The Beauty Drugs
A to spike wrinkles... Vitamin C to reverses sun damage... Vitamin E to regain
baby-soft smoothness... AHAs for an at-home face peel... Liposomes to help other
ingredients penetrate the skin...A balanced diet is the best way to ensure that
your body is getting all the nutrients it needs to function correctly in
addition to looking great.
Here is a rundown on ingredients that are currently the lings of the beauty biz
and on the substance or fluff in their claims.
Appears to work by helping to slough off dead skin, and also by boosting the
production of collagen
If you're wondering whether a Retin-A product might merit a place in the face of
your future, or the future of your face, here's what you should know about the
It has a modest effect - on fine lines, not on deep wrinkles. The chief benefits
are seen in the fine lines around the eyes and the mouth after two to three
months of use.
Using the drug produces inflammation of the skin that could last from a
fortnight to several months. That means a swollen, peeling face; the effects are
worsened by exposure to the sun. In concentrations sufficient to produce an
anti-aging benefit, the cream is likely to prove too harsh for sensitive skins.
All users will need to apply a protective
sunscreen since the drug makes skin
more sensitive to the sun's rays.
The drug is expensive, and you'll need to keep using it to maintain the
improvement, if any, that occurs.
To date, we do not know the long-term effects of the drug, or its safety and
those aged over 50 or in those with "moderately or heavily
We also do not know how much Retin-A is absorbed through the skin; and, since
high doses of vitamin A can cause birth defects, pregnant women - or those
planning a pregnancy - should avoid the drug.
By Ortho's own admission, some patients treated with Renova for 48 weeks showed
"atypical changes" in their skin, though the significance of these changes is
not yet known.
Natural Sources: Green leafy vegetables, melon, squash, yams, tomatoes,
Vitamin C is deposited in the skin and is an essential part of the anti-oxidant
brigade to protect skin against free radical assault from the atmosphere and
from ultra violet light. Vitamin C plays a very important in converting
inactivated vitamin E back into an active anti-oxidant form of vitamin E. This
is probably the reason why vitamin C has such an important role to play in the
protection of cellular membranes even though it is a water soluble product while
cellular membranes are mainly composed of lipid molecules.
Role in photo aging - Vitamin C plays a potent role in diminishing the effects
of free radical damage and in this role can be quite effective as a protectant
from ultra violet light damage. The advantage of vitamin C over a sunscreen is
that vitamin C can be absorbed into the cells and is generally still present
about 30-36 hours after it has been applied topically to the skin. It continues
to give sun protection even though the subject may have washed their skin or
gone swimming. As a result of this we can expect that vitamin C can slow down
Reducing wrinkle visibility - Vitamin C plays an essential part in the
incorporation of proline into collagen and is also involved in the formation of
elastin. With a deficiency of vitamin C impaired collagen is created and the
skin can become more wrinkled. The replacement of vitamin C boosts the
manufacture collagen and so wrinkles can become less noticeable after using
Reducing pigmentation - Vitamin C effects pigmentation in two ways: The creation
of melanin is an oxidative process and so a powerful antioxidant like vitamin C
could counteract the oxidative process required to create melanin. Ascorbic acid
also has a role to play as an inhibitor tyrosinase. Tyrosinase is essential for
the formation of melanin, so if it is inhibited then the action of pigmentation
Scarring - vitamin C when delivered in high dosage to the skin leads to more
collagen formation and normal collagen that is often found tethering scars is
replaced with normal
collagen and the scars fill up to a degree and become less
noticeable. This process seems to be best effected with the use of iontophoresis.
Enclosed is a photograph to show the numerous effects of vitamin C when
iontophoresed onto a patient with severe chicken pox scars. You will notice that
after a period of 24 treatments of iontophoresis of vitamin C the skin looks
smoother, the pigmentation has been reduced and the scars are flatter.
All fresh fruits and vegetables. Rich Sources include : rose
hips, citrus, strawberries, apples, guavas, cabbage, tomatoes, turnip greens,
green bell peppers.
Cells in the body divide a set number of times; then they die and are replaced
by new cells. With age, this process slows, and a progressive deterioration of
all body systems begins. Though some of this decline is normal and inevitable,
many researchers believe that unstable molecular species called free radicals
accelerate the process, making us old before our time.
Vitamin E's primary role appears to be as an antioxidant. In this role, vitamin
E protects fatty acids (oils) against oxidation and rancidity. This role grows
in importance when you realize that all the cells and sub cellular membranes of
the body contain a sizeable portion of fatty acids which require such protection
against oxidation. These fatty acids (usually
polyunsaturated) serve vital roles
in the cells, and scientists believe oxidation of them causes not only many
diseases but some of the symptoms of aging as well.
A handful of studies shows that Vitamin E also acts as a mild sunscreen,
comparable to an SPF (sun protection factor) of 3.
Cooking does not normally destroy significant amounts of vitamin E. Frying,
however, especially in deep fat, can cause most of the vitamin E to be oxidized.
Storage for long periods can destroy vitamin E, too. Vitamin E supplements are
available in doses ranging from a few IU to more than 1000 IU.
Supporters of vitamin E as a skin-care ingredient believe that it can do for the
skin what it does inside the body: seek out and neutralise the effect of free
AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids)
The rejuvenators that have given vitamins, liposomes, nanospheres and herbal
extracts a clear run for the big bucks in the anti-aging derby in recent years
are alpha-hydroxy acids.
Like a synthetic vitamin-A (Renova, for instance), AHAs work in part by
sloughing off the dry, flaky, dead cells that accumulate on the surface of the
skin and are shed at a much slower rate with advancing age. But there is also
intriguing evidence that, in higher concentrations, these acids increase
collagen production and plump up the deeper layers of the epidermis.
The acids, which are the active ingredients in these creams, were originally
derived from fruits (eg. tomatoes), sugar-cane (glycolic acid) and milk (lactic
acid). They have an "exfoliant" effect that is, they act as facial scrubs or
peels, helping to shed dead skin cells and promote renewal. In fact, they were
used by dermatologists for several years in face peels - sometimes producing
severe irritation. Glycolic acid is still used in the "gentler" face peels.
However, to have the impact of a
face peel, AHAs must be used in sufficiently
high concentrations. Many skin experts believe their concentration in cosmetic
products is too low to have any marked effect on
wrinkles. What's more, AHAs
seem to work their "youthenizing" effects in gentler fashion than Retin-A
OTC skin creams containing alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) are in business. Most
cosmetic versions are "buffered" to reduce the irritation potential of the acids
Vitamin K has a role in diminishing the healing time of bruises, both related to
trauma, sun, and cosmetic procedures. There appears to be a role in vitamin K in
helping to diminish the ruddiness on ones complexion
Moisturizers, by helping to plump up skin, will temporarily make wrinkles less
Injections of collagen/your own fat will similarly "fill out" lines, minimizing
them. Collagen is the support structure that gives our skin a firm, young
appearance. When levels remain plentiful our skin looks young and fresh. When
levels decline, we lose that support and wrinkles begin to form. While collagen
injections can temporarily put back some of what we lose, some researchers
believe that topically applying the peptides might have a similar effect -
without the needle.
A face-lift will literally snip away some of the wrinkles (Gone with the excess
skin that's cut away.) and, by stretching the remaining skin up and away from
the face, will smooth out its appearance.
Dated 09 February 2013