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Medical Aesthetics News 

 Johannesburg Program announced The program for this year’s Medical aesthetics convention, to be held at Gallagher Estate on the 29th and 30th of August has been announced. Read more
Boosting the skin 03 August 2015 The variation of applying different actives on the skin can act as a boosting agent to maintain its functioning, writes Karen Ellithorne. In today’s cosmetic world of moisturisers and professional skin preparations we are inundated with a plethora of products and ingredients. The cosmetic market is flooded with very well-executed formulations in beautiful, yet stable packaging, filled with state-of-the-art active ingredients. Each year there is a new active ingredient that is supposedly more beneficial for the skin than the previous year. Every new ingredient launched into our industry and marketplace comes with comprehensive case studies and evidence of its superiority. This is all just marketing and does not necessarily make one ingredient better than another. As qualified aestheticians and aesthetic doctors, it is important to remember that the new ingredients constantly available are just possible new tools to enhance the treatments and home care results of our customers. We know from our own experience that varying good quality active ingredients on the skin on a regular basis is as beneficial as a varied healthy diet for the body. Below we take a look at some of the key actives that are currently available in the industry and their different functions in cosmetic preparations. AHAs and BHAs These two active ingredients are still very popular in most cosmetic formulations, especially skin peels and home care products that have the function of smoothing the skin. AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) are great to treat most skin types as they speed up the turnover of the skin and help to refine the complexion. Whether you prefer glycolic acid, citric acid, malic acid or lactic acid for your client’s skin condition, you will find the correct acid for them. These acids can be used in a variety of different blends with varying concentrates and pH balances to ensure they work optimally. There is also a great deal of research that shows that using a well-formulated AHA product can also help to stimulate collagen production in the skin and have a firming action. BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acids) – salicylic acid being a prime example – are very useful when addressing patients with oily and combination skins, as they assist in dissolving the blockages in the pores. TCA Trichloroacetic Acid (TCA) is an analogue of acetic acid, which is generally used to treat moderate photo-ageing, wrinkles, pigmentation acne scarring. It is very useful in the recovery of skin texture and general skin tone. This ingredient is only found in professional peeling formulations. Retinol Retinol is an ingredient that no medical aesthetic centre can do without. When this ingredient is applied to the skin, it dramatically improves the support structure of the skin and creates healthier epidermal cells. Regular use of retinol can increase the collagen production and the glycosaminoglycan content, resulting in firmer, more hydrated skin. In skincare products you will find Vitamin A in the form of retinol, retinyl palmitate and retinylaldehyde. On prescription only, it comes in the form of retinoic acid. Vitamin C The benefits of applying Vitamin C topically onto the skin are a subject that has been very well researched. Vitamin C is essential for collagen production in the skin and the addition of this active can dramatically decrease wrinkles, unify and even out skin tone, reduce inflammation through its anti-oxidant action and assist skin to better withstand exposure to sunlight. Vitamin C as an active is available in a variety of forms, with Ascorbic acid and L- Ascorbic acid being the more popular choice in cosmetics. Vitamin E This is a popular active that is often used in anti-oxidant formulations. Vitamin E or Tocopherol has the ability to protect the cell membrane from anti-oxidative damage and prevent the destruction of collagen. This ingredient works very well in combination with Vitamin C. Niacinamide This ingredient is one that is top of the list as a great skincare ingredient. Niacinamide is the active part of Vitamin B3. When used on the epidermis, this ingredient helps to assist in maintaining the hydro-lipidic balance of the skin, and therefore prevents water loss. It is also often used in products that address hyperpigmentation and acne. Resveratrol This is a potent ingredient that we are currently seeing in many skincare formulations. It is found mostly in grapes, nuts, fruits and red wine. The ingredient acts as an anti-oxidant, and, when applied topically, it can protect the skin from sun damage and stimulate collagen synthesis. This ingredient is very stable and well worth trying out. Curcuminoid This ingredient is derived from the spice turmeric, which is a major part of curry powder. It has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and is capable of destroying cancer cells. Curcuminoid may also be found in products for hyperpigmentation, as it has the ability to suppress the production of melanin. In general this is a great anti-aging ingredient due to its multiple benefits of addressing inflammation, irritation and sun damage in the epidermis. Alpha Lipoic acid This is an enzyme that acts as an antioxidant when applied onto the skin. An anti-oxidant that is both water- and fat-soluble, it is claimed to have the ability to regenerate other anti-oxidants, namely Vitamins C and E. It is also believed to have an anti- inflammatory effect. Hyaluronic acid Hyaluronic acid is a natural structural component of the dermis and is responsible for the plumpness and youthfulness of the skin. This ingredient has the capacity to moisturise the skin, whilst assisting in repairing the skin’s barrier function. Hyaluronic acid also has antioxidant properties and reduces inflammation. Peptides Our skin’s support structure is made up mostly of collagen, a protein that is made up of long chains of amino acids strung together, like chains of linked building blocks. When the chains are broken down, short segments of three to five amino acids are formed, which are called peptides. These are, therefore, the building blocks of the skin and are very popular as main active ingredients in formulations that are used to treat ageing skin. Growth factors Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF) can be found in plasma, sweat, urine, saliva and semen. Growth factors have been used very successfully in the treatment of burns. The skin is capable of regenerating, healing and growing cells. Growth factors play an integral role in the skin’s natural ability to repair damage and are key anti-aging actives in skin rejuvenation.
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