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P-Refinyl and a new cure for open pores

July 22, 2010 Reviewed by Marta 19 Comments
Anyone with open pores, say around the nose, knows the dread of catching a glimpse of their craters in one of those magnified bathroom shaving mirrors. Toners, scrubs and AHA exfoliators can help, but what if there was a solution? And what if I told you it was a lentil?

Thanks to an email the other day from Shannel, I learned about lentils and an ingredient called p-Refinyl. Silab is a French cosmetic ingredient company specializing in botanical actives and p-Refinyl, based on lentil extract, is one of nine organic ingredients it launched at the end of last year.

The term pore refers to the openings of adnexa at the skin surface. Open pores are associated with sweat secretion and oily skin.  However, the activity of the sebaceous glands diminishes with age whereas the number of visible pores appears to increase with age. So something else must be going on.  The theory is that the pore walls are slackening due to decline of the matrix (elastin and collagen).

According to the Silab, dilated pores are also caused by an abnormally accelerated keratinization process, leading to the accumulation of nucleated cells around the pores.

The company claims that lentil extract controls sebum and its oligosaccharide content stimulates the process of keratinocyte maturation, eliminating nucleated cells from around the pores.

Silab’s own tests (there isn’t any independent research) showed a modest reduction in sebum with a 3% concentration of p-Refinyl (9%) on Caucasians with Asian skin responding better (a 29% reduction). With collagen production, our lentil apparently really comes into its own with SIlab claiming p-Refinyl stimulated the expression of collagen I by 100%. Meanwhile nucleated cells were reduced by 20%.

Overall, pore size was reduced in the Silab tests by 61%. I could live with that.

P-Refinyl is fairly new and I haven’t spotted it in anything yet. However, I did find lentil extract listed in Murad’s Skin Perfecting Primer ($35) and Skinn Cosmetics Optimizing Solutions Overnight Pore Reducer ($31.59).
  • September 23, 2011

    by June

    I have been using Skinn Cosmetics overnight pore reducing serum and it is working. The reviews that say it's too sticky are because they are applying too much!
    Apply with a q-tip on pore areas and rub in. I think this is a winner.

  • May 4, 2011

    by Dennis

    hmm, that link is not working:!Oil-Control-Moisturiser

    if that doesn't work, just search the site for their "go clear" products.

  • May 4, 2011

    by Dennis

    Hey all, I HATE my pores so I've been keeping an eye for more products to start including this. Not so yet, but I have found this:!Oil-Control-Moisturiser#fragment-5

    It has some undesirable ingredients, but it also includes tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate and Pycnogenol.

    I might give it a try

    If you don't mind, Marta, here is the complete ingredients list:

    Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Dicetyl Phosphate, Ceteth-10 Phosphate, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG 100 Stearate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Lens Esculenta (Lentil) Seed Extract, Glycerin, Salicylic Acid, Dimethicone, Cetyl Alcohol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Butylene Glycol, Penthylene Glycol, Hydroxyphenyl Propamidobenzoic Acid, Epilobium Angustifolium Extract, Stearic Acid, Bakuchiol, Pinus Pinaster Bark Extract, Melaleuca Alternifolia Leaf Oil, Allantoin, Tocopheryl Linoleate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hexylene Glycol, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Extract, Phytosphingosine, Xanthan Gum, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate

  • January 21, 2011

    by geraldine

    looking for a company that suppliesp.refinyl can you help me out

  • August 25, 2010

    by elly

    Regarding the differences between the efficacy of p-Refinyl on Caucasian and Asian skin, this is due to the fact that the Asian skin is more oily than the Caucasian one, and that's why the Asian skin is more probable to have a better result.
    For Curious: actually not all the cells are nucleated(e.g. mature red blood cells). The keratinocytes from the stratum corneum (the outermost of the layers of the epidermis) are no longer nucleated. They are dead cells called corneocytes which are eliminated periodically from the skin. If these corneocytes are not eliminated, they accumulate, in this case, around the pore keeping it open.

  • August 25, 2010

    by elly

    Hi everyone, p-refinyl (as all the Silab's actives) is composed only by the biological active molecules fraction from the entire extract. In this case p-Refinyl is rich in oligosaccharides from Lens esculenta.The reason that the INCI name of p-Refinyl is water&Lens esculenta Seed extract is that it is not possible to give an INCI name for that fraction. So don't confuse the p-Refinyl with the whole extract.

