Daniel Yarosh PHD runs a laboratory called AGI Dermatics that invents anti-aging ingredients. As well as showing up in department store brands such as Estee Lauder, they also appear in his own product line called Remergent. In his book, The New Science of Perfect Skin, Dr Yarosh says we are in the midst of a skincare revolution.

The revolution has been brought about by a whole new generation of ingredients that "reprogram" the skin from the inside out. This is very different from the traditional treatments such as alpha hydroxy acids, chemical peels or microdermabasion), which merely improve the surface of the skin by removing dead cells and, to some extent, encouraging cell renewal. The new 'revolutionary' ingredients, on the othe  hand, repair the DNA and then skin regenerates itself naturally, as it did when we were young.

So what are these new repair-from-within ingredients? Amongst the antioxidants, there are only a handful that Dr Y says come with supporting evidence: green tea, vitamin C, vitamin E, genistein and ergothioneine. Interestingly, ergothioneine (which can be found in mushrooms) has, according to my research, a spotty record. There is some data that says it works and some that says it doesn't do much antioxidating at all. One of the papers in the 'for' camp was written by Dr Y himself.

I was excited to find that he recommends some botanicals that I'd never heard of before. There is arabidopsis extract, which is a member of the mustard family and apparently the first plant to have its entire genome mapped. Evodia extract seems to come from a tree and is used in Chinese medicine. It is an anti-inflammatory.

Meanwhile, I need to do more research on micrococcus lysate, which seems to have all sorts of things going for it including the ability to provide UV protection. Plus pinanediol, which according to Dr Y increases microcirculation. .

He then goes on to tell us not to believe the hype on alpha lipoic acid, CoQ10, idebenone, resveratrol and soy isoflavones.

One of Dr Y's main themes is that there is no killer ingredient. In fact, even the antioxidants that do work (according to him), such as vits C and E, must be used in combination. To be effective antioxidants must be water soluble and oil based. Another reason for teaming up ingredients is that they get worn out. Apparently, fighting free radicals can be exhausting and when vitamin E gets battle weary, vitamin C can step in to lead the charge.

One of the most useful aspects of this book is that provides a handy manual on how to read packages and decipher ingredients. And there is a particularly useful glossary of botanical extracts. I know I shall be dipping in and out of The New Science of Perfect Skin over the coming weeks and I'll try to follow up with posts that go into more depth on some of themes.