Firstly, welcome to all of our new subscribers over the past month, thanks for signing up! We try and keep our newsletter informative and relevant for you across a range of topics, obviously all skin related.
We would like to share some wonderful coverage we received in the Herald Sun last month. We had the pleasure of treating the delightful Alice Cooper and she decided to include us in an article she was writing. Of course we will include some of our great usual content as well. Today we discuss Botanicals & Cosmeceuticals – What are they? We have also included a piece of What your skin is telling you – how to read the subtle and not so subtle signs that your skin is trying to tell you something. We hope you enjoy and please, if you have any feedback, questions or suggestions for future articles, please send them through on email: email@example.com
Karen Austin might be the only human to have seen Gina Liano without make-up. The dermal specialist counts celebrities such as Dannii Minogue and the Real Housewife of Melbourne star as clients. Saying Austin is passionate about skin is an understatement. It’s her “philosophy”. “We live and breathe skin,” Austin says. “No two skins are alike so we ensure we provide a very personalised service for each of our clients.” Austin started her Church St, Richmond, clinic just over two years ago and has built up a loyal client base. She says it’s all about keeping up with the times to stay relevant in the fast-growing industry. Austin’s latest gadgets are hi-tech Cynosure laser machines imported from the US. She says clients want the most up-to-date technology. She’s just got hold of the latest FDA-approved Sculpsure machine — yes, you can now even laser fat off without going under the knife. “We conduct intensive research into the technology before deciding to invest. We need to be able to stand by our reputation for delivering results,” Austin says. “Do what you do really well, keep abreast of technological advancement and always deliver on your promise.”
Botanicals – What are they?:
Botanical based products are derived from plants, Some of the most common weeds and beautiful flowers contain wonderful ingredients for skin care formulations, such as dandelion algae, aloe Vera, evening primrose oil, grape seed extract, green tea, ginger, soy, avocado oil, cocoa butter , witch hazel, beeswax. Many of these plants have effectively been used on skin for generations. For example, horse chestnut extract has been used in Europe for hundreds of years to treat varicose veins and fragile capillaries.
A natural or organic ingredient, even if it’s in its most pure form does not necessarily mean that it’s the best thing for your skin. The real difference between Botanicals and Cosmeceuticals is that the cosmeceutical product has been clinically tested and results recorded, the structure and integrity of the product is recorded and noted, the ability to mix together multiple ingredients and maintain the activity of all relevant elements is quite tricky that’s why when you look at the ingredients list on a botanical the ingredients list is quite short because they don’t go changing the structure of aloe Vera so it can mix with four other things. The results of using the products are more reliable based on those facts.
Using a botanical
Many of the more than 320 herbs used in skin care products and therapeutic ranges and in order to minimize the risk of any unpleasant, adverse reactions they have had to go through clinical tests just like ingredients in a recipe we need to know they work well together. In other words, simply putting an ingredient into a formulation does not mean it will have any effect on the skin. A major challenge to the clinical efficacy of any herbal extract is the delivery of therapeutic concentrations of the desired active ingredients across the stratum corneum permeability barrier in a functional state. Laboratory data of the function of an herbal extract cannot lead to the assumption of its effectiveness in treating human skin conditions with topical application. In fact, only one out of 350 new chemical entities with in-vitro data reach human prescription drug approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), so producing an effective and safe non-prescription topical product requires complying with a known development path to overcome these challenges.
Delivering proven pharmaceutical benefits, cosmeceuticals improve the skin’s appearance by delivering necessary nutrients.
The term ‘cosmeceuticals’ refers to a class of cosmetic products with pharmaceutical benefits. Cosmeceuticals are topical skincare formulations containing active ingredients which enable them to act on the skin’s cellular structure. In some cases such as exfoliants, this action is limited to the surface of the skin, while other formulations can penetrate to the cellular level and enhance or inhibit natural activities.
Intercellular substances are ingredients that exist naturally in skin and can be depleted by health, ageing and environmental factors. Ingredients such as ceramides, cholesterol, fatty acids and glycosaminoglycans are key to skin function and should be included in moisturisers if they are to be effective in promoting skin functionality. Hyaluronic acid is known to hydrate and moisturise the skin from the inside, helping to smooth out wrinkles.
Cell-communicating ingredients use receptor sites or cellular pathways to interact with skin cells to signal them to function optimally. Retinoids, which are derivatives of Vitamin A, are the best known. They act as antioxidants and neutralise the free radicals that result from exposure to ultraviolet light. In addition, they increase cellular turnover, stimulate a thickening of the epidermis and promote the removal of excess pigment.
