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  • Is Microencapsulated Retinol Better Than Ordinary Retinol?

    While there is no question that Retinol is indeed one of the most effective age fighting ingredients available in skin care today, there is often confusion surrounding the different forms available in cosmetic products. Unfortunately, as effective as pure Retinol is in fighting the signs of aging, the reality is that it is not a very stable molecule. It breaks down in the presence of oxygen and light so great care must be exercised when formulating with Retinol to ensure that the active Retinol is still present 6 months later. Cosmetic manufacturers will often use metal or glaminate tubes with a narrow needle nose delivery orifice to minimize exposure to light and air.

    With the numerous clinical studies supporting the benefits of Retinol in skin care products, we have sought ways to optimize using this unstable molecule. Microencapsulation is a process whereby Retinol is subjected to a laboratory process that encapsulates the active molecule within a microscopic capsule or sphere that not only protects the unstable Retinol molecule, it facilitates controlled release delivery and enhanced penetration through the lipid bilayer of the skin. This is the result of the microcapsule structure being constructed of multiple layers of lipid membranes surrounding a solid Retinol containing core that allows for an easier transfer of the Retinol molecule. At the same time the very nature of the capsule enables a lipid film to form over the skin’s surface to impede trans epidermal water loss (TEWL).

    Formulating with microencapsulated Retinol is also advantageous over the free form of Retinol in that it protects the Retinol from oxidation or spoilage and extends the shelf life of the product. The microcapsules break when they are applied to the skin so that the Retinol is at its most active when delivered. And due to the lipid nature of the microencapsulation it facilitates a controlled release delivery with better penetration through the barrier lipids of the skin.

     

     

     

     

     

  • A New Generation of Retinoids

    While it is common knowledge today that Retinoids, including Retinol (pure Vitamin A), Retinyl Palmitate and Retinoic Acid, are amongst the most powerful topically applied ingredients to address the signs of aging, perhaps less known is the fact that of all the Retinoids only Retinoic Acid, has a direct biological effect on the skin. One certainly has the option of applying Retinoic Acid to the skin; however, it is only available as a prescription drug cream in most parts of the world. In fact, Retinoic Acid (Tretinoin) is the active ingredient in Retin-A TM (TM Ortho Dermatological) and Renova,TM (TM Ortho Dermatological) two of the best-known prescription anti-wrinkle/anti-acne creams. Unfortunately, topical Retinoic Acid often causes skin irritation including excessive peeling, redness and photosensitivity which limits its use.

    If Retinoic Acid is the only biologically active form of Retinoid that has a direct effect on the skin, why is it that the cosmetic companies still use Retinol and Retinyl Palmitate to fight aging? Fortunately for us, our skin has naturally occurring enzymes that convert Retinol and Retinyl Palmitate into the active form, Retinoic Acid. While it may take two and three steps to convert Retinol and Retinyl Palmitate to Retinoic Acid, they can deliver the well-established skin benefits of Retinoic Acid while producing fewer side effects.

    At The International Dermal Institute we have discovered a new patented molecule, Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate (abbreviated HPR), that is an ester of Retinoic Acid and works similar to Tretinoin (Retin–A) but without the irritation. Unlike Retinoic Acid, results of the standard RIPT (Repeat Insult Patch Test) skin irritation test showed no irritation after 21 days of continual use. And because it is not a drug it can be used in cosmetic products. Results of a two week study showed that a 0.1% concentration of HPR applied topically gave a 50% improvement in skin roughness and a 40% improvement in skin surface scaling, an indicator of dryness. No irritation was evident in any of the test subjects. And unlike Retinol and other derivatives that must be converted to the biologically active form of Retinoic Acid, HPR binds directly with Retinoid receptors to initiate a response (i.e. cell proliferation and differentiation) in the skin. Think of receptor binding as turning on or off a light switch. When the Retinoic Acid binds to the receptor the light switch turns on, initiating a cellular response. By the same token, HPR is also capable of turning on the light switch, whereas, Retinol and Retinyl Palmitate must first be converted to Retinoic Acid.

    Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate represents a new generation of Retinoids that will no doubt be continually researched for their positive impact on the skin especially in addressing skin aging.

    For more information on the research behind Retinol, refer to this blog entry: http://www.dermalinstitute.com/us/news/?s=retinol+benefits+voorhees

  • Skin Q & A with Dr. Diana Howard!

    Dr. Diana HowardCatch up with Dr. Diana Howard as she answers these common skin care questions!

    Q. How important is cleansing?

    A. Cleansing is the basis to healthy skin and is necessary to remove oils, grime, pollutants, etc. from the skin that can cause sensitivity or congestion, leading to breakouts. It also helps pave the way so that beneficial actives can penetrate the skin. The secret is to use a cleanser formulated for your specific skin condition and to moisturize immediately after. We always recommend at The International Dermal Institute that one use a non-soap cleanser; soap is alkaline and it strips the natural barrier lipid layer from the skin, which can lead to dehydration and sensitization.

    Q. What is the most common mistake people make with their skin?

    A. We self-prescribe when we should be relying on a skin care professional to properly analyze our skin. Most people don’t realize that they can have multiple skin conditions on their face. For example, you may have congestion and excess oiliness in the T-zone, dehydrated cheeks and hyperpigmentation on the forehead. Each of these areas is a different skin condition. Without proper analysis, you may not realize that you in fact have dehydrated skin that is oily.

    People also don’t realize that skin adapts to micro-climates and environments. You need to be aware that the environment indoors can impact your skin as much as a change in seasons or weather outdoors. Likewise, people don’t realize that stress can lead to skin sensitivity; this is an area we have studied extensively at The International Dermal Institute. A professional skin care therapist can help you to understand the relationship of all of these factors and the role they play in your skin condition.

    Q. What steps must you be sure to include if you’re short on time?

    A. Cleanse and moisturize. As we said earlier, clean skin is the basis of healthy skin. Within one minute of patting the skin dry after cleansing, apply a moisturizer that hydrates and seals in hydration. Ideally, use a moisturizer with a built in SPF to protect the skin from ultraviolet (UV) damage for daytime.

    Q. What is your best tip for face and body during winter, when many experience dry and sensitized skin?

    A. Keep skin hydrated! You have one minute after bathing or cleansing to trap moisture into the skin. Spray a hydrating mist over the skin and immediately lock in with a very emollient moisturizer. Follow with sunscreen. Don’t forget to use a physical sunblock around the eye area (chemical sunscreens can be irritating to the eyes). Once or twice a week, exfoliate to remove excess dry cells that accumulate on the surface of the skin.

    Q. What’s the difference, the benefits and the negatives of synthetic ingredients vs. natural ingredients?

    A. So many people think that using natural ingredients in skin care products means they must be healthier for you, when the truth be told, there is no proof of that. As a matter of fact, speaking as a cosmetic chemist and a plant biochemist (this is my Ph.D.), I can tell you that plant extracts, as wonderful as they may be, can cause a higher degree of skin reactions than synthetic ingredients when used in cosmetics. Just consider the number of people with hay fever and other plant allergies. The biggest advantage of using a naturally made cosmetic vs. one that has many synthetic ingredients is the marketing hype you can associate with the product and the public’s perception that natural must be better for you. There is simply no proof of this assumption.

    Personally, some of my favorite ingredients for high performance efficacy are ynthetically made. For example, peptides and retinoids are all synthetically made and are by far more effective than any natural or plant-derived active.

    Q. Will scientists ever find a cure for rosacea?

    A. There are many factors that contribute to rosacea and scientists are learning more and more yearly. Like anything else, the more we understand, the greater the potential for developing a treatment for this condition. As a sufferer with mild rosacea, I certainly hope they find a “cure.”

