Understanding your skin

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The Integumentary System (skin) is the organ system that protects the body from various kinds of damage, such as abrasion or loss of water. It serves as a protective barrier to our inner organs, and serves as a waterproof cushion for the deeper tissues. Our skin is subject to external environmental assaults and aggressors which breakdown the skins cellular structure and collagen. In order to achieve optimal skin health, it is essential to understand the functions of each COSMETIC SKIN SOLUTIONS active ingredient, how it corresponds to limiting environmental influences, and its role in improving skin conditions. Scroll below to access the research of how we incorporate patent pending, revolutionary pharmaceutical ingredients into our formulations to produce a scientific reversal effect on aging skin.

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Skintypes

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Normal skin has a balance between oil and water levels. Skin is neither greasy nor dry.

Dry skin does not produce enough oil, feels flaky, itchy, and prone to wrinkles and lines.

Oily skin is more prone to acne formation by over production of oily by sebaceous glands and appears shiny.

Combination skin is oily in the T-zone with dry skin on other areas of the face.

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Skin conditions

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Lines and wrinkles are noticeable. Uneven pigmentation. Skin is dull and saggy.

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Skin is flaky and rough. Skin lacks proper hydration levels.

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Dark and age spots are visible. Excessive pigmentation. Abnormal synthesis of melanin.

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Noticeable swelling around eyes. Excessive accumulation of fluids. Dehydration.

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Visible opening of hair follicle on surface of skin. Oil (sebum) enters surface.

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Characterized by dilated capillaries, breakouts, skin inflammation. Commonly

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Fine texture with a thin epidermis. Heightened intolerance levels to allergens.

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Variations of depth and length of facial lines to a pronounced crease in the skin.

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The factors

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There are many factors responsible for changing the way our skin looks and feels. Factors may includeunhealthy lifestyle choices, smoking, stress, age, time, diet, or environmental pollutants. Either factor, orcombination of these factors result in loss of collagen protein, inadequate hydration levels, photo damage, pigmentation, erythema, or formation of lines and wrinkles which can dramatically lead to signs of photo damage and aging skin.

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Importance of your regimen

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Scientific journals

Topical vitamin C: a useful agent for treating photoaging and other dermatologic conditions.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Cosmeceuticals containing antioxidants are among the most popular antiaging remedies. Topically applied antioxidants exert their benefits by offering protection from damaging free radicals produced when skin is exposed to ultraviolet light or allowed to age naturally. Vitamin C is a naturally occurring potent water-soluble antioxidant. Accordingly, it has been incorporated into a variety of cosmeceuticals designed to protect and rejuvenate photoaged skin.

OBJECTIVE:

This article reviews the scientific data and clinical studies supporting the use of topically applied vitamin C for treating photoaged skin. Other innovative uses for vitamin C cosmeceuticals are also discussed.

CONCLUSION:

A significant body of scientific research supports the use of cosmeceuticals containing vitamin C. Cutaneous benefits include promoting collagen synthesis, photoprotection from ultraviolet A and B, lightening hyperpigmentation, and improvement of a variety of inflammatory dermatoses. Because of the diverse biologic effects of this compound, topical vitamin C has become a useful part of the dermatologist’s armamentarium.

Topically applied vitamin C enhances the mRNA level of collagens I and III, their processing enzymes and tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinase 1 in the human dermis.

Abstract

Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is a cofactor required for the function of several hydroxylases and monooxygenases. It is not synthesized in humans and some other animal species and has to be provided by diet or pharmacologic means. Its absence is responsible for scurvy, a condition related in its initial phases to a defective synthesis of collagen by the reduced function of prolylhydroxylase and production of collagen polypeptides lacking hydroxyproline, therefore, they are unable to assemble into stable triple-helical collagen molecules. In fibroblast cultures, vitamin C also stimulates collagen production by increasing the steady-state level of mRNA of collagen types I and III through enhanced transcription and prolonged half-life of the transcripts. The aim of the experimental work has been to evaluate the effect on dermal cells of a preparation of vitamin C topically applied on one side vs placebo on the other side of the dorsal face of the upper forearm of postmenopausal women. Biopsies were collected on both sides and the level of mRNA measured by non competitive reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction made quantitative by the simultaneous transcription and amplification of synthetic RNA used as internal standards. The mRNA of collagen type I and type III were increased to a similar extent by vitamin C and that of three post-translational enzymes, the carboxy- and amino-procollagen proteinases and lysyloxidase similarly increased. The mRNA of decorin was also stimulated, but elastin, and fibrillin 1 and 2 were not modified by the vitamin. The expression of matrix metalloproteinases 1, 2, and 9 was not significantly changed, but an increased level of tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinase 1 mRNA was observed without modification of tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinase 2 mRNA. The stimulating activity of topical vitamin C was most conspicuous in the women with the lowest dietary intake of the vitamin and unrelated to the level of actinic damage. The results indicate that the functional activity of the dermal cells is not maximal in postmenopausal women and can be increased.

