Like it or loathe it, all of us want fresh, firm, clear and evenly toned skin, regardless of age or skin color. What it represents is perfect harmony€”skin that is well-nourished, well-protected and balanced inside and out. This is skin that’s never seen a blemish, is uniformly pigmented from head to toe and ages a little past its youthful carefree years where proper skin care was an afterthought. For the majority of us, the pursuit of skin perfection is a lifelong struggle. Beautiful skin is readily achieved by focusing on the skin’s most basic needs. Recognizing four skin-specific requirements €” fats, proteins, antioxidants and stimulants €” COSMEDIX emphasizes the importance of internal and external nourishment.
The Five “A” Approach
COSMEDIX takes a five “A” approach to fulfilling the skin’s needs. There are five categories of active ingredients used to treat common skin problems: acids (hydroxy and antimicrobial), vitamin A, amino acids, antioxidants and ascorbic acid. Ingredients in each category are designated according to their principle action
The primary role of acids is exfoliation. Comprised of alpha, beta and poly hydroxy acids and microbials, common examples include salicylic and lactic acid. These ingredients help the skin shed its outer layer of dead cells, known as the stratum corneum, at a more accelerated rate by dissolving the adhesive links, known as desmosomes, between surface cells called corneocytes. By sloughing away corneocytes, acids reveal the fresher, younger looking skin directly beneath the surface.
Vitamin A stimulates cell turnover. COSMEDIX combines retinol €” a form of vitamin A €” in a arabino-galactan-protein (AGP) complex made from wine grapes to enhance the rate of turnover while eliminating the ingredient’s trademark irritation. As healthy, new skin cells appear, unsightly lines, wrinkles and surface roughness fade from sight. The result is a smoother, suppler, noticeably younger-looking complexion.
Peptides and growth factors usually come to mind when discussing amino acids. As the building blocks of these and other proteins, amino acids primarily aid in cell repair and skin matrix support. Assisting in wound healing, surface remodeling and collagen production, these ingredients help sustain the skin’s extracellular structure. While the body produces its own supply of these key substances, its output dwindles with age. As a result, the skin starts to sag and lose form. By reintroducing such substances topically, we can supplement our internal deficiency and help restore firmness and elasticity to the skin.
Antioxidants are skin protectors. Antioxidants scour the body in search of volatile, cell-crippling agents from UV rays, urban pollution and environmental factors. Free radicals cause the degeneration often associated with sun damage and premature aging. Antioxidants, however, intervene in the process, sacrificing themselves to neutralize the free radical threat and, literally, save face.
Commonly known as vitamin C, ascorbic acid is among nature’s most potent antioxidants. Offering powerful protection against UV-induced free radicals, it encourages healthy wound healing and helps suppress cutaneous pigmentation. It also assists in the manufacturing of collagen, improving skin elasticity and reducing the look of lines and wrinkles.
Let's start with a quick analogy: People are either right-handed or left-handed. Right-handed people work better with their right hand, while left-handed people work better with their left hand. Very few people are ambidextrous, working equally well with their right or left hand.
Here is how hands work on the molecular level: all organic materials must contain carbon atoms, and each carbon atom has four hands arranged in a three-dimensional manner. Two hands are on the sides, one is in the front and one is in the back. Each hand must be connected to another hand. If at least two elements attached to any single carbon atom are identical or right-handed, these organic materials are called chiral. If none of the elements attached to any single carbon atom are identical or left-handed, the organic materials are called chiral. Chiral molecules exist everywhere. Sugars, carbohydrates, hydroxy acids, amino acids and proteins have similar configurations. Your own DNA is chiral €” as are your hormones, enzymes and the structural components of tissue, blood, hair and skin.
Just like people, these right-sided or left-sided natural ingredients often perform differently. A left-handed ingredient (L) can have a greater skin wrinkle reduction benefit than a right-handed ingredient (R) €” ascorbic acid or vitamin C is a prime example. A recent study has shown that D- and L-forms of ascorbic acid have different affinity for the enzyme Tyrosinase, which catalyzes the production of melanin and other pigments. The skin brightening results of L-ascorbic acid and D-ascorbic acid are vastly different. When both forms are together, D-ascorbic acid can reverse this beneficial effects of L-ascorbic acid. The use of the pure 100% L form in such cases is essential.
At COSMEDIX, we use chirally-correct ingredients, meaning our formulas have been filtered to contain only molecules that positively interact with the skin. The result? Less irritation and more concentrated formulas capable of real change.