Hi-tech Skin Care

UPDATE: Read our updated list of high-tech beauty breakthroughs.

Say what you like about the big beauty brands, they do invest in research and development and they have teams of incredibly experienced scientists who have come up with skin care breakthroughs such as ceramides or glycolic. So when the pointy heads at L’Oréal start to mention medical breakthroughs on anti-aging frontiers, I sit up and take notice. This is one of the reasons why glycans are on my radar. Read on to find out the other reasons, as well as what other high tech beauty breakthroughs I have identified.

Glycans

Glycans are macromolecules, or polysaccharides, and without them the cells in our bodies can't communicate with each other. Glycans can, for example, send a message to produce collagen. In fact, there are so many different glycans that a whole new branch of science has been established called glycobiology. MIT says it is one of the sciences that will change the future of medicine. The study of glycans has recently opened up new insights into skin aging. L’Oreal’s researchers say that glycans are the new frontier in skin care. It has now been clearly established that glycans are major constituents of the skin and play a decisive role in skin homeostasis. As well as delivering messages at the cellular level, they play a role in the structure of skin tissue.

My interest in glycans was recently piqued when I was introduced to Moana, an all-natural and extremely effective skin care brand with marine glycans (from red seaweed indigenous to New Zealand) as its star ingredient. Moana Serum ($119.50) is almost 100% glycans.

Matrixyl Synthe'6

There are dynasties in politics and dynasties in skin care. Matrixyl Synthe 6 comes from a long line of synthetic peptides, but don’t go dismissing it as the Jeb Bush of cosmetics. Matrixyl® is a trademark of Sederma and is the name given for a series of anti-wrinkle actives (the first was launched in 2000) that contain a specific “matrikine,” a peptide that can link to a matching cell-surface receptor. Matrixyl has always been a reliable ingredient and the latest is Matrixyl Synthe’6 (palmitoyl tripeptide-38). As the name implies, Matrixyl Synthe’6 stimulates six major constituents of the skin matrix and the dermal-epidermal junction, including collagen and hyaluronic acid.

Still a new kid on the block (and expensive as a raw ingredient), Matrixyl Synthe’6 is slowly appearing in serums. You can find it in Lumavera Anti-Aging Serum ($120), and it is one of the additions to the new formula in Your Best Face Correct ($150 in the shop).

Far Infrared (FIR)

On my radar for a couple of years now, I have been fascinated by far infrared (FIR), part of the electromagnetic spectrum. In Asia especially, it has been investigated for its therapeutic effects, especially in wound healing. I am currently researching the development of a device with far infrared. Believe it or not, we all emit infrared wavelengths. Far infrared waves are the longest rays in the light spectrum and easily absorbed by the body to a depth of up to three inches. There they can do useful things, wound healing being one of them. A Japanese study found that wound healing “was significantly more rapid with than without FIR.” Findings also revealed “greater collagen regeneration and infiltration of fibroblasts."

Until I’ve figured my device out, we can settle for Far Infrared Ceramic Powder, a ceramic powder that emits far infrared wavelengths. E’shee has made FAR Ceramic Powder a feature of its most recent addition, the above mentioned Alpha Omega and E’shee KI Therapy Serum - Elixir of Life ($189 in the shop).

Perfluorodecalin

An ingredient that I’ve been taking a strong interest in is perfluorodecalin, a perfluorocarbon that mimics the blood’s ability to carry oxygen to the skin cells. It is used in wound healing therapies and for treating acne. Although, I haven’t found research to back this up, it is postulated that perfluorodecalin promotes collagen production. On the other hand, there is research showing that perfluorodecalin boosts moisture in the skin. It allows the skin to breathe to optimum levels and to self-regulate better in polluted environments. Also, it boosts SPF performance.

I made perfluorodecalin a key ingredient in Truth Vitality Treatment Gel ($49 in the shop), face mask and conductivity gel to be used with ultrasound and microcurrent devices. Lumavera Oxygenating Masque ($70 in the shop) has it in the form of perfluoroisohexane, which essentially works in the same way to dissolve oxygen.

Trifluoroacetyl tripeptide-2

I am always on the lookout for actives that promote elastin in the skin. This is the highly elastic protein in connective tissue that allows many tissues in the body to resume their shape after stretching or contracting. The elastase enzyme attacks structural proteins, e.g. elastin, and so ingredients that inhibit it are a good thing. A peptide called Trifluoroacetyl tripeptide-2, also known as TT2, does just that and, as a result, reduces sagging and slacking.

You can find it in E'shee Clinical Esthetic Alpha and Omega Gene Therapy Eye Cream ($284 in the shop).

Resistem

So you thought you knew all about plant stem cells? Well, this one is a little different. It is made by Sederma (the company that makes Matrixyl Synthe’6) and comes from Globularia Cordifolia, a kind of daisy. Sederma says that it mimics the body’s defense produced by “hormesis”. It seems that stress is good for you (bring it on, New York City!) Really. As scientists get to understand hormesis, there is a growing body of thought around the idea that mild repetitive stress has anti-aging effects. By mimicking hormesis, Resistem reduces micro-inflammation caused by toxins. Sederma says that Resistem protects the skin’s own stem cells and stimulates sirtuin-1 (an enzyme that contributes to the longevity of cells).

I first came across Resistem in BRAD’s Sublime Youth Creator Gel-Cream ($245 in the shop) and more recently in Sciote OMNI Phyto-Cell Crème ($110 in the shop).