Photoprotection of UV-irradiated human skin: an antioxidative combination of vitamins E and C, carotenoids, selenium and proanthocyanidins.

Abstract

Endogenous antioxidants are decreased in skin and blood during UV exposure. Combined supplementation of beta-carotene, alpha-tocopherol and ascorbic acid in addition to topical sunscreens may help to lower the risk of sunburning. Acute UV erythema with sunburn reaction are the most important factors in conjunction with the cumulative life-long UV dose for inducing skin damage resulting in photoageing and precancerous and cancerous lesions. Therefore, a clinical, randomized, double-blind, parallel group, placebo-controlled study was conducted in healthy young female volunteers (skin type II) investigating the preventive, photoprotective effect of supplementation with Seresis, an antioxidative combination containing both lipid and water-soluble compounds: carotenoids (beta-carotene and lycopene), vitamins C and E, selenium and proanthocyanidins. In this study, the oral administration of Seresis appeared to be well tolerated. The preparation contains antioxidant compounds in quantities occurring at physiological levels and can therefore be used safely over a long period of time. Despite the fact that the assessment of the light sensitivity (minimal erythemal dose, chromametry) of the skin did not show any statistically significant differences between the Seresis and the placebo group, a clear statistical trend, however, could be demonstrated, i.e. Seresis was able to slow down the time of the development and grade of UVB-induced erythema. The primary efficacy parameter matrix metalloproteinases 1 (MMP-1) between treatment and placebo group following UV irradiation showed a significant difference (p < 0.05), which occurred due to the fact that after a 2-week UV irradiation, MMP-1 slightly increased (p < 0.03) in the placebo group and decreased (p < 0.044) in the treated group. The MMP-9 changes showed a clear tendency of decrease in the Seresis group (p < 1.393) and increase (p < 0.048) in the placebo group. These data emphasise that supplementation with Seresis decreases the UV-induced expression of MMP-1 and 9, which might be important in photoprotective processes. From our data, we thus finally draw the conclusion that by the combination of antioxidants, such as in the formulation of Seresis, a selective protection of the skin against irradiation can be achieved. This might be important for future recommendations for immediate suppression of the early phase of UV-induced erythema, that means pharmacological prevention of sunburn reaction as well as subsequent chronic skin damage.

Copyright 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel

Topical ascorbic acid on photoaged skin. Clinical, topographical and ultrastructural evaluation: double-blind study vs. placebo.

Abstract

Vitamin C is known for its antioxidant potential and activity in the collagen biosynthetic pathway. Photoprotective properties of topically applied vitamin C have also been demonstrated, placing this molecule as a potential candidate for use in the prevention and treatment of skin ageing. A topically applied cream containing 5% vitamin C and its excipient were tested on healthy female volunteers presenting with photoaged skin on their low-neck and arms in view to evaluate efficacy and safety of such treatment. A double-blind, randomized trial was performed over a 6-month period, comparing the action of the vitamin C cream vs. excipient on photoaged skin. Clinical assessments included evaluation at the beginning and after 3 and 6 months of daily treatment. They were performed by the investigator and compared with the volunteer self assessment. Skin relief parameters were determined on silicone rubber replicas performed at the same time-points. Cutaneous biopsies were obtained at the end of the trial and investigated using immunohistochemistry and electron microscopy. Clinical examination by a dermatologist as well as self-assessment by the volunteers disclosed a significant improvement, in terms of the ‘global score’, on the vitamin C-treated side compared with the control. A highly significant increase in the density of skin microrelief and a decrease of the deep furrows were demonstrated. Ultrastructural evidence of the elastic tissue repair was also obtained and well corroborated the favorable results of the clinical and skin surface examinations. Topical application of 5% vitamin C cream was an effective and well-tolerated treatment. It led to a clinically apparent improvement of the photodamaged skin and induced modifications of skin relief and ultrastructure, suggesting a positive influence of topical vitamin C on parameters characteristic for sun-induced skin ageing.

