increasing the efficiency of melanin formation and reducing post-tanning peeling damage. Decreasing the time in sunlight and post-tanning peeling would reduce overall ultraviolet exposure.
The entire approach to suntanning and sun protection is in a state of change. Many chemical sunscreens are being banned because of estrogenic actions and other toxicities. The combination of skin repair creams plus ultraviolet reflectors such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide may be a better approach to sun protection.
Are Copper Peptides The Answer?
GHK can provide a way to protect our skin from UV free radicals. It may provide the answer to a nagging question; how can we protect our skin without applying harmful chemicals?
UV damage is mediated through molecules called Reactive Carbon Species (RCS)—a carbon equivalent of oxygen free radicals. When the UV energy transfers to the RCS molecules, they damage the components and cells of the skin.
Studies from Lipotec, the Barcelona Bioinorganic Chemistry Department and the University of Milan, found that GHK would protect skin keratinocytes (the outer skin cells) from lethal doses of UV light. See photographs below. The GHK binds to the RCS molecules and inactivates them.
They also found that GHK reduces the damaging glycation of proteins such as superoxide dismutase. The authors write: “Gly- His-Lys is able to help the natural protection of cells (Glutathione) to prevent the damage of RCS and UVB radiation and acts as a scavenger of specific RCS (HNE, acrolein) and prevents glycation of protein.”
J. Cebrian, A. Messeguer, R.M. Facino and J.M. Garcia-Anton, Inter. J. Cosm. Sci. 27, 271-278 (2005)
It must be emphasized that these results do not directly prove that GHK protects skin from UV damage. A few uncontrolled studies have been performed on individuals with very fair complexions and sun-sensitive skin.
Most reported that the SRCP creams made it easier for them to suntan and to tolerate sunlight when at the beach or skiing.
The methods that we used are detailed in the US Patent 5,698,184 by Pickart. However, given the current negative Zeitgeist concerning sunlight and skin protection, it has proven impossible to secure support to develop these observations into protective products.
UVB radiation + HNE
GHK + UVB + HNE
GHK induces protective antioxidant protein from Gene
Ultraviolet radiation increases skin damage by generating Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) and Reactive Carbonyl Species (RCS). The Broad Institute Gene Pattern found GHK to increase the activity of the SRRR2C human gene 8.2-fold.
It produces a small, proline-rich, anti-oxidant protein that protects outer skin cells from oxidative damage from Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS). When the ROS level is low, the protein remains in the outer cell membrane but when the ROS level is high, the protein clusters around the cell's DNA to protect it.
Vermeij WP, Florea BI, Isenia S, Alia A, Brouwer J, Backendorf C. PROTEOMIC IDENTIFICATION OF IN VIVO INTERACTORS REVEALS NOVEL FUNCTION OF SKIN CORNIFICATION PROTEINS, J Proteome Res. 2012 Apr 23.