Three things initially put me off DermaSilk Miracle Cream - the name, obviously, the price (call me a snob, but how could something that costs a mere $39.99 be in any way miraculous) and, thirdly, that the first handful of ingredients are emollients, coconut derivatives and silicones and a form of vitamin C, ascorbyl phosphate, that doesn't easily penetrate the skin. But then things start to get interesting and become very interesting indeed.

Dermasilk claims to have nine key actives, but you won't find the usual vitamins and peptides here. Some of the nine are incredibly cutting edge. Take, for example, adenosine triphosphate (ATP). It is the main energy source for the majority of cellular - and muscular - functions. This includes the synthesis of DNA. Living things use ATP like a battery - storing and using energy when needed and, it seems, in complex ways (a sprinter will use ATP very differently from a marathon runner). The ATP molecule is composed of three components.  At the center is a sugar molecule, ribose (the same sugar that forms the basis of DNA).  There is a base (a group consisting of linked rings of carbon and nitrogen atoms); in this case the base is adenine. The third is a string of phosphate groups. These phosphates are the key to the activity of ATP. Research on the effects on skin is new, but very promising.

Another useful looking thing is sodium chondotin sulfate, an anti-inflammatory, which prevents loss of proteoglycans (a special class of glycoproteins can be found in the ground substance in connective tissue of human beings).

One of my favorite ingredients in ferulic acid. A 2004 Italian study concluded that ferulic acid is a more powerful antioxidant than alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E), beta-carotene, and ascorbic acid (vitamic C). Meanwhile, Duke University researchers blended it with vitamin C and E and proclaimed it a "potent ubiquitous plant antioxidant". In fact, it was discovered to act synergistically with other antioxidants and, in this case, rendered the vitamins C and E more powerful. The Duke Study found it particularly good for preventing sun damage, and studies elsewhere have demonstrated that exposure to ultraviolet light actually increases the antioxidant power of ferulic acid.

Meanwhile, there are several marine ingredients. Crithmum maritimum is sea fennel and French researchers have pronounced it a “valuable source of antioxidants, particularly chlorogenic acid”. Phaeodactylum tricornutum extract is thought to protect and repair age and UV-induced damage to proteins, which are major targets for oxidative damage. Meanwhile, chlorella vulgaris extract is a skin conditioning and protecting agent believed to have powerful anti-aging benefits, mainly due to the fact that it’s a rich source of carotenoids - a family of nutrients that, when ingested, deposit into the skin and protect it from the harmful effects of UV rays (i.e. pigmentation, sunburn, cancer). In fact, Korean researchers have discovered that when Lutein (a carotenoid) was extracted from chlorella vulgaris, it blocked the growth of human colon cancer cells.

I am especially curious about terprenone. Made from geranylgeraniol, a substance found in plants, it has been used as a drug to treat gastric ulcers until someone filed a patent claiming that it stops skin cells dying and could be an effective antiwrinkle ingredient. Another patent files it as a skin whitening agent. The problem is that the patents are all I could find. There is no research that I have seen that backs these claims.

I started to use Dermasilk Miracle Cream a couple of days and I am very interested to see how it turns out. I will, of course, report back in about four weeks.

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Ingredients

Aqua, glycerin, butylene glycol, caprylic/capric triglyceride, ethylhexyl palmitate, cetearyl alcohol, cyclopentasiloxane, dimethicone, glycol stearate, stearyl alcohol, mannitol, Butyrospermum parkii (shea butter), steareth-2, ascorbyl phosphate, tocopherol, retinol, Panicum miliaceum (millet) seed extract, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, Chlorella vulgaris extract, Avena strigosa seed extract, Phaeodactylum tricornutum extract, Waltheria indica leaf extract, Crithmum maritimum extract, ferulic acid, teprenone, adenosine triphosphate, sodium chondroitin sulfate, lecithin, cetearyl glucoside, steareth-21, guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride, xanthan gum, pentylene glycol, hydrogenated vegetable oil, polysorbate 20, dextrin, sodium gluconate, citric acid, sodium citrate, alcohol, phenoxyethanol, caprylyl glycol, tannic acid