  • August 16, 2010

    by Curious

    "According to the Silab, dilated pores are also caused by an abnormally accelerated keratinization process, leading to the accumulation of nucleated cells around the pores."

    Aren't all cells nucleated? English please...

  • July 28, 2010

    by marta

    Hi Karla

    From my research, it seems that lentil extract is just lentil powder. So I think you should give it a go. Do let us know how you get on! In fact, I'll give it a try myself.

  • July 28, 2010

    by Karla

    Would a "lentil mask" work just as well, made from crushed lentils and water (or maybe chamomile tea), or is there a chemical process involved in getting the extract out of the lentil?

  • July 27, 2010

    by marta

    Hi Val, I don't know - there could be any number of reasons why Asian skin responded better. Still worth a try, I should think.

  • July 26, 2010

    by Val♥TIA

    So having Salma Hayek's coloring, does this mean that it would be less effective on me?

  • July 23, 2010

    by marta

    We could always buy our own lentil powder and add it to <a href="" rel="nofollow">YBF's Concentrate</a> for a DIY solution.

  • July 23, 2010

    by marta

    Good find Chef! Here's the ingredients in the toner:
    Aqua (Water), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (1), SD Alcohol 40-B, Glycerin, Sorbitol, Sodium PCA, Spiraea Ulmaria Extract, Lens Esculenta (Lentil) Fruit Extract, Arnica Montana Flower Extract (1), Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract (1), Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract (1), Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract (1), Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Extract (1), Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Rhizome/Root, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Citral, Limonene, Linalool, Fragrance (Parfum) (2).

    (1) Certified Organic Ingredient

  • July 22, 2010

    by Carole

    Way to go M

  • July 22, 2010

    by Chef

    Hi Marta, it looks like some of the new Acnedote products from Alba Botanica have lentil extract, the toner and the gel:

  • July 22, 2010

    by marta

    Yeah, and I'm not wild about the Murad: Water (Aqua), Cyclopentasiloxane, Phenyl Trimethicone, Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Silica, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Cetyl Alcohol, PEG-100 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Boron Nitride, Stearyl Dimethicone, Sodium Hyaluronate, Lens Esculenta (Lentil) Seed Extract, Capryloyl Glycine, Sarcosine, Cinnamomum Zeylanicum Bark Extract, Rosa Multiflora Fruit Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ascorbic Acid, Chitosan, Propyl Gallate, Polyurethane-40, Zinc Gluconate, Sodium PCA, Betaine, Sorbitol, Glycine, Alanine, Proline, Serine, Threonine, Arginine, Lysine, Glutamic Acid, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Chlorphenesin, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77489, 77491, 77492, 77499).

    I think we'll have to wait for a few more early adopters.

  • July 22, 2010

    by Junko

    Mark & Marta, I gave Skinn's product a thought but sticky is a real turn off for me since I tried
    M2 Skin Technologies HP Skin Refinish. Also the reviews are 4 to 1 out of a couple of dozen that it doesn't work. Look for P-Refinyl in another product that sounds more promising?

  • July 22, 2010

    by Mark

    Hi Marta and welcome back! This sounds interesting - will you be giving it a try for us?

  • July 22, 2010

    by Junko

    The ingredients for Skinn Cosmetics Optimizing Solutions Overnight Pore Reducer are interesting, but reviewers are complaining that it's sticky. Seems like a mixed bag too of those who say it works and those who say it doesn't with more of them being on the nay side. Ingredients: Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel) distillate, water, glycerin, pentylene glycol, isopentyldiol, hyaluronic acid, pyrus malus (apple) saccharides, lens esculenta (lentil) seed extract, sodium PCA, sorbitol, serine, glycine, glutamic acid, alanine, lysine, arginine, threonine, proline, salicylic acid, sugar cane extract, citrus extract, apple extract, green tea extract, triethanolamine, phenoxyethanol, caprylyl glycol, chlorphenesin, acrylates/C10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, citrus medica limonum (lemon) peel oil, mentha piperita (peppermint) oil, melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) leaf oil, sodium phytate, lysophosphatidic acid, lecithin, lysolecithin.

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