Topical melatonin in combination with vitamins E and C protects skin from ultraviolet-induced erythema: a human study in vivo.

Abstract

In this randomized, double-blind human study, the short-term photoprotective effects of different antioxidants and their combinations were evaluated in vivo. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid), vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) and melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine) were topically applied, alone or in combination, 30 min before ultraviolet-irradiation of the skin. The erythemal reaction was evaluated visually and non-invasively using different bioengineering methods (skin colour and skin blood flow). The results showed a modest protective effect of the vitamins when applied alone and a dose-dependent photoprotective effect of melatonin. Topical application of combinations of both vitamins, or of melatonin with vitamins, enhanced the photoprotective response. Better protection was obtained by using the combination of melatonin with both vitamins. The role of reactive oxygen species and oxygen-derived free radicals, as well as potential sunscreening properties of the employed antioxidants, are discussed in view of possible mechanisms to explain this elevated photoprotective effect.

Protective effects of topical antioxidants in humans.

Abstract

Human studies have convincingly demonstrated pronounced photoprotective effects of ‘natural’ and synthetic antioxidants when applied topically before UVR exposure. Particularly with respect to UVB-induced skin damage such as erythema formation, the photoprotective effects of antioxidants are significant when applied in distinct mixtures in appropriate vehicles. Topical application of such combinations may result in a sustained antioxidant capacity of the skin, possibly due to antioxidant synergisms. And, since UVA-induced skin alterations are believed to be largely determined by oxidative processes [26], topical administration of antioxidants might be particularly promising [27, 28]. In fact, topical application of antioxidants or antioxidant mixtures resulted in a remarkable increase in the minimal dose to induce immediate pigment darkening after UVA exposure [18, 23] and diminished the severity of UVA-induced photodermatoses [22] in humans. In conclusion, regular application of skin care products containing antioxidants may be of the utmost benefit in efficiently preparing our skin against exogenous oxidative stressors occurring during daily life. Furthermore, sunscreening agents may also benefit from combination with antioxidants resulting in increased safety and efficacy of such photoprotective products [11, 29].

Topical vitamins.

Abstract

Vitamins are a natural constituent of human skin and are part of a system of antioxidants that protect the skin from oxidative stress. There has been an increased interest in the use of natural antioxidants such as vitamins to help restore dermal antioxidant activity. Vitamins A, C, E, and B3 have been shown to have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, but to achieve optimal effectiveness, products must be delivered in appropriate formulations. Products containing alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E), L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C), retinol (vitamin A), and niacinamide (vitamin B3), are effective for the treatment of photoaging. These compounds have also shown effectiveness in the treatment of inflammatory dermatoses, acne, and pigmentation disorders and wound healing. There is emerging evidence that combinations of vitamins have additive effects that provide enhanced efficacy compared with individual compounds.

Non-sunscreen photoprotection: antioxidants add value to a sunscreen.

Abstract

The association between ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure and both skin cancer and photo-aging is well documented. In addition to the conventional organic-chemical and physical-mineral type sunscreens, other non-sunscreen protective strategies have been developed. These include topically applied botanical extracts and other antioxidants as well as topical DNA repair enzymes. Standard terms of photoprotection such as sun protection factor (SPF) do not accurately reflect the photoprotection benefits of these materials. For example, in spite of minimal SPF, tea extract containing polyphenols such as (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) has been shown to protect against UV-induced DNA damage and immune suppression, in part through its ability to reduce oxidative stress and inhibit NF-kB. The addition of botanical antioxidants and vitamins C and E to a broad-spectrum sunscreen may further decrease UV-induced damage compared with sunscreen alone. These agents have been shown to enhance protection against UV-induced epidermal thickening, overexpression of MMP-1and MMP-9, and depletion of CD1a(+) Langerhans cells. Non-sunscreen materials such as botanical extracts, antioxidants, and DNA repair enzymes can contribute value when applied topically to human skin in vivo.Journal of Investigative Dermatology Symposium Proceedings (2009) 14, 56-59; doi:10.1038/jidsymp.2009.14.

