An alternative to surgery

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Comeceuticals – the new Skin Elixirs

Discoveries made by dermatologists whilst treating serious skin diseases and burns are being utlised in the fight against skin ageing. This has resulted in a new generation of skincare creams known as cosmeceuticals many made by US-based companies and so-called because they bridge the gap between cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.

Many of the ingredients in cosmeceuticals are not new but scientists have been able to exploit new technologies to deliver them deep in living cells. Many of these elixirs are the same ones that we need to take as supplements or contained in elixir foods. Newer ones are artificial antioxidents which the manufacturers claim are far more powerful than natural substances.

The increased effectiveness of these new creams means that cosmetic surgery should be the treatment of last resort for ageing skin. Most of these creams aim to repair the damage caused by free radicals, the unstable molecules, that ravage cells and cause age-related damage.

The secret of keeping your skin at its best whatever your age is to be healthy on the inside and outside. The use of topical elixirs should be combined with a diet containing a high-level of antioxidents both from food and supplements, as well as a positive lifestyle that assists you in living life to the optimum. It is worth considering seeking the advice of an anti-ageing specialist doctor who can advise you on diet and supplements in conjunction with your skin-care regime. An anti-ageing specialist can determine what nutrients you lack from a series of special blood tests and make recommendations on supplements and dosage. A list of anti-ageing specialists is contained on this web site.

Some of the key antioxidents to look out for in skin creams and lotions are: Alpa and Beta Hydroxy acids, Vitamin C Ester, Vitamin E, Alpha Lipoic Acid, DMAE and Idebenone. The top brands containing antioxidants are listed below:

SkinCeuticals – www.skinceuticals.com

SkinCeuticals has a range of products, man of which are aimed at protecting the skin from environmental damage. It recently launched a new product, CE Ferulic which the company claims is a revolutionary new antioxidant that delivers 8 times the skinÂ’s natural protection against photo-ageing. The lotion contains 15% pure L-absorbic acid and 1% alpha tocopherol, with ferulic acid, and vitamins C and E.

Doctor’s Dermatologic Formula – www.ddfskincare.com

DDF specializes in both restorative and preventative skincare. The DDF has creams for five specific skin problems – acne, sensitive, ageing,hyperpigmentation and environmentally damaged. The company was founded by New York-based dermatologist Dr Howard Sobel MD, PV FAACS.Dr. Sobel combines modern technology with twenty years of experience. Originally developed for professional/dermatologist use DDF blends proven dermatologic ingredients with holistic bio-actives from marine, herbal and botanical sources.

Juvena – www.juvena.ch

Switzerland’s Juvena International, the manufacturer of one of the worldÂ’s most expensive brands La Prairie, recently launched Juvedical, a three-product skincare line that employs the same technology used to help heal the skin of burn victims at the Hopital Edouard Herriot in Lyon, France. The manufacturers say that the serum and night cream help skin cells regenerate. A consumer test, after four weeks of regular use is dramatically improved skin clarity (up to 70 per cent improvement) as well as reduced redness (up to 84 per cent improvement).

MD Formulations – www.mdformulations.com

In the US, San Francisco-based MD FormulationsÂ’ Critical Care Skin Repair gel which soothes irritated skin has serious medical technology behind it. The gel contains superoxide dismutase, a synthetic replication of anti- oxidation enzymes found naturally in the human body, which was initially developed by drug companies to speed wound healing. In the Critical Care Skin Repair gel it is used to protect skin from the environment. The company carried out a six-week clinical study of 21 women with moderate to severe Rosacea who were then treated daily with MD Formulations Critical Care Skin Repair kit. The test measured a 29 per cent reduction of redness and a 31 per cent improvement in overall appearance of the facial skin. It also has a special anti-ageing line. The Vit-A-Plus Night Recovery complex contains Vitamin A, salicylic and glycolic acids and works overnight to refine and renew the skin surface.