Exfoliants encourage surface skin cells to shed, mimicking the function of young skin and increasing collagen production. Exfoliant ingredients include alphahydroxy acids (AHAs) such as glycolic and lactic acid, polyhydroxy acids (PHAs) such as gluconolactone and lactobionic acid, and beta hydroxyacids (BHAs) such as salicylic acid. Salicylic acid.
Good things to remember
Is the formulation chemically and physically stable? The development of the formulation should include chemical, physical and photo stability to ensure efficacy and that toxic metabolites are not formed. Stability with other interacting actives must also be achieved as with other ingredients necessary to product a cosmetically acceptable product.
Does the botanical penetrate the stratum corneum permeability barrier in its active state at a high enough concentration to manipulate its target cell, organelle, enzyme, receptor or compound? When was the finished product manufactured? Freshness matters with herbal products. Active ingredients cannot defy the laws of chemistry. They begin auto-oxidation to some degree when manufactured, so they require chemical stabilization.
Does the product really work in the skin? One of the only true ways a skin care practitioner can confidently recommend and sell botanical cosmeceuticals that are not based on a marketing ploy or voodoo science is by going through, or ensuring the product has gone through, prospective double-blind controlled clinical trials designated for the treatment of any or all parameters of photo-aging compared to a placebo or an approved prescription product.
Our range of DMK products are botanically based and designed to mirror the skins enzymes. More on DMK and paramedical cosmeceuticals next month.
What is your skin telling you?
Zones 1 & 3: Digestive system & spleen
Breakouts and other problems in this area often relate to a build-up of toxins in the digestive system and spleen. Symptoms include constipation or poor absorption of nutrients – side effects of overindulging in comfort foods. Focus on improving your diet, cut back on sugar, and work out if there are foods to which you may be intolerant.
Zone 2: Liver
Redness, flakiness, or excess oil between the brows can relate to a stressed liver and possible allergies. If you have problems in this area it’s wise to cut back on alcohol and fatty foods, which are hard for the liver to process, and try drinking water with a squeeze of lemon. Also consider cutting back on dairy. Lines in this area can relate to stress on the liver and stomach and hint at a need to relax and slow down.
Zones 4 & 10: Kidneys
Dark, baggy, puffy skin under the eyes indicates a sluggish kidney or bladder due to stress or lack of sleep, so it’s important to try and replenish kidney adrenals with an early night and plenty of water. Steer clear of food that dehydrates the body, like coffee, alcohol and fizzy drinks, because these foods can also add to the ‘spare-tyre syndrome’ – increased likelihood of weight gain around the mid-section – which relates to these zones.
Zones 5 & 9: Stomach, Lungs and Colon
Our respiratory system is under constant attack from smoking, passive smoking and other air pollution, and if our bodies struggle to cope this can cause problems like spots, puffiness or broken capillaries on the cheeks. Traditional Chinese medicine recognises the lungs and colon as yin-yang organs that work in harmony, so keep both in balance for good health and get plenty of fresh air. Problems here can also relate to digestion issues, so add more fibre to your diet, boost your intake of fruit and vegetables and drink herbal teas (especially those that contain peppermint or spearmint).
Zones 6 & 8: Gall bladder
The area where the side of the eye meets the corner of the cheekbone relates to gall bladder function. Problems here could relate to the way your body metabolises fats/oils. Emotionally, problems here relate to our ability to face challenges and deal with conflict. Above the eyes relates to spleen function and insulin resistance – problems here can be prompted by a carb overload.
Zone 7: Heart – This area offers insight into the health of your ticker. Redness (including broken capillaries) can be a sign of congestion in internal organs due to a diet that is too acidic and high in animal fats and protein. Switch to good fats like avocado and get your blood pressure checked.
Zone 11, 12, 13 & 14: Hormones
The chin and jawline are common spots for breakouts (especially around period time), so it’s hardly surprising that these areas are linked to stress and hormone levels, including fertility and menstrual issues. Some experts believe breakouts in this area indicate when we ovulate (and on which side) while repeated breakouts could relate to ovarian cysts. If this is a problem area, focus on regulating your sleep cycles and your diet, and consider asking your GP for a blood test to check your hormone levels.
So next time there is a change in your skin, listen a little bit closer – it might just be trying to tell you something…….