Free Radicals: The Invisible Enemy

Any time skin professionals talk about environmental damage the discussion inevitably turns to free radicals molecules that have lost an electron by interacting with oxygen. In the body, these free radicals can wreak havoc upon living cells, stealing their electrons and causing oxidative stress. Scientists have linked this stress to a litany of adverse health effects including skin aging.

Free radicals have their roots in a variety of sources. However, the most common culprit in free radical damage is the sun. When the skin is overwhelmed by UV rays, emerging free radicals can lead to a breakdown in collagen and elastin connective fibers that provide the skin its firmness and suppleness. The result often takes the form of lines, wrinkles, roughness and sagging skin.


Antioxidants to the Rescue
Antioxidants are the heroes that come to your skin's defense. Produced by the body and obtained from food, antioxidants seek out the volatile molecules, sacrificing one of their own electrons to neutralize the threat of oxidative damage. Antioxidant products help to fill the gap to help protect the skin from the free radicals it faces every day.

Not All Antioxidants are Created Equal
Antioxidant products are only as effective as their chief ingredients. Because individual antioxidants function in different ways, products that contain only a handful of common or non-skin-specific antioxidants may still leave the skin open to harm. However, by combining multiple skin-specific antioxidants, users can give their skin maximum free radical protection. COSMEDIX products like Affirm and COSMEDIX ELITE's Pepoxide delivers a cocktail of targeted ingredients designed to minimize the appearance of existing damage and counteract daily threats to ensure a more radiant, youthful tomorrow.

Do Epidermal Growth Factors Really Make Your Skin Look Younger?

Do Epidermal Growth Factors Really Make Your Skin Look Younger?

Epidermal growth factor (EGF) is a naturally occurring polypeptide (small proteins) that stimulates significant cellular growth and proliferation. By switching on fibroblasts, cells responsible for supporting the skin matrix, EFGs stimulate collagen production, helping to dramatically improve skin density and elasticity. When applied to treated skin, the prolific proteins help repair cellular damage and encourage the appearance of fresh, healthy cells.

How it Works

EGF works by binding to specific epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFR) on a cell, where it initiates cellular DNA replication and, consequently, cell division and proliferation. Produced naturally by the body, EGF can also be synthesized from a variety of natural sources, including plant extracts and yeast. Because skin cells naturally recognize EGF, their interaction with the ingredient is flawless.  Originally used to speed wound recovery, EGF's discovery won researcher Dr. Stanley Cohen and his collaborators a Nobel Prize in 1986. A patent for cosmetic use followed three years later.

Speeding Up Recovery and Rebooting Aging Skin

Because all resurfacing treatments (i.e. peels, laser rejuvenation, microdermabrasions) damage the skin to some degree to achieve results, recovery has typically been a drawback of professional resurfacing treatments. The thought of spending days €” sometimes weeks €” in a vulnerable, post-operative state has inspired fear in many. However powerful EGFs accelerate the recovery process to bridge the gap between being a before and an after. It is critical to incorporate EGFs products, like COSMEDIX’s Cell ID Serum, into any post resurfacing treatment regimen because directly stimulating the more rapid release of skin cells (resurfacing) without directly stimulating the rapid replacement of these cells will cause immune stress. By applying EGF products to resurfaced skin, the window of new cell vulnerability €” and post-procedure recovery time as a whole €” is abbreviated.

In addition to its recovery function, EGFs are a key player in the fight against premature aging. While we have EGFs in our skin, our natural supply diminishes with age and exposure to ultraviolet light. Unable to refresh itself at a healthy, youthful rate, the skin accumulates dead surface cells and starts to show visible signs of aging €” most notably dullness, roughness and prolonged healing time. By topically adding EGFs, a more youthful rate of renewal is achieved.

The Truth About Photodamage In Less Than 1,000 Words

Cosmedix - The Truth About Photodamage In Less Than 1,000 Words

Photodamage, commonly known as sun damage, occurs when the skin is overwhelmed by ultraviolet (UV) rays, resulting in scar tissue buildup and dermal thinning. The changes that the body incurs, however, are not evident on the skin’s surface until years later. As skin ages, visible effects of photodamage appear as fine lines, wrinkles and age spots. Treating photodamage is a process that requires a long-term management program including lifestyle changes, stress reduction and improved nutrition.

Neglecting to shield sun-sensitive skin from harmful UV rays can easily exacerbate photodamage and counteract any progress made with resurfacing and restorative products. To ensure enduring results, a broad spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen should be applied daily for maximum defense, like Peptide-Rich Defense with SPF 50.

The skin is already under attack from inflammation caused by dietary and environmental stress. Damaged skin is even more susceptible to free radical assaults. Hence, photodamage treatment requires a specialized support system. Serums, masks and cleansers containing reparative ingredients like vitamin C, antioxidants, enzymes, peptides and growth factors provide indirect support to the skin by helping to increase cellular turnover, inhibit melanin production and reduce inflammation.

Chirally-correct skin care with ingredients such as tyrosinase inhibitors, antioxidants, pepoxide and encapsulated retinol are extremely effective for driving results. Naturally, that program begins with rebuilding the skin. Only after the layers of dead skin are removed can fresh, new skin cells thrive. But because photodamage-afflicted skin is highly sensitive, promoting healthy change is crucial. Professional metabolic peels, such as those offered by COSMEDIX professional skincare, are designed to gently stimulate fibroblasts €” skin-rejuvenating collagen and elastin fibers €” without the irritation and excessive peeling of traditional chemical peel treatments.


The Five A Approach To Better Skincare

Cosmedix - The Five A Approach To Better Skincare

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

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.

Amino Acids

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.

Ascorbic Acid

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.

SKINCARE 101: What is Chirality?

Cosmedix - SKINCARE 101: What is Chirality?

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.