Thursday, January 29, 2009

Skin Care Trends - There's a lot of 'skin' in the skin care game.

The growth of laser and light-based skin treatment has greatly accelerated the development and research into new topical skin care treatments. I feel it is so important for anyone who is going to undergo any major skin resurfacing to go on a preparation regimen at least three to four weeks before. This makes the treatments far more effective and aids in healing.

One of the recent trends is product development using pure and natural ingredients. Dr. Howard Murad, well known dermatologist, noted this trend developing more than seven or eight years ago. One can call this ethno-botany, which is the development of skin care products from substances found in herbs/foods from around the world. An example is pomegranates from North Africa, which have been shown to be effective in preventing and treating sun damage. As skin is being bombarded daily with solar damage due to the creation of free radicals we have seen a surge in skin care products to counteract these free radicals.

These products contain anti-oxidants or anti-free-radicals. Some of these ingredients you may have heard of, i.e. green tea, gogiberry and CoffeeBerry, to name a few. Some of these products have been found effective in in vitro testing (this means in a lab) and a few have been found effective in in vivo testing (these are clinical trials on real patients.)

One of the latest anti-oxidants is durian extract from Southwest Asia. This product contains fatty acids and other fruit acids. This produces increased cell renewal and hydro protection (keeps skin from drying out.)

Another exciting new product is BioActiveX complex, which uses a mangosteen extract. According to Japanese in vitro studies it contains 30 times more anti-oxidants than green tea. It is also said to stimulate collagen synthesis.

Another area of concentrated research and development is in developing topical peptides (these are two or more amino acids in a chain). These new peptides can enhance growth factors. Growth factors are large proteins that regulate immunity, wound healing and other essential cellular mechanisms.

Another new product introduced in September 2008 was Pyratine-6. This new product is claimed to work faster in reducing redness and roughness. One studied published by a Dr. Jerry McCullough (Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, February 2008) showed a decrease in roughness and increased skin moisturization over 12 weeks and decrease in skin hyperpigmentation (browns discoloration) and fine winkles in four weeks.

Another new product launched in October 2008 was Estee’ Lauder’s new Time Zone line. This is based on a new class of chemicals called sirtuins. They were developed in a laboratory in Sophia Atipolis, France. These newly discovered Sirtuin EX-1 compounds are combined with tri-hyaluronic acid technology to revive aging skin, hydrate it and pump it up.

These are just some of the many new products flooding the market. Every time I turn around there is a new skin care line, a new skin cream, a new soft tissue filler... Many of these products need more clinical, in vivo (human) trials to determine their efficacy. I guess the $64,000 dollar question is – with all these new ingredients, which combination will provide the Holy Grail? Only time will tell.

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For more information about skin care and cosmetic procedures, visit Dr. Brueck's blog. Thank you.

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