The latest on skin photoprotection.

Abstract

UV radiation is the main etiological agent of most types of skin cancer and a key factor responsible for photoaging. Photoprotection is thus critical to avoid these undesired effects. Sunscreens rank among the best photoprotective measures. Sunscreens are the main components of lotions and creams used to prevent UV-induced damage or to ameliorate its harmful effects. There are 3 types of sunscreens: physical photon blockers, antioxidants, and stimulators of repairing mechanisms. This review summarizes current topics in the development of sunscreens, with special emphasis on substances of natural origin bearing photoscreening, antioxidant, or repairing properties. The characterization of different parameters to evaluate the effects of sunscreens, such as the sunscreen protection factor, is discussed. Finally, the effect of public awareness and public health campaigns are also reviewed.

Skin aging.

Abstract

There are two main processes that induce skin aging: intrinsic and extrinsic. A stochastic process that implies random cell damage as a result of mutations during metabolic processes due to the production of free radicals is also implicated. Extrinsic aging is caused by environmental factors such as sun exposure, air pollution, smoking, alcohol abuse, and poor nutrition. Intrinsic aging reflects the genetic background and depends on time. Various expressions of intrinsic aging include smooth, thinning skin with exaggerated expression lines. Extrinsically aged skin is characterized by photo damage as wrinkles, pigmented lesions, patchy hypopigmentations, and actinic keratoses. Timely protection including physical and chemical sunscreens, as well as avoiding exposure to intense UV irradiation, is most important. A network of antioxidants such as vitamins E and C, coenzyme Q10, alpha-lipoic acid, glutathione, and others can reduce signs of aging. Further anti-aging products are three generations of retinoids, among which the first generation is broadly accepted. A diet with lot of fruits and vegetables containing antioxidants is recommended as well as exercise two or three times a week.

Protective effects of topical antioxidants in humans.

Abstract

Human studies have convincingly demonstrated pronounced photoprotective effects of ‘natural’ and synthetic antioxidants when applied topically before UVR exposure. Particularly with respect to UVB-induced skin damage such as erythema formation, the photoprotective effects of antioxidants are significant when applied in distinct mixtures in appropriate vehicles. Topical application of such combinations may result in a sustained antioxidant capacity of the skin, possibly due to antioxidant synergisms. And, since UVA-induced skin alterations are believed to be largely determined by oxidative processes [26], topical administration of antioxidants might be particularly promising [27, 28]. In fact, topical application of antioxidants or antioxidant mixtures resulted in a remarkable increase in the minimal dose to induce immediate pigment darkening after UVA exposure [18, 23] and diminished the severity of UVA-induced photodermatoses [22] in humans. In conclusion, regular application of skin care products containing antioxidants may be of the utmost benefit in efficiently preparing our skin against exogenous oxidative stressors occurring during daily life. Furthermore, sunscreening agents may also benefit from combination with antioxidants resulting in increased safety and efficacy of such photoprotective products [11, 29].

Antioxidants used in skin care formulations.

Abstract

The formation of free radicals is a widely accepted pivotal mechanism leading to skin aging. Free radicals are highly reactive molecules with unpaired electrons that can directly damage various cellular structural membranes, lipids, proteins, and DNA. The damaging effects of these reactive oxygen species are induced internally during normal metabolism and externally through various oxidative stresses. The production of free radicals increases with age, while the endogenous defense mechanisms that counter them decrease. This imbalance leads to the progressive damage of cellular structures, and thus, results in accelerated aging. Antioxidants are substances that can provide protection from endogenous and exogenous oxidative stresses by scavenging free radicals. Topical antioxidants are available in multivariate combinations through over-the-counter skin care products that are aimed at preventing the clinical signs of photoaging.