3Lab – www.3Lab.com

3LAB worked with two cosmetic chemists and a dermatologist to create their own unique skin line. 3LAB embodies a blend of science and pure nature. The entire line is rich with antioxidants along with innovative ingredients to increase product performance, such as the anti –aging complex (Co-Q10, DMAE, Alpha lipoic acid, Vitamin E, Ester C and Seaweed Extracts) that is used in The Perfect Cream. 3LAB products are all about helping the skin to function better and to protect it from free radical damage

Peter Thomas Roth – www.peterthomasroth.com

A comprehensive range of creams for several conditions, including anti-ageing. The C0-Oxygen Q-10 Wrinkle Repair cream is a greaseless, fragrance-free, oxygen cream enhanced with salicylic acid and anti-oxidant co-enzyme Q-10, vitamin C and micellized vitamins A & E for all non-sensitive skin. Gives the skin a polished, rosy glow. Helps restore lost nutrients to skin compromised by the ageing process and environmental factors caused by depletion of co-enzyme Q-10 levels as we age. Replenishes vital co-enzyme Q-10 to help diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, including crow’s feet, frown and laugh lines. Hydrogen peroxide revitalizes dull, congested skin by oxygenating and plumping up surface cells and helping to declog pores.

Dr Jean Louis Sebagh

Dr Jean Louis Sebagh, a French cosmetic surgeon who first helped popularise Botox injections. He has now launched a skincare range with a form of powdered vitamin C as its cornerstone treatment. The innovative pure vitamin C powder cream which is indicated for the prevention and treatment of skin aging. The product comes in a test tube marked with five 1.95gm doses which are applied on a puff and then gently tapped onto the face. Dr Sebagh claims that this formulation is the best way to overcome the stability problem of the absorbic acid molecule.

DannĂ© Montague King – www.dannemking.com

Dr Danné Montague-King believes that amino acids and other proteins, co-enzymes and vitamins do work when formulated into a good delivery system, such as a transdermal-type cream. His favourite ingredients include ascorbic acid combinations for collagen production via the fibroblast cells, and a yeast cell wall extract called beta glucan. Beta glucan has been used to heal burns and doctors say that healing occurs within a few hours.

Dr Des Fernandes – www.environ.co.za / www.shirnelclinic.com

Dr Des Fernandes is a prominent Cape Town plastic surgeon, who has a particular interest in anti-ageing. His own range of products Environ® is a leader in skin care.
The main active ingredient of Environ ist Vitamin A and anti-oxident vitamins C, E and beta-carotene. There is also a range containing AHAs for particular use in treating sun damaged skin.

Dr Nicholas Perricone – www.drperricone.com

American dermatologist Dr Nicholas Perricone, whose anti-ageing expertise is based on treating patients both with diet and skincare preparations. His skincare range has products with vitamin C ester, alpha lipoic acid and DMAE, an antioxidant that tightens the skin. He is also the author of several books on skin, The Wrinkle Cure, The Acne Prescription and the Perricone Prescription.

He describes his DMAE ingredient as the magic bullet for great skin tone, keeping your face firm and contoured. He claims that, over a period of six to 12 months, it has achieved the same effect as Botox – in a more natural way.

Patrick Bowler/Cosmeceuticals

Professional skincare Cosmetic doctor Patrick Bowler became interested in professional skincare preparations that could help patients at his dermatological practices in London’s Harley Street and Brentwood, Essex. Research led him to America and the MD Formulation alpha hydroxy acid-based range. Eventually, he became distributor for the UK-made products, setting up Cosmeceuticals – a company name that recognised the links between cosmetics and medically-inspired pharmaceutical preparations.

He had now developed his own range under the name Vitage, that includes products he has named “superceuticals” because he believes they take skincare ingredients another step forward in their efficiency. The Smooth Lines and Even Tones preparations work because of the Idebenone ingredient, which he describes as one of the most potent anti-ageing cell protectors ever discovered. It is a synthetic antioxident. Studies of the ingredient, presented at the American Academy of Dermatology showed it to be more powerful in the prevention of free-radical damage, photo-ageing and wrinkles than any other available antioxidant including vitamins C, E and Co enzyme Q10. It also plays a valuable role in minimising irritation from retinoids as well as alpha and beta hydroxy acids.

Idebenon has been used in Europe as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and as a medium for preserving organs to be used in transplant surgery. Patrick Bowler has this new “superceutical” ingredient exclusively in the UK for his Vitage range, which he describes as treating oxidative stress and creating a new science of ageing.

Albert Laporte’s Parfaits de Gernetic – www.gernetic.com

This is the new range from French biologist, Albert Laporte, and is based on cellular therapy. The concentrated Repairer uses microsomes – just one micron in size – to deliver DL-alpha-tocopherol acetate and vitamin E ingredients for a slow diffusion through the skin; Time-Defying Cream has minerals and peptides synergised with vitamin B3 and a marine oligosaccharide; and Youth Cream is a powerful cocktail of active nutrients, with revitalising and regenerative properties to combat ageing at the cellular level.