    Q. Mineral Oils and Parabens are widely discussed and criticized today. What is your opinion?

    A. Mineral Oil is an inexpensive solvent that readily removes make-up from the skin and provides an emollient feel when used as part of a cream emulsion. Unfortunately, it can cause milia in many people, especially when used around the eye area. I always think of Mineral Oil as an oil that just sits on the skin and doesn’t really provide any benefit. There are so many other wonderful oils that I would prefer to use.

    As far as the Paraben mess goes, I am very disappointed that the public perception has been misled by certain groups determined to blame Parabens for breast cancer and endocrine disruption; the truth be known even the author of the original research said her work was misconstrued. I have no reservations about using Parabens on myself – that’s how strongly I believe people have over reacted to this.

    Q. What can we expect to see in the future in the skin care industry?

    A. As scientists make further advances in research understanding how the skin responds to the environment and physiological changes (such as aging, vascular conditions, sebum production, etc. ), we will develop and discover new ingredients that can be used to treat these various skin conditions – no doubt in conjunction with advanced laser technology .

    Q. How particular are you about your own skin?

    A. I follow the basic principles of “cleanse, hydrate and treat the condition.” Because I travel quite a bit lecturing around the world, I am forever subjecting my skin to dehydrated environments (like airplanes) and fluctuations in climate and humidity. All of these factors can trigger my rosacea and can create what I call transient skin conditions. Fortunately, I have access to just the right products to treat a rosacea flare-up or dehydrated skin, Also, being over fifty,I am always cognizant of treating the signs of aging. I have my favorite Retinol and peptide products for my skin and eye area. I do recognize that the most important product in my skin care regimen is my sunscreen formulated for super sensitive skin. I use it daily, even in the winter.

    Q. What’s your favorite ingredient?

    A. Without a doubt my favorite ingredient for skin care is Retinol. Not everyone can use this active agent, but it is absolutely the most effective for reversing the signs of aging. When combined with designer peptides, you can optimize the treatment of aging skin.

    Q. What is your greatest beauty tip?

    A. Wear sunscreen, minimum SPF 30, every single day of the year!!!!!!

  • Dr. Diana Howard on the Benefits of Retinol

    Dr. Diana HowardI am forever asked what I think is the best ingredient for fighting the signs of aging skin. With so many high-tech ingredients such as peptides and the many vitamins available to the cosmetic formulator, I have to say the one ingredient that comes to mind with the most scientific evidence in support of its efficacy is indeed pure vitamin A. Known as the normalizing vitamin, it is a real work-horse when it comes to reversing the signs of aging in skin. Vitamin A, more accurately called Retinol, has been shown to reverse the signs of natural or chronological aging (intrinsic) and environmentally induced (extrinsic) photoaging.

    According to Dr. Voorhees and his research team at the University of Michigan, lotions containing Retinol were demonstrated to improve the appearance of skin that had wrinkled through the normal aging process, not just skin that has been damaged by exposure to the sun. Researchers tested lotions containing retinol on the skin of elderly patients. Lotion containing 0.4% Retinol was used on one arm of each participant, while a lotion without Retinol was applied to the other arm. Wrinkles, roughness and overall aging were all significantly reduced in the Retinol-treated arm compared with the control arm, according to the study, which appears in the Archives of Dermatology.

    The scientists are quick to note that the production of collagen, due to the Retinol treatment, not only improves the skin’s appearance, but is an important means of protecting skin as it becomes more fragile with age. The study showed that the reduction of wrinkles was due to increased collagen production (that strengthens the skin) and a significant induction of glycosaminoglycans, which are known to retain large quantities of water keeping tissues well hydrated and supple.

    This research serves as an important step forward in the understanding of how aging skin can be improved, researchers say. In the past, everyone believed that retinoids would treat only photoaging, or damage from exposure to sun. These latest findings show that “it improves any kind of aging – photoaging as well as natural aging,” says co-author John J. Voorhees, M.D., chair of the Department of Dermatology at the University of Michigan Medical School. “You can rub it anywhere, and it will help to treat the signs of aging.” So while we may all be thinking only in terms of our appearance, these findings are significant for maintaining the health of an aging global population. Call me vain but I’m off to find my Retinol.